Stay Inside. Stay Safe. ALLOW GRACE IN.

It feels weird, right? It even feels silly saying the words “It feels weird, right?” because we all know how weird it feels. We’ve been tossed into a world that even our 99-year old grandmothers have never experienced. A world of epic fear and unsurmountable unknowns. We are unsure if we can believe deadlines or timelines, we want to help our neighbors and friends but don’t know how to safely do so, and we have almost zero control over the rest of 2020 and its trajectory.

If you’re like me, you are trying to shift who you were and meld into something you’re not used to being – while we all yearn to survive a new (and hopefully very temporary) normal.

As a mother of adventure – a playplace-loving, dining-out-obsessed, road-trip-taking mama of three – I have chosen to focus on a few things during these questionable times:

  1. Control what I can where I can. No, my kids won’t play with your kids. They certainly won’t meet them at the playground. I can control what I agree to, and nothing will ever change that.
  2. Take a minute to reset when I feel overwhelmed. It’s only been a few days, but the weight of the overall problem is utterly frightening. So I will focus on each day – morning to nighttime. When that day is done, we move on to day two. And I need to continuously remind myself that it’s OK to feel scared. Let me repeat that – it’s OK to feel scared.
  3. Keep myself informed while limiting my news intake. Obviously, we need to be aware of the statistics and the knowledge we are being given from other countries and reliable sources, but I personally cannot dig myself a hole. That hole will drown me.
  4. Take walks alone. This is the time when I call my extended family and have the deep conversations. It’s when I get my energy back and allow the cold wind to hit my face. It’s also when I allow myself to cry because this is so ridiculously unbelievable. I understand this leisure isn’t possible for many of us, but find yourself a small outlet. Anything. It’s important that you take care of yourself right now.
  5. Keep it as OK as I can make it, for the sake of my kids. My three littles have listened to a child-centric podcast about the science of the virus. They have heard things from their classmates. They know the answer will be No when they ask to have a playdate and Yes when they ask to hop on Kids Messenger to have some giggle time with their buddies. But us adults are more informed, thus making us more mentally impacted, with questions screaming through our heads and fear weighing in our hearts. I’m not asking that we play pretend all day…I’m just asking that we know our audience and act accordingly. This is, after all, a piece of their childhood. My kids are my life. And at the risk of sounding like Whitney Houston, they are also part of our future. Our future needs to come out of this stronger, smarter, and safer.

We’re all making our own stories right now. We have different priorities and talents and objectives. And no two of us are going to come out of this the same on the other side. BUT, in the words of my good mama friend, I can promise you one thing: “We are not failing. We aren’t winning either. Right now, it’s just a whole lot of opportunity for self compassion.”

It’s OK. You’re doing OK. We all are. We’re all going to be OK.

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

Kitty O’Meara

I want to send a sincere message of thanks to our doctors, nurses, emergency workers, and teachers. Your selflessness is not going unnoticed and my compassion and gratitude lies with you right now.

Now, a practical brain dump for maintaining your sanity:

  • Schedule a virtual happy hour via Hangouts, Zoom or FaceTime.
  • Blow up an air mattress or set up an indoor tent for movie nights. So many movie nights.
  • Take walks, go for runs, play in your backyard. Spring has sprung, after all.
  • Go for an aimless drive. Let the kids choose the direction you go at every stoplight or stop sign. We did it tonight and wound up north of 694 circling neighborhoods. I regretted not bringing the Pinterest scavenger hunt I printed out, but they loved calling the shots.
  • Listen to new podcasts. Watch a full TV series. Reread Harry Potter. Put together that massive puzzle.
  • Call a friend and talk. Then listen.
  • Turn a mundane lunch into a living room picnic serving water from a plastic tea pot – pinkies up!
  • Let YouTube do some teaching for you. There’s a million art lessons, story times, math classes and kids yoga options right on your screen.
  • Take a shower daily. Or live in your favorite sweatpants. Silver linings vary by person.
  • DO NOT feel like you need to be the best at everything. Some days, allow yourself to be the best at drinking coffee. You deserve some grace, some forgiveness, and a whole lot of love.

You Might Also Like