Welcome to a new week! Last week we looked at five ways you can rise above the loneliness and anxiety of isolation. We pointed out some of the natural tendencies we all likely face and ways to overcome them. Did you give any more thought to how you want this week to progress differently? Let us know in the comment section so that we can inspire and encourage one another along this journey of social isolation. This week we are going to cover next five more tips for How to Thrive in Isolation.
Recently a friend sent me a text explaining that in 1665, Cambridge University temporarily closed as a precaution against the Great Plague. Although he hadn’t been a star as a Cambridge student, Isaac Newton was incredibly productive in his studies at home over the next two years. He used the time alone and developed his theories on calculus, optics, and the law of gravitation!
Have you ever heard someone say they fear boredom? Thaasophobia is the irrational fear of sitting or idleness. I imagine the fear stems from different sources, but it is still fear. Letting your life be dictated by fear will never yield good results. Yes, be sober. Be vigilant. But, don’t let yourself be fearful! Especially not fearful of being bored or still. So much creativity can happen in the context of being still.
I think Isaac Newton understood this. He knew that time, space and margin were a gift. He had mental space to think, and wonder. He let his curiosity run free and it yielded incredible results that have benefitted mankind ever since.
Do you remember when you were a kid, and summer afternoons meant freedom! We could do what we wanted for as long as we wanted. The backyard transformed into far-away imaginary worlds for us to explore. Anything we could imagine became the reality of our imaginary games. Summer was our ticket to free our imaginations. Creativity ran free. But in time, schooling, jobs, social activities, marriage, kids, work all pushed out our time for such creativity.
As I have previously mentioned, my husband and I spent a few years preparing to go overseas and learning a new language. It was a busy time of life. When we arrived in West Africa though, my days were all of the sudden slow and isolated. It took a while for me to acclimate to the new pace. But, when I did, my creativity began to emerge, again. It was during those years, isolated in our home, that I learned how to do the kind of sewing that I now love. I taught myself to play the guitar and lead small groups in worship. I pulled out canvases and paint and returned to the world of fine art. As I had time to read and think, I began writing. These creative endeavors had been in me since I was young. They were just waiting for a season when I would have the time and mental space to acknowledge them. I had to push away some fears, and try something new. Now, I can’t imagine life without a sewing machine or the ability to pick up the guitar to play, sing and worship.
Here is my tip for today. It is, get creative. What has been hiding in your heart perhaps since you were young that you’re ready to embrace? Thanks to YouTube and all kinds of other online resources you can learn just about anything right in your own home! What recipes and new foods have you been wanting to experiment with? Do you have a childhood dream of learning a certain instrument? Are there ideas, stories or lessons you should start writing down? Maybe you wish you had more knowledge of a certain topic or want to learn a new language. These are just some ideas to help you start to think of what you want to do. Just like Isaac Newton, let’s take this opportunity to think and to wonder. Start something new. Learn something. Expand yourself beyond the fear and see what lies inside of you. Embrace the gift of learning and creating. This is the freedom that isolation can give us.
Until tomorrow, I hope you see what God has placed in your life to bless your soul.