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Finding Grace During a Pandemic

How are all of you hanging in there?  I know that this pandemic is challenging for everyone’s lives, including animals, which has been turned upside down.  As a mom of a young child, I’ll admit that it is a difficult time for us, at times.  In the beginning, I felt more optimistic, as this time is feeling more like a marathon than a sprint.  Fast forward, we are now on day 33 of quarantine, and there have been moments of pure frustration and exhaustion, as a result juggling motherhood and working simultaneously without our support system.  We have been stripped of Alex’s school, sitters, local museums, swimming lessons, parks, libraries, book stores, playdates, playgrounds, etc.  It is all a great loss to us, and it is an entirely different way of living than we are accustomed to.

What I have learned through these past few weeks is that there is a ‘new normal’ and we presently cannot do work and parent in the same way or at the same level during this pandemic.  My ‘best’ right now looks a lot different now.  We are figuring things out as we go.  And, I have soon realized it is ok, and it is necessary to reset expectations and allow yourself grace.  Doug and I tag team the best we can.  But some days, we are honestly getting through the day because we are so exhausted.  Weekends no longer feel like weekends — they are not distinguishable from other days of the week.  Whether people admit it or not, we are all struggling, to a degree, trying to figure out the best way to live each day, together.  One of the more challenging parts of this pandemic is that we have no idea when this “sheltering in place” will end; and we have no idea how our world will look after we get to the ‘other side’ of the pandemic.  It certainly will be interesting.

I know that there will be many lessons and unexpected gifts to take away from this time.  Despite everything, Doug and I are really grateful.  We are being forced to pivot and be creative in many ways.  Someone wise said to me, recently, “this will pass and all we’ll have is what we did with the time.”  I found those words so helpful.  I have been photographing our time together during this pandemic as recording of this time in order to look back on together some day.  I have found getting good rest helps; having a gratitude practice really helps; truly being present in the moment also helps; feeling your feelings of disappointment and loss; cuddling up with your animal (our beloved Victory is a constant source of support for all of us); and allowing yourself much grace during this time.  I have found the following resources, during this time, helpful, and you might, too.  This is a great podcast; here is a great Ted Talk; and, here is another helpful podcast.  (And, as a side note, if you need toilet paper, check this place out.)  Stay safe.

Finally, I love these words, below, entitled Grace, by Morgan Harper Nichols.

“I cannot tell you what this season will bring out of you, but I can tell you that it matters to keep showing up every day.  I can tell you that it matters to give love, even though you do not think you are good enough.  Your presence matters, even in this chapter.  Even if you feel overlooked, alone, or far from home, you belong in this life just as much as anyone else, no matter how others see you, or how you see yourself.  Whether you are having the most productive week or you feel like you are falling apart at the seams, there are signs of strength and movement with every breath you breathe.  So take heart, breathe deep.  Even before things fall into place.  For even here, in these unknowns, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace.”



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