First off, how could I not be thankful for moms today? Let’s face it, they are the super heroes living amongst us. From personal experience they are the people who are always busting their butts to keep live running soothly for all of us. They take care of us out of love, care for us in ways that no one else could, and will always accept us in spite of any of our faults. Their the first ones to support us, give us a hug when we need it, and are always there for us when we need them. How they find a way to get everything done and still make a little room for themselves is nothing short of magic.
Whether you’re a mom, a dog mom, a work mom, a foster mom, a safety mom, a second mom, a step mom, or some other form of mom I may be forgetting – let me offer my sincerest gratitude for all that you do; all the happiness and joy you bring to our lives, all times you help save us from mistakes, all the times you hug us and put bandaids on after we didn’t take your advice, and, most importantly, for all of the love you provide us. Happy Mother’s Day!
There is something else I’m thankful for today and it’s been rolling around in the back of my head since I heard it this morning. Someone explained that the current COVID-19 crisis was leaving him feeling a lot like a Jenga tower. So many blocks of his life have been pulled out and additional pressure and stress has been added to the top. If you’ve played Jenga in the past you know how wobbly everything gets as you pull the lower pieces out and add all of that removed weight to the top.
His metaphor really caught my attention and helped me see the world a little differently. How many things have been pulled out already? Social distancing, working in person, shopping infrequently, travel bans, etc… And this is just the list that comes to the top of my mind right now. There are already so many ways this has impacted life in very significant ways that I’m not even thinking of right now. Throw in all of the additional pressure, stress, and concerns, and the tower that is my life could very easily start to wobble. The funny thing is that when you play Jenga enough times you start to learn a couple of things.
First off, just when you think that no more pieces can be pulled out you can usually find several more to remove and re-place before the tower comes down. The reason I mention this is that there could still be more blocks removed. I hope that’s not the case, but there’s a very high likelihood that there will be more adversity and challenge in our future. If we look carefully we might find that some pieces we felt were essential actually could slide out and we would still be okay.
The other thing you notice is that the strength and stability of the tower starts with the base and foundation. The stronger the base at the beginning the more stable the tower will be. Some of the blocks that form the base are essential to the structure and without them the tower will fall. If the tower starts off with a loose and off kilter base it will most likely fall before its time.
Thinking of this metaphor I’m reminded to pause and remember that almost nothing is for ever. Almost everything could be stripped away. What I should be doing in a time like this is focusing on the foundation of who I am. I should be focused on those blocks, protect those blocks, and do what ever is necessary to keep them in place. One wrong movement and I could knock the tower out of balance. If I am to take on more weight, more stress, and more responsibility I must keep the base strong.
What are those important blocks for me? What’s the foundation that I need to keep working on to protect? What are the pieces of me that I think are essential but in reality could be stripped away without disaster? Throughout the day those questions have kept popping back into my head. The interesting thing is that the answer to the question of the core has been tied very closely to a combination of my faith and my values. Even in both of those I’ve been thinking about what within each of those could be stripped away. this is helping me think more deeply about the “why” behind the importance of each portion.
I know, pretty deep, especially on Mother’s Day! It’s been a wonderful thought exercise and I’m very thankful for it. It’s definitely led to some great thinking today.