We have all woke up in what feels like a dream state. We went from “don’t over react,” to “self-isolation,” in a matter of twenty-four hours. These are unprecedented times. Uncharted waters. Historical even, as borders between countries have been shut for the first time.
From one control freak to another, this is what have I learned from this and what I would I like to share with you.
Breathe, just not too close to anyone else! Oh right and don’t forget, we are still allowed to have a sense of humour in the face of adversity. Everything feels as though someone hit the fast forward button. People are rushing to find that elusive last can of corn or roll of toilet paper. Slow down and breathe. I get it; we have never been in this place before. As I mentioned, we are writing history. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer my great-grandchildren read about this and hear of stories of kindness and communities coming together, rather than toilet paper hoarding. Slow down and breathe.
I too have had many angry and anxious moments. We have had to close our business. Our university son may not get a graduation ceremony. Our daughter, who is an esthetician, is still doing very intimate services on clients during this pandemic because there is no mandate on her employer to close. I began homeschooling our seventh grader earlier this year, so that impact is less. More on that later.
I am an admitted control freak. I function best when I know what is happening hour by hour, day to day. I do not like surprises. I am a planner. When something throws a wrench into that, I can usually be found cleaning my house top to bottom, at 3 am. Doing puzzles, colouring and writing, anything to distract myself from the out of control thing in my life. This pandemic has taught me a few things.
There is strength in numbers. Many of us do not like to have our freedom taken away. It truly is normal to feel anxious when things do not run according to plan. If you look hard enough, you can find a positive in situations. Slow down and breathe.
What am I unsure of? How long this will last. We are ALL unsure of this. We are ALL in this together. I am not alone. YOU are not alone. I find peace knowing we are travelling this together. I have many unanswered questions, so instead I am turning to what I know for sure.
What do I know for sure? Our son will still graduate and get his degree with or without a ceremony. He has worked hard for five years and we will celebrate that. Our daughter who is in her first year of University will complete her first year, another reason to celebrate. Even though we had to close our business, I am now spending some quality time with my husband and he is getting time to refuel. All of our family remains healthy, and that is the most important reason to celebrate.
I have found reason to smile every day as I notice people out for walks. Kids riding bikes, giggling ridiculously. Families gathering around bonfires in the backyards, on a random Tuesday, us included. Those people who would have been spending countless hours in a high pressured and stressful job are now enjoying their morning coffee and then going for a peaceful walk. They may have just added ten years to their life.
I am not oblivious to the fact that all of this missed time from school and work doesn’t come without a price. Right now, most of us are in a holding pattern until those resources become available and that is scary. That is also a bit out of our control.
My advice in the meantime? Enjoy these moments with your family, children and with yourself as much as you can. Been putting off clearing out those closets? Do it now. Want to tackle that yard work? Do it now. Want to spend some down time to refuel? I am on board with that! As for those kids who may be home from school for a good while, here is my two cents. I have seen post after post about help to home school. Please know that home schooling is more than keeping your child “at home” and teaching them. We too are feeling the pinch of not being able to get out and be social. We spend a significant amount of time putting together a well thought out curriculum that best suits our child. Let me just begin with this. Try not to overwhelm yourself or them. There are so many online sites and available resources. Take your time researching them to find what may work for your child. Ask yourself this question. How many times have you said, “I wish they would teach my child (blank) in school.” Well now is your time to do just that. Consider using this time to teach your child some basic cooking skills, how to do a load of laundry or your teen to check their oil. You will be amazed how soon they will leave the nest and won’t know the basics. How to grocery shop, change a furnace filter, fill out university applications, file taxes, open a bank account. Don’t be surprised at how quickly your child may go through the lessons at home. With less distractions and one on one teaching this is often the case. Slow down and breathe.
As I am writing this blog, I am isolated with my amazing husband and both my dear sons. I have had to put my earphones in twice to distract myself from my husbands loud chewing and my teen spawn’s narrative of whatever game he is playing. My sweet daughter has called four times in two hours, as she scours the city for toilet paper, feeling the need to update me as she goes. 🙂 Everyone knows I love my family dearly, but I am a realist. These next coming days will be challenging for those of who thrive on our alone time to recharge. ❤ Do not feel guilty for taking the measures you need. I will not feel bad for hiding out in my office or taking hour-long hot baths to keep my sanity. I advise you all to find your balance. Slow down and breathe.
Lots of Love ❤