Over the weekend I got to embrace some of what's been missing in my life over the last few weeks, a trip to see my out of town family, check in with people I care about and see how they're doing. However, Auckland malls, and finding space to sit and talk, was challenging. After 8 weeks of slow, green, peaceful living, the busyness was disorientating. I found myself resenting those who didn't keep to my understanding of the rules.
Those unsettled feelings can be an invitation to consider what is happening and look at the values that are being challenged. On my trip to Auckland, it was my values of safety, of appreciating the slow, of being respectful of others that raised their heads and asked to be recognised. But they are my values, not necessarily those of the people around me. Recognising them and what I needed to respect those values, allowed me to plan a better day going forward. A day worked for better me and let the rest of the world continue as they felt appropriate.
It brought me back to a concept, that I think of in terms of "hammering in the nails". A metaphor based on the practice where owners of wooden houses after a cold winter would check the nails and re-hammer in the loose ones. Accepting that as the wood grew with the heat and shrunk with the cold the nails came loose.
Sometimes it’s good to practice to intentionally reconnect with our values. Identifying what our hopes and dreams are and focusing on how they line up with the challenges our daily lives present. Considering if we are living by our hopes, dreams, values, or if they have been neglected.
It might be a journal entry we go back to, a regular conversation with someone we share those values with, checking through the Facebook stream to cull out what isn't' supportive of those values, and intentionally picking up what is. It might look like connection with spiritual practices. The metaphor comes from a way of looking at church on Sunday mornings, but each faith, each culture, has its rituals for "hammering in the nails". Value checks take many forms.
Moving back into normal, gives the opportunity to take those values with us and even if only as the gift of unsettled feelings remind us, they are there. COVID -19 ironically, can be a reminder that we have choice over what we live, as well as an opportunity to discover the values we hold, what out of lock-down life, what out of the recovered freedoms do you value. If we are intentional going forward, if we keep hammering in the nails, 2020 gifts us a chance to live more fully from our hopes, dreams values, desires.