I Hear the Ocean

By Steven A. Hitz, Founding Director
Author of Launching Leaders

May 4, 2020

Steve and Ginger

For a few years, my wife has struggled to get a good night’s sleep, often waking up with a headache. Diagnosed recently with severe sleep apnea, she sometimes stops breathing and wakes up gasping, which scares the heck out of me.

Recently she received relief. For a few hours at night now, she goes to bed with an elegant “device,” which helps her breathing and oxygen levels—commonly known as a CPAP. I’m not too concerned with how it looks, so long as she is healthy. I jokingly refer to it as her elephant trunk.

I never imagined I would wake up next to an elegant elephant trunk, but neither did I think we would live in an age of a world-wide pandemic with our very way of life threatened—both health wise and economically. Through it all, I still wake up to a beautiful and loving wife, (adorned with her stylish contraption), and enjoy good health and fiscal soundness (knock on wood). Our hearts go out to those who are suffering in any way—we offer our prayers for the entire world. All of us have folks we know who are suffering. God help them.

During these challenging times, it is sometimes good to visit the past and grasp onto fond memories that remind us of a happier day. Sometimes it helps us deal with the present in a different and creative way. The CPAP contraption my wife wears to sleep brought back a fond memory of a song that mentioned elephants. It may not be entirely germane to my topic, but it brought a smile to my face and I thought I would share it with you. It is a song by Credence Clearwater Revival:

Tambourines and elephants are playin’ in the band
Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon? Doo, doo, doo
Wond’rous apparition provided by magician
Doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door

It would do your soul good to watch and listen to this old classic.

The other night, while lightly sleeping, I realized the noise her CPAP device makes sounds to me like soft ocean waves. If I open my window by my bed, I have the full experience of feeling the fresh air while sleeping by the ocean— in Colorado.

My point is that so much of how we choose to view our circumstances and how we adjust to them are a CHOICE. Even in a world of pandemic and life-changing events, we can find some positives in our circumstances…. if we look hard enough.

I made a short list of some positives from living thru a pandemic:

• I get to spend more time with my beautiful wife.
• I can count my blessings by the “square” (a reference to toilet paper).
• I tend to reach out to those I love on a more frequent basis—I’m really concerned about them.
• More meals at home with an added appreciation for food on the table.
• My ability to sympathize has increased, especially since I know victims of COVID-19.
• Reading and filling my mind with good books has increased.
• What matters most in my life is settling on my soul.

Certainly, our ability to CHOOSE our perspective about the situations we are in are greatly controlled by our ability to survive. Even so, in whatever state we find ourselves, MORE can be done to seek positive outcomes in our pandemic world.

Tambourines and elephants are playin in the band….

May the fond memories of our past and a little imagination create pockets of joy for each of us during these challenging times; maybe you too can hear the ocean from Colorado. And may those of us who have a little more than we need, share with those who don’t. Let’s keep our lessons learned from this experience in our hearts as we get back to a more normalized world.

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