a year later…

It’s been a year. One whole year since my kids were sent home from their beloved classrooms, thought they’d be home for two weeks, and haven’t stepped foot inside their school since. Literally. Not a toe inside that door. 

A year. 

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. 

Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

(yes, yes I did sing that in my best Broadway musical voice, thank you for asking.)

When this all began I had a feeling it would be big.  I had hoped it would become a shift in how we live in this world. An understanding that it is our hearts that should lead us, not our heads, as we’ve tried to believe for far too long. In fact, this is part of what I wrote way back a year ago:

I wouldn’t wish pain or hardship on anyone. And I feel the hurt of people affected by this time in so many ways. So I don’t mean to take any of this lightly. And yet. This time has been fascinating for me, as a highly sensitive, empathic person. I (finally) feel as though I belong. It’s as though suddenly more people are experiencing the world as I do day to day.

I get the sense people are feeling a lot more than before. And I know it’s a lot. And I know it can feel scary. And also…I need to say – welcome to my world. This is how it has been from the start.

We’ve all been through “it” to some degree or another. And I hope, seeing as how each of us, and the world as a collective, has faced a ‘dark night of the soul’ we’ve conjured up new levels of compassion, kindness, and grace. 

Often, however, when I scroll the internets and accidentally find myself in comments I fear we have not. In fact, it sometimes seems like a favorite pastime is (intense) criticism.

But back to my original point.

Here we are, a year into this. Here’s what I’m holding onto as we hopefully start to move back into a world we call “normal” (even though absolutely nothing about any of this is normal).

  1. Practice compassion for all. Each and every one of us has layers, parts of ourselves we show the outside world, pieces we keep hidden, pain we try to hide, and a smile we put forth even when it’s hard. I have no idea what’s happening behind your closed doors, and you have no idea what’s happening behind mine. So approach all with kindness.
  2. Laugh when you can. Joy matters. Nothing matters if we can’t find joy, delight, in the moments of our days. As the Indigo Girls so wisely told me all those years ago, “And the best thing you’ve ever done for me…is to help me take my life less seriously…it’s only life after all…”
  3. Your truth may not be someone else’s truth. That’s ok. We need you as you are.
  4. We’re each on our own journeys but at the same time, as the saying says, “We’re all walking each other home.” 
  5. Moms don’t want to be superheroes, and it doesn’t actually feel good when we get complimented “You’re so amazing, how do you do it all? I could never….” We don’t want to be superheroes. We just want to be human, to be supported, to feel like we aren’t in charge of all the pieces ourselves. Beyond that, the key to unlocking the next phases of humanity and growth in our society comes with TAKING CARE OF THE MOMS. Gosh almighty when will we get this?
  6. No is a wonderful word and a powerful way to maintain your own strength. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. In fact, it is detrimental to you and everyone around you to attempt multitasking, compromising your needs, and coming up last. It will cause you to snap, scream “I’M LEAVING” and march out of your house while your kids look at each other, shrug, and mutter “I think she’s really lost it this time.” I mean, potentially. Not speaking from experience or anything. 
  7. Alignment of body, mind, and spirit is essential for a full life. And we all deserve to thrive.
  8. Children’s mental health matters. A lot. And they deserve to be listened to and treated with respect. Except for when they’ve been asking you for stuff alllllllll day, then it’s ok to put up a sign that says “unavailable” or walk around with pods in your ears pretending you can’t hear them or simply locking yourself in a bathroom. All acceptable choices.
  9. Oh, and you don’t have to slay or crush it or any host of other verbs that scare me, it is ok just to be, and to be a little quiet and gentle and actually not “crush it” at all.

But most of all, back to number one.

Compassion, compassion, compassion.

Geez Louise. We just don’t have space within ourselves or out in this world for cruelty. We don’t. What do hard times teach us beyond that?

The future is kindness, and I think we need to jump on that train or we’re going to get left behind. Everyone could use ample amounts of gentle, kind, compassionate heart centered healing these days. So pour it on thick and don’t hold back. 

I’m sure there’s more but I’ve got to sign off here. Been interrupted so many times that when my second grader just approached me saying “Mom, I’ve got a problem” I turned around, looked right at her, and calmly offered sound advice “If you got a problem, yo I’ll solve it, check out the hook while the DJ revolves it” and she is staring at me with wide eyes, and I’m feeling like I’ve burnt out for the day. Time to dance.

One. Whole. Year.

 Ice Ice Baby.

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