Dada, dunt, dunt, dunt… another one bites the dust. I almost laughed to myself as the 1980 Queen song filled my mind. Yep, another one bites the dust. That is, another event is canceled and crossed off from my already nearly-empty summer calendar.

Add that event to the list of “things I’m not doing this summer thanks to COVID-19.” Is there such a list? Maybe their should be so I’ll remember years from now what a strange season this is. Could a list like that prompt me to never again take for granted our “normal” summer activities? Such as vacation (canceled), RAGBRAI (canceled), in-person Cardinals baseball games (canceled), graduation parties (canceled), festivals and fairs (canceled), music concerts (canceled), in-person church (canceled), and maybe what I’m missing the most: hanging out with whomever we want, where we want, when we want.

It’s all canceled! Ugh!

I could feel it. Sadness and grief were again knocking on my doorstep. They took up residence here in March and April, but I kicked them to the curb a couple months ago. I was NOT going to let them shove their way back in after another cancellation. NO WAY. So, instead of focusing on another part of summer canceled, I decided to look at things a little differently. I decided to appreciate what’s NOT canceled this summer. All that’s NOT canceled today. All that’s NOT canceled in my life.

What is not canceled today? Let's focus on that.

So I started a more positive list.

Not canceled this summer:

  • Living out this gift of life.
  • Spending time with my family.
  • Loving others.
  • Laughing.
  • Dates with my husband.
  • Bicycling and exercising.
  • Times of leisure. (In fact, I’ve enjoy more leisurely time through this season.)
  • Making a difference in the lives of others.
  • Making another smile.
  • Flowers and gardens.
  • Baking or cooking or making a meal for a neighbor.
  • Learning new skills.
  • Being a blessing.
  • Expanding your knowledge.
  • Neither is reading, or writing, or drawing, or being creative.
  • Digging into God’s Word.
  • Organizing, decluttering, cleaning.
  • Nor is being neighborly, being kind, and showing compassion.
  • Spending time with others, physically distant.
  • Encouraging one another.
  • And working for good, being a light, and looking for the silver lining.
  • God, His plans, or His ability to answer our prayers.
  • You and I.

Yes, there’s much this pandemic has taken from us, but there’s much more that’s not canceled than is.

What isn’t canceled in your life today? What’s on your list? I’d say to focus on those. What is one thing you can embrace, celebrate, and share with others? Because there’s someone else who is feeling the weight of all these cancellations. (I don’t think I’m the only one.) Agreed, this summer looks very different for many of us. But, when we focus on embracing the different, we find ways to live beyond the cancellations. To thrive in spite of them. In ways we can be blessings to God, to others, and to ourselves.

Remember, you and I are not canceled. God gives us many opportunities to make a difference and be a light in this world. And this world needs that now, maybe more than ever.

So, the next time we hear about something canceled, instead of wallowing in the sadness of another thing removed from our lives, let’s focus on the things that are right in front of us. Let’s focus on what we GET to do. And let’s do it with all we have.

After all, today is a gift. Let’s open it and live it.

Much love,

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