Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lost my Weigh

I started my love/hate relationship with the scale way, WAY back in the day. In elementary school I was aware that I was chunky, and by the time I hit middle school, I was already body conscious. I was a part of a baton twirling corps and it was basically my life. My husband is probably laughing as I read this but I had mad baton twirling skills and I had found my tribe. To be a part of the senior baton corps, there was a weight requirement. Gasp! Can you imagine if an organization did that now? The parental outrage. The thing is, it was just one weight requirement, they didn't base it on your height or body make up. On top of that, even though I am only 5'3", it was an unhealthy and unrealistic weight for me, about 15 pounds lower than what my body was meant to be. But of course, I was determined to be a part of the senior corps, so I lost the weight. I was only 13 and had no clue about fitness or healthy eating. So I drastically cut calories and did heavy cardio and the pounds came off. So began my obsession with the scale.

As an adult, I've lost 40 pounds twice, once through Weight Watchers in 1996 and again through Weight Watchers in 2011. In that 15 year span of gaining control of my wellness, I had a major fear of the scale. My Saturday morning weigh ins were angst provoking. I would fret all the way to my weigh in. Sometimes I wouldn't sleep the night before. If I lost weight (or maintained once I got to the maintenance phase), life was good. If I gained weight, even a quarter or a half of a pound, I would mope about it all day. Argh! It's kind of embarrassing to share this, but I share this knowing that many women (and men) have this kind of relationship with the scale.

Fast forward to 2016, in 2016 I started Beachbody and started a new relationship with the scale. Beachbody combines healthy eating, exercise, a positive mindset and group support. My thoughts about the scale started to shift. Because there is a strength training component to many of their programs, I was building lean muscle which meant that sometimes the scale wasn't giving a complete picture of my progress. I could be losing inches yet the scale wasn't moving. I began to focus more on how I felt and how my clothing fit. I weighed in after every program (basically every 21-30 days) and let me tell you, it was freeing to let go of the vice grip hold I had on the scale that was unhealthily linked to my self-perception. "I am more than a number" was my motto. In my mid-40's, I was healthier than I've ever been. Last summer I was able to rock a Mother of the Bride dress that I never dreamed possible.


 <Insert real life here>. Sometimes life comes at you hard. Late summer and fall of 2017 into the winter of 2018 has been a season of change. My daughter and her husband moved to the Middle Easter for work. My son went 5 hours away to his first year of college. I wasn't as prepared for the empty nest as I imagined I was. Change. I found out my job role was coming to an end. Fortunately I was able to continue to work for my company, but it was touch and go there for a while. I ended up in a brand new role, with a new boss and a new work team and getting there took some hustle. Change. My son had a rough start in his first semester and it was super stressful for my husband and me. Change. I injured my shoulder and it triggered my neurological illness so badly that 7 months later I'm still dealing with it. Change, like seriously, who needs it?!?

A month ago, I heard about this new Beachbody program called the 2B Mindset. It's a program that focuses solely on nutrition. I started to think, maybe this is perfect timing since I can't move my body much right now. I hesitated. Did I really have the mental capacity to start something new? I decided that sometimes what seems like the worst time to start something turns out to be the best time. I began the program on Monday and faced the scale for the first time in 10 months. Yep, you read right, 10 months. Ugh! I not only let go of the scale, I forgot all about it as it sadly gathered dust in the closet. To prep for the program, I weight, measured and took before pics (double ugh)!


My weight is up, my measurements are up and it's time to get my butt back into gear. I've got to say that I am loving this program so far, but there is one scary part that I am not quite ready for. Accepting that the scale is a tool and using it daily (yes daily) in combination with a food journal to analyze what went well, what did not and to recalibrate. I understand the principle, but I've worked so hard to not become so reliant on the scale that this is almost a turnoff to the program. I fear it could lead to obsessive behavior. The creator of the program suggests that in place of a daily weigh in (baby steps), you weigh in on Mondays to see how you did over the weekend and Fridays to see how you did during the week. And that's my plan.

Let's face it the scale IS a metric that I need to maintain a healthy weight and to check in. I kind of went too far when I neglected the scale. I'm above my comfortable weight range and without starting this program I may have continued to gain weight. Those pounds are sneaky, they come on a little bit at a time until OMG, I can't fit into my pants anymore.

