Confession, I have an unhealthy addiction to….Instagram.
JK, JK — although, I do waste far too much time on that social media platform.
I’ve never met a meme I didn’t like. I’ve never watched a viral cooking video that didn’t tickle my tastebuds. Heck — I’ll even slap a “like” on a “spon-con” ad if it’s creatively executed and from an “influencer” I enjoy.
Basically, I’ve drank the proverbial Kool-aid.
And quick pause — I’d love it if you gave me a follow 🙂 @beauty.beyond.bones – I love getting to know my readers over there in that setting!
But OK – so I came across this meme, and it literally made me stop – clap my hands, and then repost it.
“I’m not adding this year to my age. I did not use it.”
And I wish you could have seen me – I was sitting there eating dinner, and like clapping by myself — “YES! Oh PREACH, girl! Amen! START. THE. RESISTANCE! Ain’t no way mama’s gonna count this dumpster fire of a year to my age! I’m a single gal, and this chick ain’t gettin’ any younger!”
Yeah — welcome to my quarantine existence…I’ve picked up an attitude, and started talking to myself. We’ve reached that level.
But anywho – I reposted it — It got tons of support from other “not-21-anymore” young women who are also, feeling the pressure to be married with children before their biological clock runs out.
And all was well and good.
Until the next morning. I was cooking breakfast when all of a sudden…it hit me.
You see, the night before, I had watched the movie, 500 Days of Summer. And quick recap — it’s with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. And basically, the whole movie is about the 500 days that it takes Joseph’s character to “get over” Zooey’s character, after she breaks his heart. Joseph had believed that she was his “one” – his soul mate – the woman fate brought into his life. And then she breaks his heart, and leaves him picking up the pieces.
But they do a funny thing in the movie: the count all the days — 1, 13, 121, 252, 488, 499, and 500. And they toggle back and forth with flashbacks and fast-forwards…the whole movie with a little “ticker” reminding us of the time passing.
And it was very reminiscent of what I’ve been doing during this quarantine. I mean, we are on day 67 of being quarantined. Sixty seven days of isolation. Solitary confinement. And watching those days tick by in the movie, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how I’ve been counting the days as well.
So where am I going with this? We’ve talked memes. We’ve talked movies. We’ve talked moving markers of time.
This is what hit me:
Much like Joseph’s character…and much to that meme’s chagrin…we don’t get that time back.
These 67 days (and counting) of quarantine…and Joseph’s 500 days of heartbreak…we don’t get a redo.
Which then, begs the question…
How did I use that time?
“I’m not adding this year to my age, I did not use it.”
Au, contraire, mi cheri.
That’s the thing about life – we are always evolving, growing, blooming. Time is always passing, quarantine or not. And it’s up to us to use it.
Because real talk: time is a gift.
This is not just a bunch of hot air I’m blowing, either.
I’ve had several seasons in my life, that I’m not going to lie – I really had to wrestle with that feeling of “what a waste.” Thinking back to those two years in my anorexia, where I literally wasted away, not just my body, but my time: my senior year of high school. First year of college. Those years that I would give anything to get back and “redo” properly and “use” that time to the full.
Or during that year of bedrest with Ulcerative Colitis in 2010. I was in my prime, having just moved to NYC. Was the lead in a show. Had more friends that I knew what to do with. And then, BAM, incapacitated for 11 months, having had to move back to Ohio to heal.
Those are also seasons I wish I could “erase” from my age, because I “didn’t use them.”
But that’s just the thing: I did.
Or rather, God did.
God used that time.
God used that uninterrupted time — that time of despair, that season of down-and-out, those destitute months — to form me into the woman I am today.
He demolished my pride. He instilled in me a heart of appreciation for love – for friendship – for health – for life. He awakened in my heart a purpose for my existence. He brought my family and I closer than ever. And He taught me how to truly take care of myself.
Didn’t use that time?
I beg to differ. In fact, it could be argued that that time — that I thought was a waste and the biggest crapshoot to have to add to my age — that time was actually the best use of my time, yet to date.
And maybe, like Joseph’s character in 500 Days of Summer, I should stop counting. Because whether I’m quarantined or not, life is happening, and God is using this time, whether I’m stuck indoors or not.
Because who knows — maybe one day, years from now, we’re going to look back, and realize that this time — these “wasted months” stuck in quarantine — were actually a huge blessing in disguise.
Time that God used to grow us closer with our loved ones. Or to give us a new appreciation for everyday things we took for granted. Or even — to shift our career in a totally new direction.
Because I’ll tell you what — in the thick of it, I would have never thought I’d look back lovingly on those “wasted” seasons of my past, and that I’d be...*gasp*…grateful for them.
So it’s time for an attitude adjustment for this gal.
Maybe instead of resisting, I should embrace this time, and really pray that God use it in a way that sets my life on fire for Him, and for the world.
Blessings to you this coming week of quarantine!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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