I’m grateful that for the past week or so I haven’t felt quite as jerked around by my own roller coaster of emotions. I credit this mostly to two things: reading a lot less news and taking a social media hiatus. I gave myself this past week to be completely disconnected from the online world and it really was refreshing.
It gave me some time to slow down (we didn’t do school either), play outside a lot more (I have the suntanned shoulder line to prove it), and be in the moment. The whole “be in the moment” thing is cliche, I know. And while it’s a practice I am continuously working on, I’m finding it more necessary than ever right now.
I’ve heard Rachel Hollis talk about finding meaning in every season. Not a reason. I don’t think a global pandemic is happening for a reason, but I can find meaning in this unusual time, so I’ve been coaching my focus to stay in that space.
I am using this time to reevaluate how we as a family generally spend our time and money. Were all the things we were doing additive to our lives, or simply habits we picked up along the way? On good days, this time feels like a gift of clarity. What do we truly miss? What new routines and habits are proving to be additive to our bodies, minds, and spirits?
I’ve also been thinking about what life will look like on the other side. Because we will get through this. Maybe by summer, maybe by next year, but this will pass. And I found myself wondering what I’ll take away from this experience. And what will my kids remember?
Let’s take Easter for example. Can we all agree it was the strangest one ever? Yet maybe it will be one of the most memorable. Similar to how Hailey’s favorite birthday is still her seventh birthday when a hurricane cancelled her party and we had to get creative on how to make it feel special at home.
For us it was a rainy Easter this year. The girls woke up to some Easter goodies and bunny prints, hunted inside for eggs, then we all watched church in our pajamas on the couch with coffee and Peeps in hand.
For dinner, we tried to cook an 8 pound ham, that apparently wasn’t fully defrosted, so dinner was quite a bit later than anticipated. We decided to move the table to be near the TV to combine dinner and our planned after-dinner movie, Star Wars. Never have we ever moved the table in front of the TV, especially on Easter, but what the heck, why not! We went straight from Easter dinner, to climbing over the table and onto the couch for snuggles. Hailey and Kaitlyn thought that was just the coolest thing ever.
I’m hoping these things are what our girls will remember from this unusual time. That things weren’t normal, and that’s what made the time so special.
The truth is that I don’t always feel like a fun mom. Sometimes I’m tired or distracted or worried. But I remind myself daily that my attitude and how I choose to spend this time between what was normal and what will be the new normal is up to me. And little eyes are watching.
Doesn’t this time feels like the movie Groundhog’s Day to those of us with the luxury of waiting out the quarantine in the comfort of our homes? If we take that theme and roll with it- what day are we living over and over? Are we being given the same gift as the movie- the chance to add more love, connection and compassion into the day until we live it right? I fall short plenty often, but it’s what I keep striving for- making happy memories with the people I love the most.
The truth is that a lot of the plans we had set up for this year have gone by the wayside. I know I’m not alone in this by any means, yet it still feels weird to have had plans we’ve worked for so many years towards be suddenly off the table. It’s left me, an avid planner, in a weird space. It’s not that our path has taken a turn, I’m actually quite adept at the pivot, but that there is nothing to pivot towards right now because we are temporarily stuck in the in-between, unsure of what life and the economy are going to look like in a few months.
But maybe that’s a lesson to me in and of itself? To take a break from planning and just be. To watch and to wait and to make the most of the here and now. Embracing that perspective is helping me to slow down and find the joy in the day to day.
We’re all in the in-between right now, and I’m curious if you’ve been asking yourself the same things I have. How are you spending this time? When you look back on these months, what will stick out to you? And to focus on the positive- what’s been the best memory you’ve made in the past month?