Exhaustion, fatigue, and dismay took over my life the last few months of the Fall. I found that I couldn’t find the energy to express how dark and isolated it felt watching our world spiral out of control. With no other recourse to stem the madness and despair, in the end, I just held my breath and prayed.

Like clockwork, the New Year arrived and the uncertainty and fear that had permeated every aspect of our lives, diminished some, and I felt air return to my lungs. While the pandemic continues to rage on around us, I still felt as if hope might have found a crack in through the light and we might all begin anew. Still, I held my breath and prayed.

The vaccines added another dimension of hope and a much needed glimmer of a future without masks and the end of this year long tunnel of death. My mind struggles to comprehend the magnitude of grief and sorrow that has permeated our lives, communities, and our families during this virus outbreak. I have felt such a sense of helplessness as the world seems to spin further and further away from any of the norms I have come to depend on. So, I just held my breath and prayed.

Things have shifted, and the winds and forces of dissension and hate, and been stalled. In it’s place, hope, grace, and faith have surged through. I feel like I can exhale, take a few deep breaths and hope my prayers for restoration, reconciliation, and respect will return to the forefront of our daily lives.

With each deep breath, I am hopeful that the words that have swirled around, under, and above me for months, will again find a space to resurface and offer me solace in a world gone mad. I have found my voice hidden under the fear, trepidation, uncertainty, and vitriol. My mind has slowed again and the anxiety that has been my constant companion, has diminished.

I am no longer constantly holding my breath. I still pray with the fervency of a devout nun and know without a doubt that it has been the only thing holding me together for the past few years. The other was focusing on the minute details in my life that I had previously overlooked. Rituals that have become tradition have given way to new and simpler traditions as the pandemic storm continues. I am filled with gratitude and grace throughout the day and know how lucky I am to have a safe, warm place to rest my head at night.

My life is quieter, slower, and calmer. I have not been able to control the swirling seeds of despair, but I have not totally succumbed to them either. I have loved being with my family and know that this interrupted year has afforded me more quality time with them than I might not otherwise have had. I have found peace in the comforts that I can control while wishing the world could feel the same.

I’ve taken time to see the birds, to watch the trees, to read many good books and in a sense, create my own reality. I’ve cooked, cleaned, and smothered my cloistered family, and held them close to control my fear and worry. I know now for sure, I need less in my life not more. I am grateful for my family, friends, and neighbors who have supported and encouraged each member of my family during these unprecedented times. And I am breathing easier with my eyes toward a new more prosperous future for everyone.

Stay well friends.

2 Replies to “Exhale..”

  1. Dear Nikki, Your words describe so well so many thoughts and feelings shared with all of us. I too have frequently felt that only hoping and praying could help in the midst of the madness. I also have felt that it helps to find peace and comfort in small and simple routines of life with gratitude for the blessings we have. May we all continue to find balance and solace in living and loving with our family and friends, and the belief that god’s goodness will prevail. Somehow we just needed to see some of these disturbing and and disheartening truths unveiled, in order to accept and address them as we move forward to better times. Right on and write on, with much love, always, Mom


  2. Thank you Nikki for putting out there what most if not all are feeling. I too feel a sense of calm these days as the chaos of things seem to be subsiding. Keep writing my friend


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s