Gabrielle Elise Jimenez
What will tomorrow bring?
Updated: May 25, 2020
Every morning I wake up with this feeling that things will be back to normal and the Virus will no longer hold space in our lives, as though all of this has been a bad dream. And while I do want this time to be put in the past, I don’t want to go back to what our normal used to be. I like many of the changes we have had to make because of this time; I like that the freeways are less crowded, I like that the air seems a little easier to breathe, I like that neighborhoods and communities have bonded together and reach out to one another offering support and I like that I have been able to get by with less.
Like many people I know, I live paycheck to paycheck and being sick for as long as I was and then having my hours reduced, I became very stressed about how I would survive. I know there are many of you that feel this same way. What I realized was that I have lived a life based on having tomorrow to do it all over again, rather than living as if today was my very last day. I have spent far more than I earned, I have been frivolous and foolish, I have let food go to waste and I have taken advantage of life’s blessings. This time of uncertainty has changed my perspective and put my priorities in check, and I like it.
Working in hospice reminds us how fragile and precious life is, I say that often. It has given me a deeper appreciation for all of our blessings and reminds me of my own mortality. The COVID virus has upped it up a notch, probably because it has spread itself rather selfishly over the entire world, so we are ALL effected by it. This virus has come in and basically taken away the things that we have grown accustomed to, many of which we have taken for granted, and making us all feel a little nervous and afraid.
I want to send it a note letting it know it’s not welcome here anymore, and ask it to please leave and never return, but at the same time, and I know this sounds weird, I almost want to send it a “thank you” card because I will come out of this a different, maybe even better version of myself because of it, and the contribution I make in the lives of those I love will be full of so much more gratitude. That doesn’t take away the ache I feel for all the lives it has taken and all of the hearts it has hurt, but if we can’t come out of this time without some kind of positive take-away then we end up giving it more power than it deserves.
I get asked often, what will tomorrow bring… I wish I had that answer. Everything is so uncertain, and the controversy is bringing out some bad behavior. While I do not know what tomorrow will bring, I am hopeful for the tomorrow’s and I intend to do what I feel is best for me and those I cross paths with. We all have a different opinion of the severity and the reality of the virus, and whether or not we benefit by sheltering in place or wearing a mask. I am in no position to judge you and the choices you make, but as a nurse who has witnessed the suffering personally, and who has two grandchildren I hope to watch grow up and make memories with, it is my choice to continue to stay a few feet away, not attend large public gatherings, and yes, I plan to wear a mask… this works for me.
Tomorrow is the future, it invites possibility, change and hope and that is what I hold on to. I want to believe that where there was struggle during this time, there was also the opportunity for growth, and for change.
This time has changed me personally; I am learning to live with less, certainly spending less, and I have set goals for each day making sure not to waste a moment. I have written letters to friends and family by hand, I have organized and cleaned and donated, I have planted vegetables enjoying every second of tending a garden, I have walked, and meditated and have taken time out for me, caring for myself so I don’t give in to those moments I just want to cry. And I do cry, often, because I am human, but I continue to set intention each day that I will get through this. That WE will get through this.
I would like to share a quote, that I encourage you to read a few times, to fully understand the meaning behind the words:
“What is true of the individual will be tomorrow true of the whole nation if individuals will but refuse to lose heart and hope” Mahatma Gandhi
Let’s not lose heart and hope. Let’s imagine that what tomorrow will bring, will be a stronger, better version of who we once were. And we will thrive.