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Disappointment

The year of 2020 is progressing as none of us expected. Who would have ever thought that the word quarantine would become such a common phrase in our everyday vocabulary? We’ve never seen anything like it in our lifetime.

But here we are. Flights are cancelled. Cruises are cancelled. Sporting events are cancelled. Schools are cancelled. Church services are cancelled. Community events are cancelled. Public transportation is cancelled.

Many businesses are closing and others are reducing their hours. While other businesses ask their employees to work from home.

Many health professionals and workers are working overtime to prepare for what might lay ahead or to take care of high risk individuals.

The media works overtime to bring us information…good, bad and irrelevant, it doesn’t matter. They are sending it out through all methods: television, radio, online, print and social media.

Grocery stores are besieged by people innocently trying to do their regular shopping, by those in a panic trying to grab up anything they might need for what they don’t know and by others trying to make sure they will be able to hold together through their neighbor’s panic and hysterical purchasing.

Of course, nobody wants to be sick. Nobody wants the people they know to be sick. But there’s another problem that we face. Many people, maybe even most people, are experiencing a deep sense of disappointment having nothing to do with the actual virus.

You see, some people were about to go on vacation. Plans that were long in the making and joyously looked forward to disappeared. One family I know are in the midst of cutting a vacation short. It was a combination business trip and family vacation. Upon arriving for the business part of the trip, the event was cancelled, a financial loss for this family. They journeyed on for a while to try to continue the vacation…but had to turn back home. I can’t imagine the family’s disappointment.

Athletes are no longer standing on the sidelines or wondering who dropped the ball. There is no ball. Sporting events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. What next?

There are students anticipating spring activities…softball, track, debates, drama performances, music and choir. Hoped for scholarships may be depending upon these activities.

And of course, there is graduation. Will course work be completed in time for the commencement ceremony? Will the quarantine be lifted so that the commencement ceremony can even take place? The work of 12 years. Or perhaps it’s a college graduation.

  • Weddings were planned, and guests may not be able to attend.
  • Birthday celebrations may be altered. Will kids still get to blow out the candles on their cake?
  • What about small business relying on daily sales to keep their doors open and make a go of the business?

The challenges we face at this time are real. There are many things to be concerned about.

Some of these challenges concern us now, some are to come and, thankfully, some of the concerns we have will never occur.

Oh, the disappointments. They are real, and they are painful.

Here’s A Word from Mom

It’s okay to be disappointed. It’s okay to be angry. And it’s okay to cry. It’s okay…for a very short period of time. Because then, it’s time to buck up and get on with your life.

Disappointments come, but they don’t have to define your life. You can rise above the disappointment and have victory over tough circumstances.  You’re not allowed to wallow in self-pity because if you do, you’re going down. And the climb up and out will be much more difficult than if you never got down there in the first place.

The disappointment you experience in your life at this time may be the toughest thing you’ve ever faced. But there are plenty of people who have faced even tougher challenges.

There are people who lived through the horrors of Nazi Germany. There are people who made it out of POA camps. There are people who have suffered physical and mental tragedies beyond belief. There have been people who have been robbed, cheated and abused. Some make it out well, some don’t. Many times, not all, but many times the difference is in attitude and focus.

There have been people like you who have been ready to compete in the sporting event you were looking forward to, or graduate as you are about to do, had a solo part to perform or were preparing for their wedding when nothing happened to quarantine anybody, but their lives turned upside down anyway. They lost a loved one, and the joy of the event was greatly dampened. Or perhaps they had a life altering accident themselves that didn’t allow the event to take place.

These things happen.

We have no certainty in life of what the day will hold. We only have this moment.

So, go ahead. Be disappointed. Be disappointed for yourself. Be disappointed for someone else. Maybe it’s your child’s loss that is grieving your heart. Decide on a time to grieve…make it as short as possible.

Then be done with it, and move on. Look at the situation and decide what you can and will be grateful for and what you can find to look forward to next.

Who knows? Your disappointment may be temporary and short lived. Perhaps it will only slightly alter the course you had planned. But either way, you need to be active, strong and ready to do whatever life brings next because you are a tremendously valuable person and you have a very important role to play in your life regardless of the circumstances that present themselves.

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