I ugly cried, last night. I'm grateful for a partner who comforts me. I'm still a little shaky, today. I'm grateful for a quiet house and softly snoring kitties. I look out over the computer monitor, now, to see patches of blue sky and a brightly lit backyard bearing signs of spring.
The pandemic, the changes in our routines and movement, the people falling without a safety net, the essential workers on all fronts, the powerful accepting collateral damage in exchange for wealth and security... the situation is so BIG. I am so small. I am ineffective. I am isolated and meaningless. These facts and feelings spin and rage in my mind and my emotions. My sleep is one long nightmare. My body is aching and tired.
The storm inside me will pass. It has before and it will again. For now, I tend myself gently with nutritious food, a warm shower, napping in the sunshine, and so much gratitude that I can tend myself in these ways.
Making some meaning of the BIG storm, for me, is not contained in taking care of myself, my family, my home... Making meaning is reaching beyond my yard. I am small. I am not ineffective or isolated. I do see both people in need and people in power. I am not content, not really. I'm looking for ways to make a difference, make daily life different, liveable, in the midst of crisis, and between them. This is not the only storm.
Tonight, I am grateful and content. This weekend felt...normal. Like the former normal. Kiddo went to his dad's. I cleaned and organized the house. We purchased more seeds at the hardware store. There was time together and time apart. I napped, twice!, today. While grocery shopping, I picked up some stuck-at-home toys for kiddo. He was grateful and we played together in the late afternoon.
Recent days have been bumpy. Each day with its own series of ups and downs and back up again (mostly). Because the "new normal" doesn't arrange itself overnight. We create it one small course correction at a time, which bring us closer to stability, familiarity, and a sense of normal.
Things that are working in my house: making art, physical activity outdoors, planting seeds (literally) for a big new garden, revising the schedule of working-at-home and school-at-home, practicing patience and mercy (aka grace) with ourselves and each other. What's working in your home? What fails are you either learning from or just moving on from? It all counts.
I was tired, pausing, and resuming, on Sunday, March 22. I'm exhausted, queasy, still in my pjs, and sitting very still, today. The last two days I pushed to keep up with my job and kickstart the kiddo's homeschooling. I tried to make (force) a normal level of productivity from both of us. But this isn't normal. So we'll ride the waves of productivity and rest. We'll plan and accomplish; rest and recover. These aren't cookie-cutter days. These are days of adaptation and attention.
Pause. Breathe. Repeat.
Social distancing and staying home - doing everything for the family at home, feels more difficult and draining than I think it should. Or, maybe, it simply is difficult. And I am tired.
I'm tired in my body, my mind, and my emotions. I'm not to the bedridden, despairing fatigue place. I'm at the place where I can pause, nap, move slowly, set priorities and only do those tasks. Pause between tasks. Nap, again. Jot a few notes in my journal. I'm at the place of acknowledging that this is challenging.
It's challenging for good reasons. Transitions from one set of routines and expectations and the corresponding feelings to a completely alternative and, frankly, alien set is challenging. The limbo of not knowing how long this will last and what the impacts and implications will be on jobs, school, resources, etc. is challenging. The multi-tasking to manage working at home and schooling at home and parenting all day while doing both of those things all at the same time is challenging. Feeling distant and disconnected from friends and coworkers and neighbors and family is challenging. Feeling crowded, as a deeply introverted introvert, by the tasks, immediate family, work-related texts and emails, podcasts and TV playing in the other rooms are all challenging.
So we, I, pause. To say, yes, this is a different kind of unfamiliar labor for which I'm not trained because there is no training. To say, it's ok that this is hard. To say, now we, I, pause. I acknowledge the work I'm doing. I rest and restore myself. I identify the skills I'm using and prepare to use them more appropriately and skillfully in the coming week.
And I nap.
Practicing social connection in the time of social distancing... We're adapting to, and grateful for!, varied ways to maintain social connection during social distancing. Texting, chatting in the driveway, "elbow-bumps" and "air hugs," and hollering over the back fence to the neighbor kids. How are you staying connected in these strange covid-19 days?
"Pause. Breathe. Repeat." An entry about remembering to take my own advice. And some household tools for remembering your calm and focus in the midst of a very challenging transition.
Out of the Attic
This blog started in 2006
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Out of the Attic.
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