This is definitely not the way I imagined Spring 2020 going down. I had great plans for this time of year. I’m sure my older sons can say the same and my Third Son who has been looking forward to the spring semester of his senior year for, well, 12 years, has definitely been sidetracked. Not to sound whiney here as this IS a pandemic the whole world is experiencing, and as I wrote earlier, This Isn’t Hard Stuff to socially distance, stay home, be smart and do our part to keep others safe. It is an inconvenience. That is what it is.
However, I have been thinking about how we all handle this differently. Since we are all wired differently, how we operate, accommodate, work, relate and experience, are all across the board – even within each of our homes. I’m trying to be mindful of this as the Third Son and I are living in close quarters 24/7. My idea of how to get things done, what makes me happy, how to have a good day, what I “should” be doing or not doing, are all completely different than his. And I have to remind myself that it is okay.
I have been okay with the social distancing, isolation, working from home and have tried to embrace this time. I know how fortunate so many of us are and how extremely difficult this is for so many. But. . . even knowing that and adding that to my normal way of being positive and optimistic, I still found myself riding the struggle bus this week. As things seemed stagnant and even more uncertain, and I just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I felt like I had a heavy, water logged blanket dumped on me that I couldn’t get out from under.
So, I did what I knew to do to get back to feeling myself. I exercised, got outside in the sun, made a healthy lunch, tried to focus on work, tried to be the “helper” and even showered and got dressed. I tried all of my usual tricks, and it just wasn’t happening. At some point I just let it all go. I just let the day go. It was a wash. I wallowed.
At the end of that day, I looked forward to the next day and mentally recited the Scarlett O’Hara quote. (Who better to quote? She was my hero for all of my middle school years).
Coming out of a couple of days of wallowing, I am okay with the wallowing. I think it is allowed as we all figure out a new normal for a while. I naturally operate better with a schedule. I like to have a plan and something on the horizon to look forward to. For me, the lack of a set schedule, the lack of a real purpose each day, the inability to plan, and the not knowing how the next few months will pan out are what seems to bring on a little anxiety, worry, blues and the wallows.
So, in this next phase of our new normal I’m being even more mindful.
I’m going back to embracing a little more quiet and a little more time. I am returning to finishing projects around the house. This always makes me feel productive. I’ve done everything from cleaning out the bathroom cabinet to painting the walls of our entryway. There is something about completing a project, even if mundane right now, that is so satisfying.
So, I find a purpose for the day.
I’m learning patience, learning to give up control and learning to let those around me do their thing.
I am also trying to learn from this entire experience. What do I really need? What can I let go? What do I now see that I need to let go if things return to a more normal pace? What will I remember and what nuggets will I take from these weeks at home?
All of those thoughts began forming in my head during my wallowing. So, in a way, my wallowing wasn’t really wasted at all, but gave me even more time and space to learn and process ways to flip the switch on this period.
All this to say, if you find yourself in a wallow, give yourself some grace. Give it a day. Or two. Maybe it’s what you need right now.
Annnndddd in case you need a few more Corona memes to get you through, here are the top 50 . . . so far.
**Also, I’ve loved your feedback on our live social distancing workouts! I’ve gotten so many fun texts, emails and phone calls of encouragement! And laughter at our background chatter. As I’ve said, these are real life people! Thank you! Be on the lookout for more (: