Friday, April 10, 2020

The New Normal...

We've had a lot of rain this week, it's starting to feel like we live in the NW instead of a southern CA beach town. These days, I am loving the rain! More warm fires, more cuddling, and more baking! In fact, today it's been raining since we went to bed last night and has only changed in intensity.

As we prepare to spend the afternoon reflecting on all things Good Friday during this hunker down Lockdown, I am choosing to focus on the things for which I'm most grateful. 

My husband.
My baby girl who just turned FIVE!!!
My Boxer girl Sophie
Our home and the roof over our heads
Our heating in the house, though I must say, our Nest is so confused right now with all this staying home business
My family who joined us in a virtual birthday party to sing happy birthday to our girl
Jesus, for being a living example of how to live, and for sacrificing himself for us
For this rain pouring down right now, watering all of our plants (maybe not so much the little flash of lightning I just think I saw out of the corner of my eye!)
For Peter Sagan and his amazing personality
For everyone else who makes us laugh during this crazy time

And mostly(hah), for chocolate chip cookies and birthday cake.

These past few weeks have been challenging as we've learned how to stay at home while staying sane. I think we are finally finding a routine, and everyday I try to remind myself I want to come out of this a new/renewed person, in my faith, my mental AND physical well-being, my marriage, my parenting...among others.

I read an interesting article this week about productivity in this COVID-19 time, and I want to share it with you because it kinda hit home with me, especially the comment about the "alleged" free time LOL Here is the link.  

This week especially we have had to learn to celebrate in new ways with our families, as we celebrate Passover and Easter. Let us never forget how meaningful family gatherings of any kind are, and let us never again take them for granted the next time we consider attending (or not attending) them in the future.

My hope is our "New Normal" is one of better appreciation of each other and our families, and a renewed sense of family and close friends. Connection is important, in these times and even when/if we go back to "normal." We cannot overuse FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, whatever to connect with families near and far.

Now, go wash your hands ;) and give your family a big hug.


PS I want to share this wonderful poem shared by my friend Deacon Mike earlier this week:

"When this is over, may we never again take for granted

A handshake with a stranger

Full shelves at the store

Conversations with neighbors

A crowded theater

Friday night out

The taste of communion

A routine checkup

The school rush each morning

Coffee with a friend

The stadium roaring

Each deep breath

A boring Tuesday

Life itself.

When this ends

may we find

that we have become

more like the people

we wanted to be

we were called to be

we hoped to be

and may we stay

that way — better

for each other

because of the worst."

by Laura Kelly Fanucci

Thursday, April 2, 2020

"The Numbers" and all the "extra" time

Well, things have escalated rather quickly here and there and everywhere in just a few short weeks. According to "the numbers," in 3 weeks’ time San Diego has gone from 5 to nearly 1000, the US has exceeded 200K, and the world over 1 million. Astonishing, to say the least. If you focus on the numbers... 

Italy is a few weeks ahead of us in the new “lockdown” era...I'm curious what a day in the life of one of those families with young children looks like right now. How are they coping? What are their struggles? Daily habits?

We have been making the best of it, I suppose. I’m very thankful to be in California right now. The sudden closures and lockdown our governor and local authorities "quickly" put in place thus far seems to be having a positive effect on things. “The numbers are not as bad as projected” is basically what they’re saying, as they brace for a busy month, predicting that April will determine how things really play out in our far as "the numbers" go. Sigh. 

Now that everything has been cancelled (including ALL bike races around the world through June 1st), we’re slowly adjusting to our “new normal.” I think our family is doing a great job hunkering down and doing what we’re told to help flatten the curve and keep ourselves and those around us healthy. As far as internal operations, I’d give us a C+ for these first couple of weeks. My husband will probably give us a higher grade than that though 😉 I've found it particularly difficult to be positive lately, but my wise husband recommended if I look at the news, focus on the local stuff, and try not to pay as much attention to the national or international news, which is awful and horrifying and all of those not-so feel good words. And I think it's helped me a lot in the last few days. 

"The numbers" are hard for me. I was an accountant for more years than I care to remember, and to me, those digits were just that. When you work with millions of dollars in numbers, they kinda have to be. I guess. But this pandemic thing is different. Those numbers don't represent dollar bills and pennies. They represent something, someONE, living, possibly suffering or worse. Those are parents, grandparents, children, etc....and they matter. They're not "just numbers." AND my husband is right. If we focus too much on these numbers, we go out-of-our-minds-lose-it crazy, worrying and stressing out and using up that precious energy we need. To be here, now, for our families who are with us today within these walls. And that energy is precious, isn't it? Let us never take that for granted. Especially now. 

I keep hearing things like “Now that you’ve got all this time on your hands, this is a great time to blah blah blah.” I wonder, am I the only one who does not have all that free time? Because I sure feel like I've got a lot less time these days. I suppose those with no children (or jobs :( ?) God bless you for having this extra time. I can’t help feeling a little jealous on some level.

Life for us is very different. My husband is working from home full time (which he just loves 😳). My daughter’s preschool has been out for 3 weeks now, and they won’t be returning to the physical classroom this school year. (Sadly, this means we won’t be having her cute little “preschool graduation” on Daddy’s birthday.) She’s had virtual circle time a few times. Though I can tell she’s dying for a real play date. I’ve been working from home for my part time gig when I can. It’s been hard though, juggling everything. 

It seems before all this corona stuff started, I already I struggled with not enough “me” time and nearly nonexistent self care. Now that we’re all together and safe at home (yes, safe, not stuck. Think about that...), it’s like one super long weekend except Daddy's upstairs working most of the day, I have the added stress of figuring out when I'll be able to squeeze in a couple of work hours. The rest of the time is spent entertaining (or finding entertainment for) our almost 5 year old (!!!) and keeping the walls from falling in on us.

Three weeks of this now. It seems so temporary—heck, who am I kidding? This doesn’t feel REAL at all! Anything but. It’s all so strange, and I don’t think I’m coping well yet. But I will get better. I have to, for the sake of my family and my own sanity. 🤪 Right? We will see.

I think it just hit me (literally in the middle of the night last night) that this situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. And this led me to think about our habits...If habits form in as little as three weeks, we’ll have plenty of time to create new ones during this lockdown, yes? What kind will they be — good habits, bad habits, or somewhere in between? I think that is up to us. We get to choose the kinds of habits we want to create during this time, for ourselves and even for our little ones, and our marriage too. And extra time or not, we will inevitably have some new habits in place when this is all behind us. I hope mine are the good kind. 

And with that, my husband’s meeting has started which means my little time is up and my baby girl needs me to help her make a water slide out back(??!!). So this is most likely some long, depressing ramble (ugh). 

Sorry. I'll try to do better next time. In my next post, I’ll share some of the FUN stuff we’re doing to spend this time together.

Stay tuned.