Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic,
I sensed a familiar feeling in my body:
dread, anxiety, resilience…
I realized that I had been through this before.
Yes, the details are different,
but so much of what we’ve learned as a military family translates into the quarantine era.
These are some of those lessons…
Planning even with a cloud is an act of hope, an act of resurrection, an act of resistance. Sure, things might need to change, but we look ahead anyway. How can we not?
Here’s the thing with quantity time… the more of it we have, the easier it is to forget to engage in quality time.
Sure, the song in this video is out of season, and sure, it’s several years old now. But I love it so much because for EVERY ONE of these lines, I either have my own story or have heard one from a good friend. She nails it.
If you just read that and thought, “Oh, that doesn’t apply to me”… it does.
Whatever you’re feeling – anxious, scared, uncertain, angry, etc – the kids probably are too. What would it be like to tell them what you’re feeling and ask what they are feeling?
This one’s rough. It’s hard. There are no two ways about it.
Because you know what takes up lots of energy but is never ever added to our to-do lists? Existential fear and anxiety. And those are taking up WAY more emotional and mental energy than it might seem. We rarely account for them, even though they’re playing a huge part in most of our lives right now.
So we told the kids, “We don’t know exactly when he’ll be home, but it won’t be soon. It might be around Halloween, but we always know plans can change.” Sure, it ended up being before then, but we knew that being surprised at an early date was better than them planning on May then being disappointed. Instead of answering that question of “When will it be over?” incessantly, we focused on living our lives in our temporary-new-normal, for however long “temporary” would be.
Temporary-New-Normals are an odd thing, because we act in faith and hope that it isn’t a forever-new-normal, and yet it’s long enough that we really can’t just press “pause” on our lives and wait it out.
Sometimes, when we know that we’re embarking on long-term trauma – especially these particularly uncertain ones – we have to crash. Maybe it doesn’t look like Oreos for you, maybe it’s something else. But for me, in order to gear up for the next round, I have to let down for a little while.
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