I will admit I didn’t want to write this. I wanted to be writing about surviving dance recitals and the best coffee shops for kids or a whole list of fun activities and places to go for spring and early summer with your little ones. But here I am.
Like all of you, I’m practicing social distancing. And it’s stressful.
I’m trying my best to work a full-time job from home, help my kindergartner stay stimulated now that virtual school just ended, make sure my essential-worker husband has everything he needs to stay safe as he leaves the house most days, and keep all of us healthy, happy, and active.
And it is hard. I don’t think I’ve gone a single day during these last several weeks without crying. I’ve watched my daughter’s heart break over and over again as I’ve broken the news of cancelled dance classes, cancelled school, cancelled t-ball seasons, and even a cancelled birthday party.
I’m typically a very optimistic person. My glass is always half-full. When we first learned we wouldn’t be heading back to work and school after spring break. My initial reaction was, “okay, we can handle a couple of weeks at home. No worries. Everything will be fine.” Then as the stay-home order continued past a month and schools officially closed for the year, my spirits began to wane.
My glass was suddenly looking a little more empty, and I started becoming increasingly discouraged that all of the amazing and fun things we had planned, all of those special end of kindergarten milestones, and all of the hard work preparing for dance competitions would not be realized.
I’ve cried, my daughter has cried, and my poor husband is just trying to figure out how to make life seem “normal” for all of us. But today, I’ve decided to refill my glass.
I am going to focus, not on all the things we are missing, but on the little wins.
Every day, I am going to do my best to find at least one win. One thing that went right. One thing that turned out amazing. One thing that we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do if it wasn’t for a national health crisis keeping us home.
It may be small. My daughter’s sidewalk chalk art is a beautiful neighborhood-brightening win. Having the opportunity to spend quality time watching a movie at home with my family is a relaxing win. The ability to have dinner together at 6:00 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. after late dance practices is a much needed win. These wins might not be huge. However, I’m going to focus on finding the wins whether big or small.
I’m going to stop watching those online friends who are somehow able to redecorate their entire houses while I’m doing good to keep my dishes washed each day. I’m going to remember that quarantine isn’t a death sentence, it isn’t forever, and it isn’t a competition to see who can do it best.
It’s okay to just be surviving.
It’s okay to need that extra cup of coffee or to go lock yourself in your bedroom for just 15 minutes of peace and quiet.
Whatever you need to do for yourself and your family to keep everyone physically and emotionally healthy, that is what is the best thing right now. That is your win for the day.