I truly believe that in every season of life whether good or bad, there is added value. Sometimes it is the pure joy or special memories added to make our life sweet. Other times it is a hard but much needed life lesson. And many times in those seemingly mundane moments, there is still an opportunity to grow, learn or create one of those special moments we hold on to forever. So, even in quarantine we have an opportunity. And today I want to share the lessons or reminders I am learning from quarantine.
Let me preface this discussion with the understanding that many all over the world are suffering. Suffering from sickness, loss of a loved one, financial loss and stress, anxiety for the future and much more. What I am about to say in no way diminishes the emotion or struggle that so many are facing. However, I do strongly believe that even in hard times we can still have joy. Even in times of uncertainty, we can still choose to focus on what is within our control and intentionally improve our own lives and the lives of those around us. This brings me to the first lesson that I am learning from quarantine.
Grief and Joy can in fact co-exist.
I use the terms grief and joy because they are to me two of the most extreme. You can also use anxiety and peace, overwhelm and focus, uncertainty and preparation, even chaos and productivity.
The past year or so has been undoubtedly difficult. For those of you reading that are local to my small town, you can attest to this truth. One that hit the hardest for me was the loss of someone who played such a pivotal role in my life. During his sickness, I would find myself often feeling guilty for any moments that I felt genuinely happy or as I made plans for a future that I knew he would not get to live. The grief through his sickness and death could easily be debilitating if I let it. Then one day in the midst of it all, an AHA moment. Maybe not the traditional AHA moment you may think of but for me it was crucial.
I can be 100% present in my grief and disappointment and at the same exact moment be 100% thankful for my healthy babies and this beautiful gift of life I have been given. I can’t explain it logically but internally I know it to be true.
It's the essence of living, right?
Being here for all the emotions, freeing yourself to be vulnerable enough to experience true relationships even at the risk of disappointment, loving parenting and being exhausted, excited for the future but content with today. I want to be here for it all, don’t you? My pain in this loss is a testament to how good it was and for that I am thankful. This is my example of grief and joy co-existing.
I can apply this same idea to the times we are in today. You can be heartbroken for all the loss happening today and also be thankful for the good you are experiencing. The extra time with your family, the abrupt halt on activities that had you weighed down, the discovery of new hobbies, values or simply the time to recalibrate your life. You can feel anxious about the uncertainty of the next 12 months while also planning for your future. You can be overwhelmed with the chaos and still walk out of this quarantine feeling your most productive and happiest you have been in awhile. It’s okay to feel it all. Every single emotion. Give yourself that freedom. It’s a breath of fresh air.
Being Busy is Overrated!!
I think we can all agree on this one. So many books, articles, blog posts and podcasts talk about escaping the business and living a simple life. I think they are on to something. In the hustle and bustle of things, it is hard to imagine your child not playing that extra season, not signing up for that committee or taking on just one more obligation. But now, now that we’ve been forced to give it up. How do you feel? How does your life look different? Your state of mind?
I have found that I’m a little more patient, a little more attentive to the things that really matter, happier even.
So many times, we glorify being busy. If I’m busy I’m important. If I’m busy, I’m being a good mom. I don’t have a choice. Being busy maybe even is a distraction from other areas that need our attention. Warning though, the opposite of busy in not necessarily the answer either. In fact, it’s tailored to you. What works for you?
I don’t want to be busy just for the sake of being busy. Or because it is a way of life I just accept without considering the benefits or consequences. Quarantine I think has given most of us that gift, to re-evaluate our lives and have a reset if you will.
Quiet time is essential!
I knew as I was getting older the more introverted I was becoming but seriously I need some quiet time in my life! Any other mommas feeling that with me? Self-care is cliche these days I know but leave it to a 2 month quarantine to really test your limits. So my last reminder on what I’m learning from quarantine is to...
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!
It’s allowed to be hard for you too, even if you are one of the “blessed” ones with little consequences from quarantine. Hide in the closet with chocolate, go for a solo drive, take a long bath, go for a run, give your kids electronics and soak in the quiet. Whatever you have to do, don’t forget to take care of yourself during this crazy time.
It IS important and it is not petty. You matter too. You have the time, all the time to figure out what routine works best for you. So figure it out and stick to it without regret.
Sharing this quote I saw on an Instagram story: “If you want to be happy, be happy on purpose. When you wake up in the morning, you can’t just wait and see what kind of day you’ll have. You have to decide what kind of day you’ll have. Higher thoughts. Higher energy. Higher vibrations. Higher frequencies. Higher experience.” - @thefemalehustlers
Don't you just love that quote?
Now, most of the above is pep talk about our own lives and how we can learn and grow through quarantine. Before leaving I do want to say that it is so important to educate ourselves and join the discussion going on in our communities, states and world. It is vital to be aware of the needs around us and help where we can help. To be sensitive to the fact that everyones’ journey will look different. Their emotions, struggles and victories will be unique to their journey. Let’s all just do the best we can.
Sending love, positive thoughts and prayers to all of you!