So that's where I'm at. I am letting go of my fear of the scale and reminding myself that it's just a tool to get me to my goal. It doesn't define me, but it can help to refine me. I'll keep ya posted on my progress, here we go!

Make the choice. Commit to the choice. Continue with courage.
Hugs & friendship,
Tara

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Believe in You

7 years ago I penned my first blog post, deciding to publicly share my weight loss journey. Well at least for the 2 whole people that might read it (haha). After trying and failing to lose weight for the 3 years previous, and at the peak of my neurological illness, I was emotionally and physically at the end of my rope. As a person who has battled her weight since childhood, and feeling at my lowest of lows, I really had no hope that this time around would be different. But I knew it was time for a change, not only physically but a complete overhaul of the way I lived and viewed my life.

When I reflect back on those early posts, I can feel my fear, anger, exhaustion, doubt, frustration and weariness. Yet day by day, week by week and year by year- my whole life changed.

In honor of my 7 year blog-a-versary, I thought I'd share 7 things I've learned and put into practice along with way.

1) Choose faith over fear. Faith is believing in something we can't see. If you are just beginning your wellness journey, are muddling through or are starting over- believe in your possibility. Believe in yourself enough to crush those feelings of fear. Believe that God has good things in store for you. And if you can't believe in yourself right now, surround yourself with people who will.

2) Be consistent. It's not the heroic or extreme moments that lead to change, it's consistent daily actions. Make a plan and stick to it. Know that on occasion life is going to throw you a few curveballs, but do not waver. Trust the process. This is gonna take a while. Push through, you're worth it. You really, truly, are.

3) Learn from the setbacks and roadblocks. In order to move forward, you must leave the pity party behind. Let's face it, life is hard sometimes. Like really super hard. There will be many ugly moments in your journey. But instead of asking "why me", ask "what can I learn". Take what you learn and use it as rocket fuel to propel you forward. Setbacks aren't failures, they are opportunities for do-overs. We take what we learn and we get better. Roadblocks aren't stop signs, they are simply re-routing our journey on to something better.

4) Be courageous. This journey is going to be downright uncomfortable. You may be trying to change a lifetime of bad habits. Your belief system might be shattered. Who you thought you were may be uprooted. Being in that in between place of who you were and who you are supposed to be might make you feel lost. You might want to retreat back into the old you because it feels more comfortable. DO NOT do that! Do not retreat! Push forward into greatness. Push through the pain of change.

5) Have a willingness to begin again. And again. And again. And 100x again. I can't tell you over the past 7 years how many times I've started over. How many times I've recalibrated my journey and my mindset. Because...life. Mindset is everything, be positive. You hold the power in your journey. You have a choice to be a victim or a victor in your circumstances. Choose to have a mindset of abundance and gratitude.

6) Practice self love and care daily. Wash, rinse and repeat. Love yourself enough to forgive yourself when you mess up. Love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Love yourself enough to say NO, to people, to demands, to requests for your time. Let go of the guilt that comes with saying NO. There is only one you. Love yourself enough to say YES. Be open to new friendships, new opportunities, a new way of living.

7) Grab on to grit and grace and never let go. You may not know or believe this right now, but you are a fighter. You are stronger than you think. You are filled with grit and grace. I beg you, DO NOT give up on yourself. Believe that you are enough. Believe that you are worth every sacrifice that will get you to your goal(s). Believe in you.


Hugs & friendship,
Tara



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blooming into Me

There was a time in my early twenties that my husband and I refer to as “the dark days”, except it was more like the dark year (or two, or three). As I’m now a Mom of young adults, I think that the early twenties are a challenging time for most. It’s when we really have to start adulting. Job searching. Dating. Going through the natural progression of pulling away from our families and finding our own way. My daughter used to get annoyed at the constant questioning from family and friends about her major, then her career path, then marriage and now babies (OK I’m guilty of that on occasion). It’s an exciting yet pressure filled time.

