Feeling Certain About Uncertainty



There doesn’t seem to be much we can all agree on these days, but most of us are likely feeling pretty darn certain that uncertainty will be continuing for the foreseeable future.

I’m feeling certain about uncertainty.

No doubt you are too, right?

A lot of stuff is going to be in limbo for quite some time. We just do not know for sure yet when the kids can safely head back to school or when churches can fill up all the pews again. Families will likely be uneasy for who knows how long about holding gatherings or hosting weddings or sadly, even funerals.

We wonder when we can return to the office or if we’ll even have a job to return to and for how long. It’s hard to say when we’ll be able to head to our favorite movie theater (I’m trying to remember the last movie I saw at my local theater) or again patronize a restaurant we love and actually eat inside without worrying about the people’s health status at the table next to us.

The list of unknowns goes on and on.

In addition, there is social unrest going on across the country due to police violence, lack of accountability and systemic racism that has continued for far too long in every aspect of our society. Things need to change. Things must change. But when will that change happen, how will it happen and how long will it take?

Yep. We’re feeling certain about uncertainty alright, or at least I am.

If you’re a person who likes to feel in charge about what tomorrow will likely bring (and who isn’t?), all this uncertainty is just plain hard. It’s tough to plan for tomorrow or next week much less next month or next year.

There’s been lots of talk about a ‘new normal’ post pandemic. It’s coming, or maybe it’s already here. We won’t be going back to the way things were. We just won’t be.

Just like with cancer.

The term ‘new normal’ that gets tossed around post-cancer diagnosis has never worked for me, rather it’s always sorta irked me.

You might want to read, Life Under the ‘New Normal’ Umbrella.

Perhaps one reason it hasn’t and still doesn’t is because it reminds me of what once was. Same deal with the survivor label. Both labels bring to mind feelings of loss, sadness and yes, grief.

You might want to read, What’s Wrong with a Survivor Badge Anyway?

Once normal is gone, it’s gone. New normal? What does that even mean? Can we really create a new normal? (I’m just asking.)

Still, Cancer Havers are pretty adept at adjusting and adapting. They have to be. When you’re diagnosed, things change on a dime. Your personal domino effect is set in motion.

You say goodbye to the familiar. You say goodbye to any notion you might’ve had about your own perceived good health and for some of us, you say goodbye to actual body parts. You say hello to upheaval, harsh treatments and yes, uncertainty. So much uncertainty.

Post-pandemic life will likely have some of the same elements. There will be goodbyes to the familiar. For sure, we will be reminded of what we once had. There will be loss, sadness and grief involved then too.

The good news is (yes, there is good news!), we’ll deal with it. We’ll cope. We’ll adapt. We’ll adjust. We’ll do what we must. Because we’ll have to. (Just like with cancer.)

After all, we humans are resilient. Cancer Havers are living proof of that resilience.

But cancer or no cancer, we all are.

Resiliency is perhaps our greatest strength; it’s definitely one of them anyway. It helps carry us through whatever challenge—present, past or future that we face, have faced or will face.

Remembering how resilient we are helps me stay hopeful.

When this pandemic ends, we won’t merely move on; it isn’t quite that simple. (Just like with cancer.) We will move forward (big difference) as best we can.

About the latter at least, I am feeling quite certain.

(Note: Cancer Havers term credit goes to Sylvie Leotin.)

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