If we were in the same room together right now (which we can’t due to social and geographical distancing anyway) I’d ask you how you’re doing, how you’re holding up and how these recent events with COVID-19 have challenged you and blessed you because you can’t have one without the other.
I’d listen to and hug you (in this imaginary space where you can do so without worrying about contagion) and we’d cry and laugh together about how quickly the world and our lives can shift.
I’d tell my kids to go play at the park so that we could cry and laugh together without being interrupted because, in this fantasy past-tense world, we could still do that.
(Why does this sound like I’m writing a medical/Rona version of “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie?”)
We would discuss your rising anxiety, your trouble sleeping, and how you had your first anxiety attack the other day.
I would remark that it is the unknown length of time that is driving people batty.
Akin to when you’re in labor if you just knew HOW LONG THIS WOULD LAST it would be more doable, but the unseen and looming clock ticking coupled with a serious lack of control is pulling nerves taut worldwide.
We would discuss tactics and strategies that we were implementing in our hearts and homes to process these important emotions.
I would tell you that I’ve been reminding myself to list the things within and without my control in two mental columns.
- I cannot control if we get sick or die but I can control how we wash hands and disinfect surfaces.
- I cannot control how others social distance, but I can control myself and encourage our family to be cautious.
- I cannot control the swirling chaos outside of our home, but I can assist our children in making fun memories during this unique time period.
- I can balance keeping a sense of normalcy while also intentionally inviting novelty to help the days and weeks pass with a little bit of fun and laughter.
- I can spend more time with them at work, in school, and in play–all within the walls of our home. Over and over again.
I am NOT helpless. It is NOT hopeless.
In essence, we can feel peace and joy in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.We can feel rooted and strong even when our knees buckle in anticipatory grief.We can feel sad that future plans, for now, are canceled but have hope that one day we will have the opportunity to go again.
This is not the end.
This is not the first time that the world has dealt with such a disease–it’s just OUR first time.
Huddle up (virtually), friends. We got this.
***Comment below what you are doing to process this unique and challenging situation. What has been helpful for you? What hasn’t?***
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