At 21, I found myself thrust into motherhood. After becoming pregnant at the end of my sophomore year of college, I dropped out and moved home to try and figure things out. My husband (now of 23 years) still had a year of college to complete. So there I was, searching for a job with benefits and decent pay with absolutely no skills but working as a cashier at Acme Markets. It was humbling and it shattered my confidence. My career dreams put on hold, I took an entry level opening at a bank. The pay was so meager that with my husband working part time and being a full time student, we were broke. We abandoned our pride and signed up for government subsidized daycare, health care and WIC. Love doesn’t pay the bills.
I was in such an in between place. My college friends were still in college and although they were sweet I felt jealous that they were free to finish their studies while I was muddling through motherhood. Like seriously muddling. I struggled with finding where I fit in. My workplace friends were older and I had trouble connecting. Not because of them but really because I felt like I was an actress in a play going through the motions of being a Mom and a grown up worker.

It was also during that time that my Pop-Pop passed away. I lived with my Pop-Pop for many years growing up and he was (and still is) one of the most treasured people to me in the world. His passing left a huge whole in my heart and overwhelmed me with sadness.
And if that loss wasn’t enough, I decided it was time to confront my sexual abuser because I didn’t want him around my daughter. I had to find enough brave to face some deep family truths. This confrontation tore apart some of my closest relationships. Including the woman who was like a Mom to me (my Mom passed when I was young). This confrontation was met with disbelief. I felt betrayed, sad and alone. Side note- he is now in prison. But that’s a longer story.

I filled these holes of grief, shame, loss and pain with food. Looking back I was definitely going through a depression and should have sought help. I am thankful that my husband (who is my Jack Pearson if you watch This Is Us) stuck by my side.
All of these experiences became limiting beliefs that I carried into my adulthood. Even though I’m an achiever and perfectionist (I like to call it striving for excellence), there was a time when I just didn’t think I was good enough. I doubted myself constantly. I never felt like I measured up. Even after I went back to college to get my degree or bettered myself through certifications, I didn’t feel worthy. While I now consider myself an extroverted introvert, back then I just wanted to fade into the background. I didn’t want to be noticed. I was a withering flower dying for some light and water.

Enter God. At 28, my husband and I went back to church. We spent a year looking for “the right church” and finally found “the one”. The first time I sat in our church (I went by myself because my husband had grown tired of looking with me), silent tears rolled down my face. The worship spoke to me. I was home. I was loved. I was worthy. I was enough. I was forgiven. My life was redeemed. I was restored. Little by little God healed my hurts and closed my past wounds. Sure they open up from time to time, but that’s what comes with having current relationships from those who have hurt us in the past. Those scars don’t have to define us, but they are little pieces of who we are.
Year by year I started to bloom. My stem stood taller. My petals brightened. I kept my face to the Son. He gently warmed my soul and grew me from the inside out to who I am today. Disclaimer: I also went to counseling and did a ton of heart and soul work. A ton. Still am.


At 46, I love my life. I’m married to my one true love. My kids (now young adults) are my everything and are turning out to be some pretty darned amazing people. I’ve finally found my way to a career that uses my talents. My friendships are deeper. I have an extended family that I treasure. My dreams are bigger. I’ve become a risk taker. I finally conquered my weight (losing and maintaining 40 pounds let's hope for good this time). Over the past few years I’ve been a Weight Watchers Leader and Beachbody Coach. Last year I decided to certify as a fitness instructor. I now lead a REFIT® class at my church, blending my love of faith and fitness. Life feels really good right now. On most days I feel like a badass. And it’s not because my life is perfect. Those of you that know me or have read my blog know that I have faced my share of struggles, including a serious chronic illness that has no cure.

My life is full because my heart is filled with God.

And when I start to doubt. Enter God. And when I start to worry. Enter God. And when I feel like that broken girl in her twenties. Enter God. And when I lose some of my petals. Enter God. He grows me right where I’m planted. I couldn’t have bloomed into me without Him.                                            
Hugs and friendship,
Tara

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Play Through the Ugly

So this is it, you have decided that 2018 is going to be YOUR year. You've got goals and ain't nobody gonna stop you. I'm with you, I'm a goals kind of gal, I'm always working toward something.  

Last week I committed to 21 days of eating clean, exercising every day and making time for prayer and meditation. This isn't anything unusual, it's basically how I've been living my life for quite a few years. But I've been feeling rather discombobulated since the summer with some expected and unexpected stressors that have come my way and I wasn't enjoying how I was feeling in my body so enough was enough. 

