Home from college, the boys nest into the house. Snowing on and off, Christmas fills the air with the feeling of the holidays. But instead of cheer, a nervous energy envelopes us.
No one celebrates. Stockings are stuffed with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The world prepares for the plague, a mishandled flu that's now a pandemic.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. I am so happy to have my boys home with us. And feel terrible that we now treat them like first graders, not letting them out of our home. And this is the necessary reality we live in. They are troopers.
It took a few days for all of us to adjust. We now seem to be in a good routine with everyone pitching in to cook, clean, and organize the homestead. That adjustment did not happen organically. Many negotiations and family meetings ensued before we effectuated our new normal.
Last night we sat down to a huge dinner that Baby Pantry prepared from start to finish and I toasted our little clan, “Sometimes y'all drive me crazy. But there's no one in the world I'd rather be shut in with than the three of you.” It's my truth. Others are not so lucky. They are alone. They don't have enough to eat. This is the truth.
Still as someone with three autoimmune diseases (MS, Celiac Disease, and Hashimoto's) I'm in my own tricky spot. My neurologist is particularly concerned about the possibility of my getting COVID-19, and how it could exacerbate and accelerate my disease process. Regardless, we are all in the same boat, which I call Coronaphobia.
I seek solace in this strange time. Words from my high school buddy Michael Franti ring true, “We aren’t actually “socially distancing,” we are “physically distancing.””
Baratunde is a wicked combination of smart and funny. In this newsletter he says, “Let's breathe but not on each other.” Then there is the quote from Shaka Senghor, an absolutely towering American figure. Senghor sent me a signed copy of his memoir a couple of years ago when I was working with a non-profit he ran at that time.
Senghor offers an idea of how we can live in this particular moment:
One of the things that has stuck with me to this day from my moments in solitary confinement is I realize that if I can get through the pain of the moment, I can come out on the other side. And so this is a moment to moment thing, there's gonna be moments when you're gonna feel so overwhelmed, especially parents who have children at home, parents who are caring for elderly, people with loved ones who have been sick, but if you can get through the moment, the pain of the moment, you can come out on the other side. And it's just a moment by moment thing, it's not a day thing. You can't get through the day if you can't get through the moment. Check in with yourself, “hey, how am I really feeling?”
I need to hear those words of wisdom because right now, the collective faces tension and pressure. As one doctor said to me, “Even with our immediate loved ones and surroundings safe, everyone is dealing with a prolonged stress response” This is it in a nutshell.
Sometimes it takes a good laugh to make sense of things! Check out the video below, again, another great connect from Baratunde:
Oh dear! That video made me laugh out loud! Anyway, how are you holding up in your neck of the woods? What's on your mind today? Leave a comment and let me know. Y'all are my favorite virtual family and I am so grateful for the connection and comments of this amazing community!