[Confession: I started this post sincerely thinking it would be a light one about how I started drinking more water to take care of myself in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. LOL. Read on to find out why I couldn't make that the main takeaway!]
Just three weeks ago in Seattle, Washington...
Tuesday, our oldest son overheard a teacher say they might be closing school.
Wednesday, the email came: "Schools will be closed a minimum of 14 calendar days".
Thursday, another update: School would be closed for 6 weeks. At least.
Our world had been turned upside-down.
In a matter of days, I heard left and right of other friends' schools being closed, events being canceled, and whole cities, counties, and states taking drastic measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.
I pictured my grandma sitting alone in her brown recliner, unable to leave her assisted living home. Was ever I going to see her, healthy, again?
The link lists and homeschooling ideas came pouring into my social media feeds and inbox. Was I really in charge of my kids' education for the forseeable future?
Then Greg found out his work would need to carry on as usual, but from home - and that a reduced schedule wasn't on the table.
I cried for all the times in my life I felt like my needs and dreams had gotten shoved aside to be able to rise to the occasion of whatever was needed of me.
Have a newborn but need to go to grad school? I'm on it.
Baby waking through the night but you need to sleep in? I'm on it.
Move to a new city but too late in the year to get into a good preschool? I'm on it.
I'll do it. I'll take care of it. Who else will if I won't?
"What about ME!?" I wanted to scream. "Don't I matter?"
If you're feeling any of what I felt three weeks ago, know that you're not alone.
We're experiencing grief, on a personal and global level.
Whether you're saddened by not being able to see friends and family, overwhelmed by how the crisis is affecting your community, panicked with not knowing what will happen with your job, or sobered by knowing someone who's lost a loved one, these are important and valid feelings.
Feel your feelings and tell the people you trust when you're ready.
(I definitely left tearful voice messages, text-messaged up a storm with friends, and talked to Greg after I'd cooled off.)
We'll dive into more practical tips for taking great care of yourself and your family later.
For now, a big virtual hug from me to you, and full permission to be sad, mad, afraid, or whatever else you may be.
You're human in a weird time, and that's okay. Your brave self care for today can be to feel whatever's coming up for you without judgement and let it run its course.
We're in this together.
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