The first few days, I was a champion. Tracking my meals, prepping my food, moving my body and making time for prayer and then *insert scratching record here*, life happened. Work turned to crap, I ended up working a long day. I was PMSing, mentally exhausted and had the blues from this cold gloomy weather and so, I ate. The good news is that I didn't eat nearly as much as the old Tara would have, but still, I blew my perfect streak. And instead of moving I vegged on the couch and watching sit coms. 

As I've written before, perfectionism and wellness, they don't play nicely. Perfectionism has us constantly scrutinizing, ourselves, others...because we have unusually high expectations. This week, as I walked by my wellness chart on my refrigerator. I got more and more pissed. I kept staring at the ONE day when I blew it. I got good and angry about it. How could I screw up only a few days in? I started to have an unhealthy chat with myself.  

"This is too hard quit now. If you can't stick to something for at least a week, I mean c'mon loser...I mean Tara. You ruined everything. You are weak. And of course the F word- failure. You failed."

One of the best sermons I heard about forgiveness and unrealistic expectations went something like this. Some people, they are just teacup people, it's all of the love they have to give. They're doing the best with what they have and who they are, but we expect buckets from them. We expect buckets and they're giving their best teacup. And when we don't get buckets in return, we feel let down. 

The same goes with our wellness. We have to remember that we didn't create all of these rotten habits in a week, we won't break them in a week. Heck, I've carried some of my unhealthy habits since childhood. Our effort will some days pour out and we will overflow the danged bucket. But there will be days when life happens [stress at work, at home, a sick child or spouse, traffic, no groceries in the house, loss, financial stress, a crying baby, illness] and all we have left to give is a teacup, if that. We need to be OK with it. 

I went to a counselor a few years back and we talked about dealing with setbacks and disappointments. She told me to sit with how I'm feeling for just a bit, don't dwell. To accept that what I'm feeling is real and then to re-calibrate and move on.   

So day four into my wellness journey of what seems like a million do-overs, that's what I did. I got good and angry and then, I stopped the negative self talk. This is such an important step. We have to learn to be aware of how we're talking to ourselves and when that talk becomes counterproductive to our goals, to know it's time to stop. 

If you're a parent reading this, there's a good likelihood that one of your children tried to play an instrument, or at least that stupid plastic recorder that both of my kids came home with over the years. My husband and I still remember our daughter's elementary school band and chorus concert. All of the kids came out, beaming with excitement and waving to their families. A hush went over the crowd as the band started playing. It was purely awful. They were beats behind and out of tune. Oh the torture to our ears. It seemed to last forever...But when it was over we all hooted and hollered like it was the most beautiful medley of melodies that we had ever heard. Nothing can compete with a proud parents heart. 

To get to the good, we need to be able to play through the ugly. 


We need to keep going, practicing, doing, trying. We also need to be able to focus on the positive. The healthy choices we've made and actions we've taken. These small changes are what will propel us closer to our goals.  

Like those kids up on that stage at that concert, we need to believe that we are doing good work and that playing a few wrong notes doesn't our offset best efforts, it just teaches us what to do differently next time. We keep getting better. 

Make the choice, commit to the choice, continue with courage. 

Love and friendship, 
Tara







  







Friday, November 24, 2017

Gettin' Jiggle with It

Today on Facebook I posted a video of me practicing one of our REFIT® Christmas songs, Carol of the Bells. As a (recovering) perfectionist, I’m not sure you understand how hard it is for me to share videos of me working out. First comes the self-critiquing over form and footwork and then comes the self-critiquing of my body. You see, something happens when we dance, everything jiggles.

Everything. Remember when Lady Gaga did the Super bowl and she was a freaking amazing rockstar and people had the nerve to talk about her belly pooch? C’mon people, even rockstars jiggle (at least what I tell myself).

So how is it that an introverted gal like me (the one who used to stand in the back of any fitness class and not talk to a soul) became a fitness instructor this past summer? And how does a (recovering) perfectionist freely share workout videos and pics on social media without pressing the delete button?
It starts with my why. If you have a strong enough why, you can find a way to do the hard stuff. I have many whys, but in this case my why is:

To empower women to find their strong. 

I want women of all shapes, sizes and ages to see their immense possibility. That movement can be fun. That former couch potatoes can become fitness instructors. That being fit doesn’t come with a size or weight. Fit is a state of mind. I also want them to know that strong comes from the inside. When you begin to work on your inside, the outside starts to follow.

