I love jumping castles. As a kid, I recall going into transports of delight whenever I saw the giant inflatable marvel at a fair. I would take off my shoes, methodically placing them on the side (shout-out to my fellow anal-retentives, hello?) and throw myself about the castle with abandon.
Now that I am an adult, I seldom get to jump in a jumping castle. I know that adult jumping castles exist, because I have seen them. But they are few and far between. It seems many adults have become too grown-up for bouncing.
Such a shame.
As we face a massive worldwide shutdown due to the spread of COVID-19, many of us are struggling to come to terms with this stressful situation. The circumstances are changing every day and it seems our lives are rapidly becoming more and more restricted.
Our everyday lives are changing. And they may continue to change for some time.
So I think it is crucial we all become more bouncy.
It is crucial we all become more bouncy.
Don’t take me literally. (Actually, if you want to hire an adult jumping castle, knock yourself out.) I am referring to resilience, or our innate capacity to bounce back from a bad day.
We all have bad days and manage to bounce back from them somehow. We have bad months. We have bad years.
And yet here we are, still standing, still breathing. Maybe not in great shape. But we are here. That is the important thing. Being resilient does not mean you are happy all the time. It does not mean you never worry or feel down or lose sleep. It means you have ways of bouncing back from those things.
We are still here, still standing, still breathing.
When I used to toss my childlike self around the jumping castle, I loved being bounced by others. I would fall over every time, but because I was in an inflatable wonderland, I would bounce straight back up. I wanted them to bounce me more.
We will face difficulties. We will face tough decisions. We will have days when we fall over. We may face loneliness and anxiety and loss. But we have faced hard situations before. We got through them somehow. We can get through this too.
We have faced hard situations before. We can get through this too.
Certain things help me bounce back more quickly. Good friends. Chocolate. A silly movie. Take-away food. Music. Talking to God. Writing. Going for a walk down to the lake. Hugs – while practising good social distancing etiquette and hand hygiene, of course.
When the world is falling to pieces around me, I need to remind myself I have bounced back before and I can do so again.
Come at me, COVID-19. I’m bouncy.
How has the current climate affected you? What things help you bounce back? Is there anything that might help you feel more resilient over the coming weeks? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.