I hope this finds you safe and healthy.
We’ve been plunged into a vast new world. One that we could not have imagined at this time a year ago. But one that the entire world and all humans are experiencing at the same time. And it’s huge.
While we are each focused on our own nations and in our own homes, I hope that somehow eventually this will connect us all closer and allow us to see our similarities rather than our differences down the line as a world nation.
When quarantine began the internet and media suggested how we could/should utilize this time to be able to get done that which we haven’t had time for. And I too thought, this is my chance, I have so many things I’ve put off that I know should get to.
But as the weeks have flown by (and I do mean flown), I began to feel guilty for not getting things done. I felt busier than ever before and wondered what the deal was? I should have all this time, right? I have so many grandiose plans….
But here’s where I think we got it wrong in the beginning.
Yes, we are at home more. But so is everyone else in the family. Like mine- I’m sure your house is feeling a heck of a lot smaller right now. We are learning how to be together and yet be apart, because we need that downtime in order to still love one another at the end of the day.
Parents are learning to be teachers while also having the experience of being with their children 24-hours a day. Children are missing their friends and teachers. Extroverts and social butterflies are suffering the loss of not seeing friends or being able to have an in-person coffee date. Those with depression and anxiety are having a heck of a time. People are trying to learn new tech to be-up-to date in business and stay afloat. And hours are spent daily checking-in with family and friends. Then there is the constant cooking to be done. And I won’t even talk about the stress of grocery shopping.
No wonder we aren’t getting it all done.
I’m not even getting my regular stuff done much of the time. But I am learning to give myself grace and not beat myself up about it.
I’ll admit those first few weeks I inwardly chastised myself for not getting it done. I tried making schedules and getting up earlier. But nothing seemed to work. I felt frustrated and annoyed.
So, I gave in.
I decided to offer myself grace and simply forgive myself for not being wonder woman and getting it done. I was (am) doing the best I can.
I’m giving you permission to forgive yourself too.
Since offering myself grace and compassion, I’m getting SOME things done. Small things. And as time passes, I’ll do more. But I keep my ideas smaller now. More practical. And you know how I choose them? By being aware of how I feel.
Does the thought of doing that thing make me happy or excited? Or does it feel like drudgery? This is not a time for drudgery if you can avoid it. Fill yourself up in small ways.
Last weekend, I painted a sign for my home because it made me happy and for literally no other reason. I realize I could have gotten a ton of other things done during that weekend. But I had this art idea and I simply couldn’t shake it. So I got out paper, pencil, & paints to get it out of my head. Now it’s in my dining room and it sparks joy, offers hope, and reminds me that everything is going to be okay -every day that I see it.
While I know that eventually all will be well again…
In this moment, It is also time to acknowledge that we are grieving.
We grieve for the life we knew prior to this as much as we grieve for the loss of lives this has taken. Our world will never be quite the same. When we eventually head back out into it we will never look at things quite the same or be the same person ever again. But that is how we grow.
Growth is painful and can be difficult.
The quicker we accept that we are changing. That our world is changing and that there is no going back to things exactly the way they were, the easier this will become. The more we individually fight our own inner being. The more difficult this will be personally.
The 5 stages of grief and loss, which are usually used for the death of a loved one apply here at this time as well. We are all grieving the loss of our norm. The loss of our way of doing things. Change is hard.
But once it is accepted that this world change is real then we can individually begin to move through the grief cycle. The 5 stages of grief and loss are:
People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience each of them. And how quickly you move through them is different person to person.
While you may glide through and feel resilient quickly, your partner may feel great amounts of fear and need more time. Be gentle with one another, be accepting and offer compassion for them and for your own inner feelings. We have many more weeks/months to come to terms with it all.
Our world will never be the same. How could it be after all of this? But I do not mean that in a doomsday kind of way.
I believe in all of us. I believe in the tenacity of the human spirit. I know we will get through this. We will learn, change, become better. Hopefully more kind, loving, and compassionate humans.
This is our chance to learn, transform, and make a better place for our children. It will be a brand new world and we will be new inside. We’ve got this!
Everything is going to be okay.