This past year has been humbling physically for me, with a bum knee (physically therapy, cortisone), a foot stress fracture that keeps coming back and now something going on with my neck and shoulder. It’s slowed down my wellness progress. I’ve gone from being in my best shape last year for Hawaii and my daughter’s wedding to having a little more fluff.  A little more fluff makes me a little more critical of myself. It makes me hesitant to post my workout videos and pics for fear that people will judge me. Oooo, Tara’s put on a few pounds. Yes, I have. I struggle. I love food. I’ve been maintaining my 40 pound weight loss for almost 7 years now. It’s not easy. But here’s the deal, women who find their strong- they DO NOT QUIT.

If my workout videos or pics motivate one person to get moving, one person to try something new, one person to find their soul workout, one person to believe that no matter their size, shape or age that they are strong, I’ve accomplished my why. 


I decided to become a fitness instructor at 45 because I can. Because God gave me this one body to care for. Because movement is medicine and dancing it out is therapy. Each week God gives me the courage to stand up in front of a room of women to get my jiggle on. So they can see that everybody jiggles and every body jiggles and that’s OK. I want them to embrace who they are. I want them to laugh and feel joyful. I want them to leave REFIT® feeling stronger and more courageous than when they started.

So let’s get jiggle with it ladies. We are better together.
Love and friendship,
Tara

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Peace and Quiet

Peace and quiet, as a Mom of younger kids, I wished for it daily. I longed for some time to myself, a weekend that wasn't gobbled up by activities. For life to be less hurried. Yet I'll admit, there were some phases that I wanted to speed up. Namely the toddler and early teen years (so much sass). Much of the time I felt like I was just hanging on for dear life. My husband and I were young parents, I was 21 when we had our daughter. Looking back, we had no idea what we were doing (ha) but at least we had a whole lot of love to give. 

As my kids got older, I wanted to stop the clock. Not because the teen years were precious moments to be savored but because I knew that our family dynamic was starting to change. In hindsight, those teen years were precious moments to be savored. From the last minute homework or project help, to the late night counseling sessions. From celebrating my kids getting their drivers licenses to the times I held my breath waiting for the car to pull into the driveway. 

The first night we got home from dropping our son off at college, I found myself leaving the front door unlocked and the porch light on, listening for his car to pull into the driveway when he got home from work. Alas, he was give hours away and quite joyful at the idea of being on his own. The whole situation felt unsettling. I said so to my husband as I turned off the light and locked the front door. 

A mere four days before, we sent our daughter off to Qatar with her husband to live and to teach for one to two years. Talk about ripping the empty nest Band Aid off- ouchie! One night that week I was lying in bed thinking moping and the house was so quiet. I was having one of those "this is your life" moments remembering all that had transpired in our bedroom. Every Christmas morning that our kids came zipping into our bedroom to tell us that Santa had come. My teen daughter flopping face down on the bed so that we could have another heart to heart talk about friends, school or faith. Sometimes burying her head under the pillow because it was too embarrassing. Our elementary school aged son balling his eyes out because he was being bullied. Toweling our kids off after they swam in our over sized bathtub with their swimsuits and goggles until their feet were white and wrinkled. The nights of musical beds when our kids were sick or having bad dreams. Waking up feeling slightly displaced or with someones toes in our faces. Nights huddled under the covers waiting for a thunderstorm to pass. Endless bedtime stories when I tried to skip pages but my kids finally got wise enough to know what I was doing. Intimate talks that went late into the night as we worried about our kids, analyzed a situation and tried to solve their problems. Lying in bed and dreaming about their futures, wondering how they'd turn out as they grew into adults. 

I really thought I was prepared for this empty nest gig. I mean, I have hobbies and friends and...a life. I am thrilled to get back to some things that I've put on the back burner for a long, long time. I feel fulfilled and content. Yet there are some days that the nest feels so...well...empty. It feels a little like grief. It comes in waves, in moments like the one in my bed, thinking about our family that was. Don't get me wrong, our family still is, but it is different now. Not a bad different, just different. Like when you buy a fabulous pair of shoes and they are slightly uncomfortable but you know that when they are broken in they will be just right. It's hard to sit in discomfort though. I'm scrunching my nose up as I think about it. I just want everything to feel right again, but I actually don't know what right feels like. I don't know how this new normal is supposed to feel. I guess I'll just thud around in this new pair of shoes until they feel better. Clomp around a bit until I feel more comfortable. I'll stretch and press into this new stage of my life. 

