Embracing your NOW in all its Forms and Flaws (FMF: Now)

They say that “If you don’t like the weather in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, just wait five minutes.” It’s so true. Living on the coast means that the weather can change without warning, hour by hour, minute by minute. You never really know what you’re gonna get.

Does that sound familiar? If you’re anything like me, perhaps your days are feeling a little bit like Jbay weather right now. Lockdown, quarantine, self-isolating, whatever you call it, is an incredible pressure cooker. It turns up the heat and exposes everything that is really going on under the surface.

If you were to ask me randomly throughout the day, “So, Shauna, how are you doing now?” my answers would probably sound a little like this….

[disclaimer: It’s been so long since I’ve done a Five Minute Friday writing that I set my timer and pressed start, but the battery was dead, and it didn’t work. I didn’t realize it until I had long passed the 5-minute mark. Oh well, it just felt good to be writing again. Thanks for understanding.]

How are you doing NOW, Shauna?

// GRATEFUL – Thank you, Lord, for another day. Thanks for shelter and clothing and food on the table. Thank you for health and strength. Thank you for the 8 people in this house who keep me company during this time of chaos.

HUNGRY – Why is it that time alone with nothing to do equates in always being hungry? What’s for breakfast? What’s for snack? What’s for lunch? What’s for second snack? What’s for supper? Is that all people think about around here?

BORED – Truth is, I’m bored with food. I don’t know what to cook, let alone what to eat. I miss my favourite restaurants and treats. Yeah, I’ll buy what I can when I can, but do we really need another box of fudgsicles?

QUIET – the nice thing about having teenagers is that they sleep. all. day. Literally, we have to wake them up mid-afternoon. The problem is that they also stay up all night. ‘I can’t sleep, mom.’ Yeah, that’s because you slept all day. Oh well, “it is what it is,” and I suppose it’s a unique way for everyone to get space in a crowded house. I will take advantage of the quiet mornings while I have them.

How are you doing NOW, Shauna?

FRUSTRATED – How is it that I have nothing to do, but I’m always busy? I should be reading or writing or organizing something. But no, I’m doing laundry again. Dishes again. Cooking again. Flip.

IRRITATED – are we out of milk again? I was just there last week? Who’s drinking all the milk?! Oh. my. word. Going to the grocery store is the last thing I want to do right now. Stop drinking everything!

CAUTIOUS – I guess it’s time to take another trip to the grocery store. Am I wearing the right clothes that can go straight into the washing machine afterward? Do I have a complete list of stuff we need? I am NOT doing this twice, people. Tell me what you need now.

FEARFUL – even with social distancing, my skin still crawls at the store. Was that a cough? I heard a sneeze! Who was that? And WHY are my eyes sooo itchy right now? Don’t touch your face. Don’t touch your face. (Why is it that my face always gets itchy when I’m out in public?) Oh my word, I have got to get out of here now!

NEUROTIC – I get home and clean everything. ‘Strip it down and wash it, baby.’ Jump in the shower. Disinfect every package, every bag. Wash down the surfaces. Put everything away. Yes, my kids may groan, but I don’t care. Better to be safe than sorry. They can thank me later.

How are you doing NOW, Shauna?

EXHAUSTED – How long are we going to have to keep this up? I am so tired. every. day. I should be sleeping, but I don’t. I should be resting, but my mind races. Is everyone feeling like this?

SAD, borderline HOPELESS – This is really awful. Everywhere I turn, there is bad news. Layoffs, businesses closing, people losing jobs. People that I know of getting sick, some dying. Will I even have a job when this is over?

SHAMEFUL – I shouldn’t be wasting time. ‘Turn off your phone, Shauna. You should be writing your book or practicing something.’ I see memes online about accomplishing great things. I can’t even think straight.

GUILT RIDDEN – I should be doing more. The needs around us are huge. Why am I not feeding the homeless, nursing the sick, finding a vaccine, solving world hunger? How selfish! (Yes, I know that’s irrational. The guilt still comes.)

