Today would have been my daughter’s first dance recital.
As I look at the calendar and see all the canceled events due to COVID-19, it makes me sad. I mourn the firsts that my daughter would have experienced as her Kindergarten year is winding to an end. I mourn that we won’t be able to celebrate birthdays as we usually did, for the time being. I’ll be honest, I even cried the other day because I was so sad for my daughter and the fact that she can’t see her classmates and teachers. I can’t even imagine what she is going through, being only 6, and unable to process the scope of things.
And then there are other moments where I feel a sense of relief that all of our obligations are gone. All we truly have at any given moment is the present anyway, so this is truly a gift of being able to stop everything and appreciate the now. The only place I have to be is right here, in my house, with the people I love most; my family. My gratitude is a daily practice. We have our health, loved ones near our side, food to eat, a roof over our heads, a job. We have everything we “need”. We are blessed.
Then the next moment I am nearly in tears trying to teach my child from home with her distant learning for school. I am not a good teacher. My daughter does not like this new normal, her new routine. I am not her teacher. It makes me sad when we argue and fight, especially during such a time when this is the last thing her and I need added to our day. We are both empaths, and highly sensitive people, so the feelings of deep, deep emotions are very heavy for us. Whether we want to or not, we feel what is going on in the world right now.
I am sure this time is looking different for everyone. For me, daily practice of meditation, yoga, writing in my journal, and escaping to the shower while the kids are busy, have kept me sane. While I often lose it and want to quit, I remind myself that we are all in this together. Through the darkness we will grow stronger and lighter. Through the darkness, some of our greatest lessons will be learned.
For now, I constantly remind myself, just like I would to my children, to take deep breaths. To stop yelling so much. To take a break. To find some alone time, even if that means a minute to myself in the closet (for real). To get outside even if it’s cold, just to breathe in fresh air and appreciate nature. To be here, now, for the present moment is all we truly have. To have faith that the universe has our back. To give myself grace when I mess up. To commit to only what brings me joy, because my free time is so limited now. To appreciate those that are out there keeping us safe. To reach out with a helping hand to those that need it most, those that have experienced loss and hardship. To remember that we are in this together, and that although at times I feel like I am all alone and may lose my mind, I remind myself that every single one of us is going through this together, and while it may not look the same for everyone, we are all experiencing some sort of uncomfortable season in our lives.
Whether you find that this time has been beneficial or not for you and your family, I ask that we come together and spread the kindness and the joy that we wish to see come back to us. When we complain, follow it with a moment of gratitude. When we scream because we can’t take this anymore, remember that through this pain we find purpose. When we feel so isolated and crave the touch of another human being who isn’t our family, remind ourselves that everything is temporary.
This will end. Someday. And until then, keep breathing, for that is a gift in itself right now.