And now instead of peace and quiet, I just wish for peace. Peace for what life is now and for what life is to become. Peace that my children are safe and happy. Peace that God is watching over them. Peace that we've given them a solid foundation. Peace that we've done all we could to set them up to be successful, kind and compassionate adults. Peace in my impatience. Peace in my discomfort. Peace in my worry. 

Peace that life is unfolding exactly as it should. 






Sunday, August 13, 2017

All In

I’m quite sure that no parenting book or words of wisdom could prepare me to be the mother of young adults and for the different kind of heart hurt and angst that comes along with it.

In the upcoming week, my youngest son leaves for his first year of college. As if him being 5 hours away wasn’t enough, my daughter and her husband just told us that they are moving to Qatar. Yes Qatar in the Middle East. And they are leaving in less than a week from now.

My husband and I used to have a hashtag #en2017 (empty nest 2017), and we used to excitedly chant it when our “kids” were getting on our nerves. Yet now that it’s here, I’m not quite as gleeful. I’d like to think that I kind of had my mind wrapped around our son leaving. I was mentally prepared for the tearful ride home from Pittsburgh, clinging to the fact that we’d see him in October at family weekend. Knowing that he’s ready, and excited, it’s time for me to let go.

But Qatar!?! When I texted or told people that our daughter was moving far, far, FAR away for 1-2 years, I got all kinds of responses. All of them which I appreciate. Some were empathetic. Some tried to take the positive “what a tremendous opportunity” route. But the response I appreciated the most was from my one girlfriend who responded “WTF!?!!! I would be devastated.” Exactly. And thank you.

The sermon at church today sure was timely. So timely I’d say it was God given. Our pastor talked about the notion of being ALL IN and raised the question “do we believe that God is truly the Lord over our lives”? As in, ALL of our lives. As in, not just when things go well, but when they are in the crapper. When we are experiencing our deepest hurts, can we still go ALL IN and believe that God has an intention for this time in our lives?


I have a deep faith and have experienced a world of hurts. Very, serious hurts. There were seasons of my life when I questioned God’s plan for me. I felt abandoned by Him. Yet He was always faithful.

When my children became young adults I realized that I had no choice but to go ALL IN and trust God with not only my life but the lives of my children. It was the only way I could have any kind of peace when it came to letting them go. I had two comforts to rely on as my kids came of age: 1) that my husband, family and I gave them a good foundation and that 2) God would take care of the rest.

After our daughter told us the news, and my husband and I were driving home processing it all. I said to him “I don’t even know why people have children, they rip your heart out.” OK, maybe a bit dramatic but hey, my mama heart was hurting. Being a parent of young adults can be terrifying. All of the sudden they are not under your roof anymore and you have no…more…control. Beyond the no control thing we also have the knowledge of all of the stupid stuff that we did as young adults. My husband and I dated in college, and boy were we stupid.

A friend of mine and I were talking about how it feels to send our kids off to college and she said that she felt a sense of mourning, that she was mourning the loss of the relationship. Her saying that made me feel better because that’s how I was feeling.

There is some goodness in the midst of all of this change. As a mama who is now on the other side, who has sent her daughter off to college, received her home, moved her back in, moved her out and watched her getting married. There is a new and different relationship that blossoms with adult children. There’s something crazy fulfilling that comes from watching our adult children find their ways and shine.

If you’re not in that place yet mama (or papa) (or caregiver), just hold on. It will happen. Your adult kids still need you, just in different ways and it will be equally if not more fulfilling to forge this new normal.

Heading into what is going to be a tough mama week, sending my son off to Pitt and my daughter off to Qatar, the comfort I seek is from the one who I trust the most.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7

This will be my verse of the week and I’ve written ALL IN on the palm of my hand to remind me that I need to trust God with ALL aspects of my life. Even when I’m afraid to let go.

"A carefully cultivated heart will, assisted by the grace of God, foresee, forestall, or transform most of the painful situations before which others stand like helpless children saying "Why?" - Dallas Willard

No matter what new normal you are facing, it is my prayer for you that the grace and peace that only God can bring comforts your heart.