We are living in uncertain times. Our sense of normalcy and routine have been uprooted abruptly. Some of us no longer have our daily commutes to the office, visits with family & friends, workouts at the gym or school drop-offs/pick-ups. We have become instant homeschool parents and work from home employees. (I do understand that this isn’t the case for many in our communities who work in positions where working remotely is not an option. The ones who work relentlessly to help us in various ways. And I have the highest level of gratitude and compassion for you.) Students across the board are feeling the loss of important things in their lives. I’m sure we all know at least one person who is now without an income due to our current restrictions and closures. My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling. We should all try to find a way to help where we can.
This week has been tough and beautiful for me at the same time. I am grateful for the resources that I have to make this transition manageable. Spending time with my daughter and seeing the excitement in her eyes as she learns something new has been so rewarding. On the other hand, navigating my own work as I am seemingly available to her is a challenge. I knew that maintaining structure would be a defining factor in our success so we made a daily schedule. I also know that flexibility is key to keeping the fun and happiness thriving and the meltdowns to a minimum. My sweet girl has already let me know that Fridays are supposed to be a bit more relaxed and we must act accordingly. (insert some relief and a smile from this mama) We have a guide hanging on the wall to follow but we also mix things up as needed. It works out. I have seen it work out at the end of each day so far. We discuss our feelings and why it’s so important to be patient with one another. Allow your children to feel how they feel and help them during this unprecedented time. Give yourself that same grace in this situation. We are all learning to navigate this new way of living right now and none of us have all the answers.
As I write this, we have entered Spring equinox. One of my favorite times of year, there’s more light at the end of the day and after months of cold, we have more opportunity to get outside. We relish in the freedom that this time of year brings. The season of awakening, renewal, cleansing and when flowers bloom. Although it does feel a bit different to me since we are staying inside of our homes to help flatten the curve. Now, we have to deal with the unknown and care for ourselves and each other. Sometimes devastation can force us to refocus.
Many lives worldwide have been lost due to COVID-19 and that is devastating to a family, their friends— to their community. No matter your views on the severity of this situation, falling ill for weeks can truly impact a person’s life even if they can fully recover physically— it still takes a toll in many ways. It’s important to understand that we truly are in this together. If we can think as a collective and seek to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable by staying home and practicing social distancing— I have hope that we will all come out of this feeling more connected and optimistic for our future. That’s why the quote below really touched my heart. It filled me with hope. Sometimes it’s not about the details of a thing but how it moves your soul. And in times like this, we need hope.
I pray that in our free time away from the daily responsibilities at hand, we all find new ways to connect with each other, to grow, to heal and to learn. May we truly see each other in sweet, new ways. I pray we find peace and choose gentleness in the difficult moments. I pray we laugh until we cry happy tears. And cry to release the sadness when we feel overwhelmed. I pray we think of someone else and show kindness. I pray we take what we need and leave the rest so that we all can sustain ourselves. I pray that we discover new ways to be better coming out of this and while we are in it— let’s hold onto whatever it is that brings us hope and allow others to do the same.
P.S. Brainpop Jr., music, dancing, IG Live experiences, short walks in my neighborhood, texts, phone conversations, humor, chats with my daughter, prayer, my elliptical, open communication with my daughter’s teacher, family, love and a glass of wine or two have given me a lot of peace and hope this week! What keeps you hopeful in these weird, crazy times right now? Sending so much love and light to each of you always. Be well.
Tiffany Reneé is a writer, poet and activist based in New York. She is a free spirit who loves to truly connect with others. She believes that life gives us opportunities to learn and grow daily if we are open to see the beauty in the expansion. Family time, deep conversation, wine, cooking, music, laughter and travel are a few of her favorite things. She’s a soulful dreamer from the Midwest who has always been drawn to the city lights and the possibilities that exist in choosing “more” of what allows you to live a life that you love.