There are so many things I am thinking and feeling right now. So many. Here are a few that I think are worth sharing.
Take a minute
This is the time when we put on our overhead mask so we can help everyone else. We need to be sure that be are breathing good air in order to the work. For me this looks like going for walks, journaling, listening to podcasts, writing, reading...some solo time is what helps me recharge my batteries, feel grounded, and more alive. It's not selfish to do this. It is needed. Women are generally not super great at this, we are good at taking care of our people, but less great taking care of ourselves. Sometimes we just a need a minute. Or maybe like 60 of them...
You will find what you are looking for
I have noticed that whether I am looking for the good in people (or the world) or the bad, I will see more of whatever I am looking for. There is a level of responsibility and maturity here, to choose to look for the good in a situation that is new and relatively unexpected. There can be some good things to be found...being forced to slow down and have some extra family time, for me. Does it come at a cost? Of course, but I am thankful to be able to have the ability to be with my kids during this time. To not be rushed as we play in the back yard or go for a walk. I am thankful to be moving a little more slowly and living a little bit more quietly. I just got two books this week that I am looking forward to diving into.
Be a good neighbor
One of my favorite values of our church is that of Neighborhoods. I want to be a good neighbor during this time, to my literal neighbors (checking in on them, bringing them things if they need it, etc.) and to our neighbors who might be struggling, fearful or have a compromised immune system. Our fellow citizens in our state and country, we have lots of neighbors. I want to be responsible, but not overly fearful. I am not hoarding things. I have hope and I want to share that. We will wash our hands and be wise as we do our best to love our neighbors well.
Be a force for good
This has been a week unlike any week I have lived in my nearly 38 years, I have not lived through this before, so I don't have the life experience or memory to help through this. But, again, I do have wisdom and hope. I believe that as a group this could be something that brings out the good in people, maybe we can band together (from our homes) for the collective good. And that's what I want to be, a force for good. I am not Pollyanna, but I am not going to get dragged into social media yelling matches or rudeness brought on by stress and anxiety, or at least I will do my best. I want to be a light and would love to have you join me in that.
Be informed, but not overly so
I have found myself really engaging the news the past week. Like constantly. Part of it was wanting to stay up to date on school closings, new developments, but I noticed that my anxiety and stress level gets cranked up. Each ding on my phone alerting me what is cancelled just adds to it. So I am doing my best to take in a few small doses of news a day from a trusted, non-partisan source. And then I move on. I look my people in their eyes and we do what families do...create things, read books, clean up messes (so many messes), but I am not plugged in all day, and that is far better for my soul I have noticed.
These are historic times, let's capture it well. Here's a post from Laura Tremaine that has some more thoughts on it. But we will look back on this time and recount it for the younger generations, might as well take some pictures and write some things down as you go through your days. Your story matters and this is now part of it, let's decide to do right by ourselves and our neighbors. It feels unforgettable now, but just like our kid's baby/toddler years, in the moment I was certain I would never forget, but promptly did. So in the spirit of remembering this historic event, I am trying to capture it well.
Be gentle and generous
This is what I am telling myself. I am trying to be generous and gentle with myself, as I am trying to figure things out and as I lose my patience with my kids or clean up the thirteenth mess of the day at 11am...I am trying to give myself room to make mistakes. I am starting with myself so I can give it to others, trying to believe the best and know that everyone is in this together. I won't regret being overly gentle or generous and am hoping to continue to develop that muscle and skill set. Gentleness comes about as naturally to me as speaking Latin, so I appreciate your prayers.
So, what say you? Any thoughts or feelings? What are you doing during these days?