Social isolating so far…
Well, we are hiking, baking bread, crafting, biking, learning Spanish, learning ukulele, reading, doing math, learning to cook… Pretty impressive right? Yes and no. This of course is only part of the story and it’s only our story and only our story some days.
If I only talked about these activities and how great it has all been, I would alienate a lot of people and I would be lying.
For example, during our beautiful, sunny morning walk the other day my girls had a full-on street brawl. I don’t mean they called each other some unkind names and that was the end of it. I mean, it was fists to cuffs in the middle of the street. I was mortified.
You want to know what I did? I walked away and pretended I was not with them 😬. I was so tired that day and just did not have it in me this morning to referee another fight. So, I walked away and prayed they did not hurt each other (don’t worry, they are fine!)
There have been some absolutely beautiful moments in all of this so far. We have been doing all of the things I mentioned, sometimes successfully and with so much love for one another and other times through anger, tears and slamming doors. It is seriously such a mixed bag. Every. Single. Day.
There has also been some incredible learning for our family. Like, what the heck were we spending our money on before all this that our credit card bill this month is significantly lower? Or how are we surviving with no noticeable impact without making a zillion stops to the grocery store during the week?
We are learning to make due with less and that part has been wonderful. This has been a goal for our family for a while. Nothing like a worldwide pandemic to give you the push you need to simplify your life and appreciate what you have.
I just really wanted to write something about how complex this whole thing is. It is not just one way for all people.
Sometimes I see people post things that seem to want to make this about 1 thing or reduce it down to a simple lesson. It is not that easy. The most common post I have seen is about our grandparents being called to war and us being called to sit on our couch. As if to imply this should be equally easy for everyone and that we are living with the exact same situations. I get the gist of what people are trying to get across (be grateful, past generations have had it worse, etc.), but for some people this is not just some relaxing time to sit on their couch and binge watch Netflix.
Maybe they are living in violence, maybe they have challenging children who are not able to access their regular support, maybe they are on their couch because they have lost their job and are just sitting there wondering where next month’s rent will come from, maybe they are trying to still work full time from home and homeschool children that are resistant to being homeschooled, or who need constant support… we have no idea what people’s situations are or what ‘staying at home’ means for them.
Some days, I think, this is wonderful. We are exercising more, spending quality time as a family, trying out new activities, etc. Other days, I slog through the day. I don’t know if I can take another day of my kids fighting, I worry about the uncertainty of the future, I worry for people who are alone and isolated and feeling unsupported and I struggle to get my work done, knowing this is definitely not my best.
These are complicated times. We as a society will have many shared experiences. AND, we will all experience this in our own unique way. Let’s not take that away from one another or assume that we are all experiencing this in the same way.
Less assumptions- more curiosity, less judgement- more grace, less individualism-more community. Be gentle with one another.