Today is officially one month (4 weeks) since we have been isolating. Four weeks of staying home, no restaurants, stores, movie theaters, church, piano practice, basketball games, coffee dates at Starbucks, family gatherings, daily workouts with my cousin and so much more. At the start of this I wondered how we were going to make this work. Right away we decided we would need to take it one day at a time and here we are 29 days later!
So much has happened. So many great things and so much growth in our family. There has also been so much pain and loss around us. The emotions that are swirling around during this time are wild.
I woke up over an hour later than I wanted to and I was so frustrated. I get so angry with myself when I do that! I basically miss out on my alone time! I had decided I would have to wait to do my run until later, which always causes me so much anxiety, but when I went to make my coffee my running clothes were staring at me right in my face. (Our laundry area is near the kitchen). I decided to just go! It would make my already frustrating day better if I just got it done. So that’s just what I did and I am so glad I did. It was the reset I needed and a beautiful morning.
Because I ran late it did make it so the kids started school a bit late but they all finished before lunch! This has never happened yet so they were so proud of themselves! I was also proud of them. They were able to just relax the rest of the afternoon and this meant I could focus better on my work!
I was so blessed to have a new life experience today (I am being sarcastic here). In continuing to help my dad in this tough time, I have been trying to apply for his unemployment for him. He does not have access to the internet or have the money to pay for the minutes to call to do it on the phone. Anyway, when trying to apply I got an error message saying his birthdate did not match what they have on file. This meant I had to call :(.
I am not sure if everyone is aware of the unemployment situation in the US right now but it is HORRIBLE! They have been warning that there are incredibly long wait times if you call. I tried to call yesterday and waited over an hour and while I was waiting a recording came on saying the office was now closed. So I did call again today early in the morning to avoid interrupting my zoom meeting with my students. After being transferred to another department after 3 hours and having to three-way call my dad with the lady who finally answered to help after the 4th hour, we are waiting for a call back to verify the issue has been resolved. I also was disconnected at the 4th hour with the lady that was helping me and thank Jesus she called me back!!!
So in short, I spent over 5 hours on the phone waiting for someone to help me!
I do not feel as bad for myself as I do the workers. I cannot imagine how horrible people are treating them during this time. I pray that people are gracious to them. I also feel bad for those that need to apply and don’t have the resources to do so. It is just a rough situation all around.
The good news is I made it through my zoom call without them answering so that was good! Today I talked to my students about the different kinds of stress and how they could handle the stress. While putting together my presentation I realized that a lot of symptoms of stress and depression are the same. I think that there are a lot of “depressed” people walking around that are actually chronically stressed. Then my thinking went further. What if during this time of isolation people start to feel relief from their stress and like the feeling of not being busy and overworked or over committed. Will this change things for them when we go back to “normal” life?
I am really proud of Aaron. He decided to start working on his youtube channel again. He has had this goal for some time and has all the equipment but just hasn’t committed a lot of time to it. So he has been working on that during the day here and there when he gets a chance. I love when he does something that brings him joy!
Our walk tonight was even colder than yesterday! We all had our winter coats on. It was 41 but the “feel like” was 31 and it was super windy! It was a quick walk. When we returned the kids wanted to watch a movie so they chilled while Aaron and I used the time to have our individual alone time. We have not done that in a while and everyone voted we need to put that back in the schedule.
At dinner I announced that it has been one whole month of isolation. I used my fork as a microphone and interviewed everyone at the table asking them how this made them feel. Here is the report:
Addie: “I miss Starbucks” this is funny because she only gets something maybe once a month. LOL
Parker: “I miss going to the arcades” this is also funny because this happens about once a month on date nights. (During normal life we have individual dates with each kid each month with Aaron and I separately.)
Alaina: “I miss normal school and my friends and going to the parks”
Me: “I guess there is not a whole lot for me”
It was interesting to reflect on this. Thinking back over the past month, not one of us has said anything like “I wish we could just…” The only real thing that has come up is that the kids really miss their friends and appreciate going to school now!
I then asked what goals they had for the next 4 weeks of isolation and that was just a fun conversation filled with things such as buying lots of toys and playing more video games and so on.
Final thoughts and challenge: This afternoon during my God time (my whole schedule was off as I said) I read in my devotional. The passage was part of the famous Proverbs 31 verses. The author’s point was that this passage was never meant to be taken literally but more as metaphorically. It is a message of restoration. The woman described is a picture of what it is to be in Christ, restored to God. At the end of the passage it says “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” He is the one who restores us and makes us this woman because of what he has done for us. It is not what we do but what he does for and through us.
I remember reading this passage with a totally different idea in mind. It stressed me out thinking about being the woman described in these verses and that is because I cannot be that woman on my own, it is impossible! I must depend on the Lord!
Once again I am assured I do not have to have it all together during this time! It is okay that my kids are not perfect, that sometimes I lose my temper, that my kids are getting more screen time than ever and a little more junk food. God is working in and through me to help me be just who my family needs me to be at this time.
How are you doing with trying to be perfect? Any luck? Have you gotten this whole isolation thing down pat yet? Do you need to give yourself some grace and relax a little? Maybe let things be what they will be? I need to do a little more of this!