I sat down the other day, and this just came out of me. It felt like it mattered enough to keep going, so I’m going to share it with you today because maybe you feel the same way I do, and it feels good to know that we’re together in something.
I’ve been having a hard time with what’s been happening in our world. I’ve struggled mentally and emotionally with the upset of my routines and the change in our daily life. I’ve been afraid of things I never would have thought I’d be afraid of (grocery shopping) and I’ve really had to limit the amount and type of information I’m consuming because it can send me into a tizzy in no time. It’s a roller-coaster of emotion and trying to find a new (hopefully-temporary) normal has been rather a bumpy ride.
I’ve pulled away from social media, and I pulled away from this online space. It makes me sad to think about that because this space was a place I carved out for myself and a space I designed for me. But even this space felt like a lot of pressure, so I pulled away. It’s important for me to be authentic, truly authentic, and I don’t want to be someone who is putting out negativity or, worse, something inauthentic, into the universe, so this space felt like pressure. I remain active on my Instagram feed, but only because it helps me feel accountable for what I’m putting into my body, and that feels like one thing I still have control over in some regard. I have attempted several times to post a recipe for a Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup and for my favorite Apple Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers, but every time I sit down to write it, I can’t find the words and it feels so trivial. It feels like something like that doesn’t matter, and then I feel frivolous, and then a spiral of emotions takes place and I can’t do it. So, I pulled away. I’ve pulled away from my regular content and posting schedule. Right now, it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough, and that has to be okay. I’m getting to a place where I’m okay with that. The beauty of this space is that it is a place I designed, it is a space I carved out, and because of that, it needs to be a source of joy and a space where it feels like it’s serving a purpose.
For now, I’m still here, and I’ll be here as long or as frequent as it feels like I have something worthwhile to say. I might lay low, and it might not be as regular as it was, but, for now, I think that’s probably okay, because there are a lot of things that aren’t as “regular” as they were. And we’re all just trying to figure that out.
I sat down the other day, and this just came out of me. It felt like it mattered enough to keep going, so I’m going to share it with you today because maybe you feel the same way I do, and it feels good to know that we’re together in something. And, in the words of the lovely Andra Day in the song that I keep on repeat (and cry in the shower to…)
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll riseRise Up by Andra Day
It doesn’t feel fair to complain about the difficulty this “quarantine” has been for me. As a stay at home mom, I almost feel like I have even less of a right to say that my everyday life has changed, especially since my little one isn’t even in school. Isn’t it normal that I spend all day with my child? Isn’t it normal that I’m already home during the day? Isn’t it normal to say that we make time to play and learn and go outside? Yes, I suppose those things are part of my normal, but there’s nothing normal about what’s been happening lately.
First, I have to say that I believe that social distancing and the shelter-in-place order for my home state of Michigan are good ideas. I believe in flattening the curve. I understand that we all have to do our part in trying to slow the spread of the virus and do our best with the resources we have and the situation we’re in. I am not someone who believes this is a political conspiracy to prevent (or help, I suppose) Trump from getting re-elected or that this is a vehicle to enact martial law or require mandatory vaccinations. I am not someone who believes this is “just like the flu” or someone who thinks people are blowing things way out of proportion. I do not believe that we can put a price on someone’s parent or grandparent or spouse or child, for goodness sake, or that we need to hurry up and open our country back up because of the money that is being hemorrhaged.
I am someone who prays daily for the doctors and nurses and hospital support staff, and for first responders, paramedics, police officers, and the like. I am someone who prays daily for the people who run grocery stores and the people on the front lines stocking shelves and working in the cashier checkout lanes. I am someone who feels her heart break at the thought of knowing that these people, the ones who applied to work at a Meijer or Costco and probably never once thought about the day that their job would be deemed “essential” and they’d have to literally put their lives on the line for their communities, keeping in mind that the function they serve in our lives does not automatically come with hazard pay or life insurance.
I am praying for my friends, the ones I know and the ones I don’t, who are struggling with children at home who don’t understand what’s happening and are having strong emotional reactions to the change. My heart aches for my friends who feel overwhelmed because they did not sign up to be home all day every day with their kids, let alone homeschooling them – and that doesn’t make them bad parents. My heart aches for them when I see and hear them say that they feel like bad parents because they’re trying to be all things for all people and feel like they’re constantly coming up short.
None of this is normal. None of this is even remotely something we are used to dealing with. So, even though it does feel like it’s not fair for me to feel out of sorts or like I’m feeling some type of way about this because so many other people have it so much worse or harder than I do, I do know that it’s okay to give myself (and others) grace for however it is I (and they) feel in this season. Some days I find myself forcing myself to find joy and to not let any of the anxiety or fear or worry or anger creep into my day. Some days I can’t find any joy. Some days it doesn’t feel as heavy, but then other days it feels like it’s just too much to bear. A range of emotion can sweep through me and knock me off my feet throughout the course of a single day, and it leaves me exhausted. The uncertainty looms and the ever-evolving details swirl and it’s hard to know what to do with all of it.
Friends, I think what it comes down to is this: It’s okay to be uncertain. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to find joy in small things every day. It’s okay if you found yourself yelling at your kids because you’re at the end of your rope; you’re trying to figure it out, too, just like they are. It’s okay if you’re eating candy in the pantry and telling yourself the calories don’t count in there. It’s okay if you’re video calling everyone in your circle every day because it’s killing you to not interact with people in real life. It’s okay if you’re clinging to routine, or if you’re wearing yoga pants every day because you can. It’s okay to be mad that there isn’t an end in sight yet and you hate trying to homeschool your kids. It’s okay if you’re angry that your birthday or anniversary or spring break plans got cancelled because of this. And it’s okay to complain about things right now even if they seem small in the grand scheme of things. We’re all just doing our best, and we need to remember that we’re all in this together.
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Cover Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels
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