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 standing still at the same moment is our new normal over here. For about 10 days now I have been trying to sit down and share these thoughts, and I just couldn’t get there. Cooking, cleaning, worrying, relaxing, over-thinking, under-moving – all very real distractions. I’m grateful for a quiet moment now on a rainy day to write. So here goes!

This week I am hitting the judgement “pause” button. I see some who have traveled while others stayed put. Some very worried, while others think it is all being blown out of proportion. Honestly it’s very hard to figure out what is the right call during these times. I continue to go to the grocery store (once a week) while others think it is safer if they order their food. I have walked with other people outside at a safe distance which feels safe to me, and yet I know that makes some people nervous. So instead of wondering too much about what others are up to, I am just trying to stay centered and content in my own little corner of the universe. I’m back on the “mat” and have been doing yoga at home with a subscription to Melissa Wood Health. She is a mom of two who has come up with a workout that includes awareness, pilates, yoga, and some of her own moves and techniques that just jive really well with what I need right now. My lower back was the worst it had been in a year about 3 weeks ago. I think being homebound and not moving as much a usual was really tightening it up. And then I added jogging into the mix to burn off stress and anxiety. The combo was no bueno. Three days in a row of Melissa’s stretch yoga 40 minute workout and I am back in action. Pressing pause on jogging until some of the spasms have subsided.

One of the new challenges many parents have been facing is how to educate from home. We are lucky our school has done a great job of creating a platform with both Google Classroom and Zoom so that our children can continue to learn during these months of quarantine. Even with that, it’s been a real challenge for me to play the role of teacher. This article about the difference between homeschooling and crisis schooling was a game changer for me as a panicked each time I realized a child had missed a zoom call with their class or hadn’t gotten all of their assigned work finished for the day. The author reminded me that homeschooling is something parents spend months and years preparing for. And while they homeschool, their children still participate in after school activities, travel and go to stores regularly. For us right now, this is not technically homeschooling. There was no planning ahead, and all the social aspects of our children’s lives have been put to a halt. This is actually crisis schooling that was born of an immediate and scary circumstance. It is not the same thing. Over here we are considering this time to be a “school of life” time. That family walk down to the dead end has become as important to us as the 6-10 math problems we are assigned each day. We are doing our best to learn in new ways, and are identifying and giving value to the things we can learn now in the absence of the hustle and bustle of the old days. Kids are helping to cook, doing more chores, and my 11 year old now knows how to do her own laundry – almost.

On the education front – it’s been a great opportunity for me to identify some leading skills and some lagging skills of my own. When it comes to teaching, my patience could use some improvement. Our 5 year old can count to 20, but EVERY SINGLE TIME he skips the number 15. Not kidding. At first we were working hard to get him to figure it out, and now we as a family actually think it is hilarious and whenever we need a little levity we ask JT to count to 20. The room erupts into laughter when he inevitably goes from 14 to 16. And since identifying that I wasn’t born to teach young ones, I was so grateful when a friend introduced me to Outschooling.com. The site is an amazing online space where teachers offer classes to be taken on Zoom from topics ranging from guitar lessons to “Animals of the Desert” to painting. JT has now taken 3 $11 courses on animals with a mother of 4 who has been a teacher for 18 years. He Zooms into the classroom and sees the teacher as well as 6-8 other children in their “home classrooms” from all over the US. It’s so fun to see how other people are bunkering in during these times. And Sophie had a blast doing an art class while a close friend also did it across town in her own home. They Facetimed after to compare their works. Super cute!

I have long been a supporter of Brene Brown and blogged about one of her wonderful books here. She recently started a podcast called Unlocking Us. The episode I listened to (link in the previous sentence) was fabulous. Brene addresses the idea of comparative suffering. I love that she reminds us that empathy is infinite, and that we won’t run out of it. You can and are given permission to feel badly for your own small struggles, while also realizing and making space for struggles, illness, and calamities that are much worse than the ones you are experiencing. Right now I hear so many people saying, “This is hard, but I know others have it worse.” It isn’t an either/or thing in my mind. It is an and/also. This is hard for me. AND I also know it is hard for others. I will hold space for my own small sufferings, while sending love and compassion to others facing this and so much more. The podcast also has some great reminders about how important it is to check in with family members and sheltering-in partners at this time. It looks like this. Early in the day I might ask John, “How full is your tank today?” And if his tank is almost empty, then the hope is that I will have a little more to give on that day and can be the positive one who lifts a little more weight. And then in the days ahead those roles may reverse, and hopefully on a day when I am firing off at 20%, John would have a full tank and be the heavy lifter in our home. Any time communication is strengthened by a new practice you can count me in. I’m thinking this might be a good conversation to have with the kids too. I like the idea of telling them that we are going to pick “superheroes” for the day. The sibling who feels the strongest, bravest, and most compassionate for a few hours or even the day could be identified as our “line leader”. I think giving them opportunities to lead is a win-win as we continue to learn new things in new ways from home. Sending love and light to you all and your loved ones today.


  1. lena pless says:

    Lindley,now don’t be hard on yourself as I know you are doing a fabulous job balancing between the kids and John and doing for yourself.This is all about coping skills for everyone as I have always preached early on.There is good that is going to come out of this.I love it,Emma helping with the laundry.Maybe so many clean clothes won’t be added!!!And love the fact you are not running off to 20 activities.Hikes,games,yes a balance is good.This is a bit too eccentric but only hoping a good change will come out of this
    as you have said “God has a plan.”
    Love you all so much.Do treasure the humor!

  2. Lena Pless says:

    The trees look gorgeous!!

  3. AS always, I love to learn from you, Lindley. Thank you for putting this food for thought out to help us through this strange time and nourish our souls.
    Love are such a gift.

  4. Erika Walker says:

    What an insightful post. Last night’s reunion was so much fun and now I get to click on links and peruse. I also read the article about crisis schooling and am careful not to call what I am going through home schooling. This was not something I deliberately prepared for to better my children’s education and worldly knowledge.
    To better connect them to the world, family, and for some God. No, this was dropped on us and we are making sugar out of shit. I am frustrated by my school system because things aren’t easy to navigate and my 8 yo isn’t getting much but in reflection I don’t want more money spent to make me more comfortable. I’m glad my school system is feeding needy families and bringing devices and internet to families who otherwise couldn’t participate at all. I am learning to celebrate the new skills the kids have picked up. All are rollerblading, including the 3 yo who despite the fact that she can barely stand on them is challenging her eldest brother to a race. She is such a determined human being and is riding her balance bike. All 3 are speaking Spanish better than ever owing to the fact that they are home all day with our nanny Ruth. We are so lucky to have her! She also was also thrown into now having a 12 hour days and she is exhausted too. She is the primary caregiver when my husband and I are working so when I’m off I try to prioritize her need for rest and restoration. She’s scared for her family abroad and she is restricted from traveling. I know how anxiety provoking that can be. I love the idea of “super hero” for the day.

    I also thoroughly enjoy listening to Brene Brown. She is so full of whit, common sense, and wisdom.

    This post was important so thank you for sharing.

Leave a Comment