Where do we go from here?

I finally had “that week”. The one where the uncertainty felt too much, death from COVID felt too close to home, the schoolwork felt too frustrating, and the indoor time made my skin crawl. I wanted to get the kids outside, but the rain limited options. I lost my shit on my husband, and started the dreaded “score keeper” calendar. The one where I mark his free time in one color and mine in another to see who was getting more “me time”. (Really not proud to admit that one.) And then I piled a massive amount of guilt and shame on myself because in the grand scheme of things we are so very lucky. We have a roof over our head, good education, healthcare, food in the fridge, and a front yard to luxuriously play in. But that’s the thing about suffering, it is relative and it is our own and must be experienced in order to process it and get through it. That’s the goal for me. Get through the fear and suffering and then make it into something I learn from.

Yoga, meditation, and humor in the form of memes and TV shows have helped to lift the clouds of depression and keep me afloat during these strange days, but in the dark of night more serious topics keep coming to me in my dreams. Two nights ago I woke in a panic after dreaming that a friend had died while with me and I didn’t know CPR and was unable to save her life. A few nights prior my husband and I had been trapped on an incredibly steep ski mountain, unable to ski hard enough or fast enough to get home to our children and tell them that an atomic bomb was about to blow up nearby. I’ve dreamt of unfixable rashes all over my face, and the worst was one night when I woke at 3am from a dream where I floated in the ocean with 5 children. Huge waves started to form and I saved all the children but my own daughter who was ripped away by the current and drowned before my eyes. I felt shaken all day after that one. Because I have so much right now – I keep telling myself that I can’t be stressed. But I think these dreams tell a different story.

Whether we are “haves” or “have nots” in these turbulent times, stress is most likely hitting us all on some level. So this week after news of a family member dying, I allowed myself to really cry for all that has been lost. From the big to the small. I cried for the homeless, the elderly, those dying alone without family in the hospital room, the college and high school seniors missing their moment in the sun, the lonely, the school age children missing year end shows and experiences, the double working parents who feel like they are failing either work or children at any given moment, the mandatory work force employees who HAVE to show up in order to keep people alive. The list goes on and on. I just let it all out. I cried with one friend over the phone, but mostly it was by myself while I listened to music that my children call “this makes me feel sad” music. After the crying, I texted one friend who asked how I was doing and said, “I am just being gentle with myself today.” So that is my recommendation to you today. Be gentle with yourself. Cry if you need to. Hug someone you are sheltering in with if you have that option. And if you are alone, place your hands over you heart, close your eyes, and imagine that me and many others are sending waves of love across the universe to you right now. Sometimes that action can really move the needle for me. Hands on heart. And let’s all remember that this too will come to an end. And many of us will have the option to be better afterwards. This video was sent to me by a friend this morning. It is the most powerful thing I have seen in weeks. Grateful for the reminder that we can learn so much from this time. We can do better. For all of us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw5KQMXDiM4

And a big part of feeling normal for me, is figuring out a way to be proactive and help. So in that vain – I am offering up a food drive that any and all in my local area can participate in. I have been heart broken to hear that the local food pantries, which literally keep thousands of people alive in our towns year round, are running low. I think I have figured out a safe way to host a Little Wings Event. (Sidebar – after a decade of being in action, I promise I will update this crummy website soon!) This Thursday afternoon, I plan to have people drive through our u-shaped driveway and just pop their trunks. I will be masked and gloved. If you bring bags of non-perishable goods, we will get them to Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Carver Center, and Person-to-Person. I have personally worked with each of these NGOs and can attest to the incredible work they are doing. (Margaret thanks for emailing and reminding me that we can get creative and help even during quarantine!) I have a sense we will all feel so much better after we take some small “action” to help others. Anything you can spare – or for those ordering or shopping for food, perhaps you can add a bag full of extras to your list? And if you don’t live near me, please consider giving to your local food pantry. So many of them serve elderly who are completely shut in right now. Now more than ever they need our help.

Peace and love and light to all today friends. Thank you for staying in touch during this journey into the unknown. So glad we are in this together.

When The Days All Feel The Same

During this challenging time I keep hearing people say that the days seem to fly by and nobody is getting anything done. I also hear, “It’s like groundhog day. I can’t even keep track of what day of the week it is! They all feel the same.” This frenetic sense of time flying by and… read more

Grateful For, Working On, Proud Of

How are you all friends? I wanted to share how we are doing in our home. Some things that are working, and some things that have been difficult. It’s our story right now. More and more I am feeling called to share my story on this blog with the hopes that in the sharing, it… read more

When Friendship Works

In each decade of my life I have looked back and been able to see that while I worked on many things broadly, there was usually one thing that got my fullest attention. In my first decade it was academic learning. In my teens it was my family. In my twenties I was ALL about… read more

Keep Calm and Shop On

Just a few of my favorite things right now. I know that anxiety is running high for many with news of coronavirus getting worse and worse. Despite my inclination to veer towards hysteria, I am staying calm, washing hands, and still booked to get on a plane in two weeks for spring break. I was… read more

What If The Day You Were Born Didn’t Exist?

I will start out by saying that each and every adoption story is different. Some have beautiful joyous outcomes, and others do not. This story that I share in brief below is my mother’s story. It highlights some of her feelings, and the feelings that I have felt while bearing witness to her life for… read more

A Health and Wellness Dynamic Duo

I don’t know about all of you, but after the holidays I felt a major health and wellness slump approaching. I had eaten many foods I am intolerant of, had WAY too much sugar, and was having trouble sleeping. Needless to say, I was thrilled to join in for just over a week of detoxing… read more

Parenting Well: Understanding Our Adolescent Girls

I must admit, our holiday break in Vermont was pretty heavenly. Lots of time outdoors skiing and hiking, and very little time plugged into my phone or computer. BUT now that I am back at my desk and thinking about the months ahead, I am getting really excited to write and share more with you… read more

Beautycounter for Teens

Another great one for the tweens and teens in your life. Over at my place we’ve finally hit the age where one of my children is asking for make up and face products for Christmas. (Yes, my first little person is on her way to adulthood. Creeping, but still on her way…) I’ve said before… read more

Great Girl Gift: Rowan

People! While there is a lot of love and peace in this season, it’s also the season of mayhem and chaos as we rush around trying to find just the right gift for each and every person we love. If you’ve got a girl, and she’s got her ears pierced (or wants to in the… read more