GRIEVING – Is this the end of life as we knew it? Will we ever feel safe again? Will we ever be happy again? Is this forever? Oh God, help.

DEPRESSED and RESENTFUL – With all the time on our hands, and racing thoughts to make us irrational, this is the perfect time to rehash old wounds. How could that person have done that to me? What a jerk. I didn’t deserve that. What were they thinking? How rude! I deserve to be angry.

REPENTANT – Oh, God, help me. I am undone. I can’t carry the weight of all of this. I can’t hold onto the anger and bitterness any longer. “Search me and know my heart.” Wash me. Purify me. Heal me.

How are you doing NOW, Shauna?

PLEASANTLY SURPRISED – I love it when friends call at just the right time. Heartfelt conversations peppered with laughter and connection. Divine appointments, intentional accountability. We are not alone in this world after all. And with it comes a reminder to BE THAT FRIEND who calls others when they come to mind.

RESOLVED – So I pick myself up out of the dust and resolve to keep going. I can cook something healthy tonight. I can be kind to my kids and husband again. I can serve my parents with joy. This life is a privilege, and I will be grateful while I live it.

RELAXED – after a long day of simply surviving with my attitude intact, it’s nice to hang out on the couch and watch a little Netflix. “Cut yourself some slack, babe. You are human, and you can be kind to yourself too.”

And I’m back to GRATEFUL – grateful to be alive for one more day. Grateful to be one-day stronger, one-day wiser, one-day more PATIENT with myself and others.

And then I lay my head on my pillow and wait for sleep to come… Oh God, will these kids ever go to sleep?

Winning = starting and ending each day with Gratefulness! Click To Tweet

Smile, friends. We can do this ♥

Signature, Shauna


Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE.

About four weeks ago, the prompt word was NOW. I tried desperately to put words to what I’ve been living and processing lately. No luck. Just a wicked case of writer’s block. I eventually gave up and resigned myself to ‘yet another week without anything to show for it.’

The following week, the prompt word was PATIENT. Ha! So, I decided to practice being patient with myself first, and I finally wrote this article on “Embracing your Now in all its forms and flaws.”

Then my website crashed [cue: eye roll], and it took almost 3 weeks to get it up and running again. (Thanks, Jo and Christy, for rescuing me… again!)

I hope you finally enjoy this long-overdue post. I promise the next one won’t be so far away.

For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out the Five Minute Friday website!

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6 replies
  1. Anet
    Anet says:

    Thanks Shauna for being so real. You have put into words how i feel sometimes. Be blessed dear Shauna and family. Miss you guys. Lots of love

    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Hi Anet! How nice to see you here! ❤️ And thanks so much for your kind words. Whenever I work in the hospital, I pass a long piece of artwork in one of the hallways that says, “Poets put feelings into words…” And I’ve often thought, “How lovely it would be to do that.” My friend, you’ve just made me feel like a powerful poet. 🙂
      Please give my love to the family, and big hugs to the grandbabies. Miss you guys!

  2. Lydia
    Lydia says:

    Just letting you know I thoroughly enjoyed reading all that! Miss you friend. You brought a smile to me this morning! Stay safe xxx

    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Ahhh, Lyds, I miss that smile. What I wouldn’t give for a lekker coffee with my friend. (Let’s FaceTime soon!) Yes, we are safe. Weary from the journey sometimes, but safe and healthy. Thank you for your kind words. ❤️

  3. Vernon
    Vernon says:

    Hey Shauna

    Thank you for a very real, and humorous, block. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one with emotions that flip flop between being in the depth of the valley to being on top of the world within a split second. We love and miss you guys terribly and are looking forward to when we can visit with you again.

    All our love, the Foxies

    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Haha, Vernon. I’m so relieved to hear that others can relate. When I let my mom read it, she said, “Oh Shauna, you sound crazy!” 😀
      And yes, we’d love to connect with you guys soon. I’ll mention it to Erwin and you two can set up a time. Please give my love to Mel and the kids ❤️


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