It’s been 10 days since my last blog post. Things in this country have gone from bad to worse. While there is not an end in sight for the United States at this point, other countries in the world are seeing the curve of death and illness start downward. This is hopeful for United States residents. We are at least 2 months behind due to ignorance and politics and a terrible mistake our country made in November of 2016. Americans are paying for that with their lives. But that is not what this is about.
How are you handling this extended quarantine? Are you staying home? Are you following the rules of shelter in place, and washing, washing, washing?
Me? I am still very afraid sometimes. But also, I am very brave sometimes. Because, when this is over, and it will be over, I don’t want to look back and be disappointed in myself. I want to have no regrets. No if-onlys or shoulda-woulda-couldas!
In our family, we have been sharing a lot of inspirational and motivational articles, memes and commentaries. My oldest daughter recently discovered and shared work by Brene Brown. Dr. Brown, PHD and LMSW, has written many books and given talks and podcasts about courage and is well known for her work. You can check out her website here: https://brenebrown.com/
I recently spoke with one of my sister-friends about my fears. She helped me realize I wanted to be the person Brene Brown described as “Awkward, Brave and Kind.” See below for the entire passage.
In my last blog post, I wrote about the comfort in knowing we are not alone. (https://notjusthorsingaround.com/2020/03/27/2020-pandemic-covid-19-hope-what-we-took-for-granted/ ) Have you discovered just how much you are not alone in the last few weeks? I have never been known for phone calls, video or face-to-face phone calls…until recently. In the last few weeks, I have called, and video messaged with my 3 daughters, separately and together, my sisters, my brother, my family and my friends. My housemate (aka husband) has also reached out via telephone and spoken with people instead of leaving communications to social media. To be fair, he has always been a “talk on the phone” person, but his conversations are more meaningful and touching these days. Maybe that is because there are no sports to talk about, insert winky emoticon here, but the shift is noticeable and poignant.
Hey! Hasn’t social media been a wonderful way of sharing photos, and daily contact with our loved ones and friends? That is also very comforting for me.
Speaking of media, for health reasons, I try to avoid the constant death and sickness updates and the lack of medical supplies, and the frightening news. I’ve taken to heart the recommendation to update my news fix only once or twice daily instead of frequently. When I say for health reasons, I mean the stress and anxiety that I feel when I see statistics and more about the spread and shortages of health care and equipment. It raises my blood pressure, gives me headaches and stomach aches. I am not alone, I know that. Many days, I work very hard at self-care (sure, instead of decluttering or cleaning house.) Besides the here and now moments, I want to have a strong immune system, you know, just in case. “Self-care” is a common phrase these days. I hope you are practicing.
Our “lists” grow longer every day, don’t they? The list of events and milestones that have been cancelled for you and your family, for me and my family: School days, college semesters, college graduations, birthday celebrations, Easter celebrations, short trips, long vacations, baby showers, group meetings and events, concerts, sporting events, fund raising galas, horse shows, the list goes on and on. It seems each cancelled event forces us to realize that this is serious. This is real. This is strange and scary.
But, good things happen too. Every day, people show up to do life saving work. So many people spread small and simple acts of kindness and care. Look around. You will find countless generous acts of love and compassion. Yes, some things will never change. But be assured, that, as this terrible frightening time in the world goes on and on and on, some things will change. Many of us will have learned some important lessons. What will your lessons be?
And finally, life does go on. In our large, loving, extended family, we celebrate a new life. Yes, we all considered how scary it is now to have a baby for the new parents. We realized how the celebration of this baby’s birth will be so very different from other celebrations. And we understand that the arrival of this baby boy is a beautiful gift. He has given us hope and joy and love and inspiration. He has reassured us, in the words of poet Carl Sandburg “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
Take heart. Be brave. Be kind. Please be well. I love you. You know who you all are.