It’s Friday night April 17th, and I’m sitting here feeling done with everything! Just done! I was having quite the moment!
Done being stuck home! I’m feeling stir crazy this week!
Done with schoolwork! So much schoolwork! So many classes!
Done trying to be a teacher. Their teachers are so much better than I am.
Done with cleaning! My children are always home making messes!
Done with laundry! The laundry is actually a little less.
Done with dishes! So many dishes!
Done with cooking! I have cooked so many meals!!!
Done with baking! Now they are asking for more cookies!
Done done done!
I feel done!
I’m sure you can all relate!!!
I’m sure we all have moments like this!
I keep telling myself that this is normal!
It is okay for me to have moments where I am feeling this way.
I accept it and let it run its course through me.
I actually woke up today in a good place. I wake up happy most days because I don’t have to do the morning grind that I loathed when school was in session. I folded and put away three loads of laundry and started a new load. I jumped into getting stuff done. I helped Lillie with her schoolwork. I took my dog Tanner for a long walk in the snow. Yes, you heard me. I said snow! Why would I be surprised? It snows every April in Buffalo, NY. However, the snow is making it worse! It’s making everyone’s spirits worse. It’s making us want to stay inside when we need to go outside. What a gloomy and cold day. This weather follows into the weekend. It was a gloomy weekend. That doesn’t help anyone’s mood right now.
I got home after my dough had risen for the second time and got my challahs in the oven. I was happy and making dinner (I don’t tend to cook on Fridays, so this was different). I cooked and served dinner and worked on an essay with my son Max. I was feeling okay. As most of you probably understand my emotions are all over the place. I have lots of time when I’m feeling okay. I have lots of time where I’m busy and the days do seem to fly by and mesh together. I think most people would say right now that they experience many emotions in one day. Even within one hour our emotions can be up and down.
Then I sat down with my daughter Ella to watch Phantom of the Opera. Ella is just loving Friday nights and getting to see which new musical was being released. Check out You Tube, The Shows Must Go On channel to see a newly released Broadway musical every Friday night. I think they keep it playing until Sunday early afternoon. She would probably tell you that Friday night is her favorite night. I’m sure she also loves the Zoom nights with her theater classes. I wasn’t enjoying the musical (she loved it) and I felt the uneasiness coming. I realized I forgot my daughters dance classes (dinner and Max’s essay distracted me – don’t tell Lillie we missed her dance classes), and the anxiety grew. I have missed a few Zoom things because I’m not regularly checking my schedule enough throughout the day. I must get better at remembering who has a zoom call when! With three different children who ask me for help keeping track of Zoom calls, it turns into a lot for me to keep track of.
I put on the Avenger’s movie on my phone (I love all the Avengers movies) and cuddled up next to Ella while attempting to distract myself, but I was in that place. You know that place. That place of just feeling done. I was going down a sad hole that night.
I need to get out of the house. That’s problem number one. Sometimes my walks outside aren’t cutting it. Thankfully I have Girl Scout cookie drop offs tomorrow (I drop the cookies on their porch / no contact, don’t worry). My last and final cookie drops for the cookie season. I can at least get in my car and go for a drive. I never thought I would want to go for a drive with all the driving I was doing for my kids. That’s where I have arrived – to a place of needing to just get in my car and drive anywhere! I never thought I would arrive in this place but I’m here. My husband told me I need to take drives by myself to get some alone time and to get out of the house. That’s excellent advice. My friend reminded me that little things are going a very long way right now. She couldn’t be more right.
It’s now Sunday morning as I continue to write. The crazy dreams continue. My recurring dream is that I’m out somewhere and I don’t have a mask and I’m all upset. Last night in my dream I was at my friend’s house with my kids and it was 11:00 pm. I had kept all our children up way too late on a school night because I had completely lost track of time. The next day was going to be the first day back to school and I was feeling very uneasy about sending them back to school. I apologized to my friend for keeping her kids up so late and ran home. On the way home I realized that if I went to the gym, I would be surrounded by people. My dreams have been crazy most nights. I would love to hear about the dreams that you are having. My friend shared a few with me today, so I know I’m not the only one having crazy dreams right now.
One day we will feel safe again. One day we will get to leave our house easily. One day I will get to take my children to school, theater, dance, soccer, Hebrew school, Girl Scouts…..one day!
I’m in much better spirits than I was Friday night when I began this blog. I started my first puzzle last night. My husband Seth and I played a fun game with our daughters Ella and Lillie and laughed a lot. There are plenty of positives for me to smile about. I packed up four bags of clothes that don’t fit my girls! I’m getting stuff done and I am definitely having a lot of fun along the way. (Not fun packing up clothes! Fun with games, a puzzle, movies….)
Today I will smile. I will take a long walk with my dog. I will work on my puzzle. I will have a fun phone call with my friends. I will bake and cook for my family. I will get Lillie the family sundae that she has been asking for from Sweet Emilia’s. What will you do today? Please share what you have been up to? What is your favorite quarantine activity? I would say baking is mine!
Tonight, I may feel done….as I told you, my emotions are all over the place. For now, I will smile and enjoy this quiet Sunday morning home with my family.
I also know and appreciate that health care workers are working crazy hours and are totally overwhelmed. I know my friend who owns a take-out restaurant is working like crazy! I know my friend is working a ton of extra hours processing unemployment claims. I appreciate all of you! I appreciate every single essential worker. I appreciate that my husband is still working a ton! I appreciate the creative ways teachers are teaching my children right now. I know I have it easy. I am being asked to stay home. I also think it’s normal for a people person like me to want to see people and to want to get out. Nothing is very normal about this situation. I do think that all the emotions we are experiencing are very normal with what everyone is dealing with.
Facebook has so many pros to it. It is helping me feel connected to friends and family. It is giving me great ideas to do with my children. The pictures of children and pets warms my heart every day and are good medicine for me. There are also negatives to Facebook. I try very hard to just scroll right by something that is upsetting to me. There are a lot of political rants on Facebook. My husband told me that this should not be about politics right now. He told me this is about health not about politics. The issue at hand is that the left side and the right side have completely different takes on how to handle this health crisis. My understanding is the right side feels like their freedoms are being taken away. The left side understands the restrictions and keeps encouraging everyone to stay home. I have heard the right side call themselves lions while saying the left side are all a bunch of sheep being told what to do and listening. The social worker in me always tries to see both sides to an argument. I try to realize that I am not right just because I have an opinion.
My husband made a super profound statement while we were discussing the politics of all of this. He said and I quote, “People want their freedom until someone they love dies.” I want you to please read that again and let that sink in. This statement went right through my bones as I digested the gravity of that comment. I choose to be a sheep. I am okay with being called a sheep. I do not choose to be a lion right now. I can’t tell you that I will never act like a lion in a different situation. What I will tell you is that I will listen, and I will stay home and so will my family. I will protect my loved ones (and strangers) from getting ill or even dying as best I can. This is what I can do right now to help the situation. I may go stir crazy. My emotions may be all over the place. I am being asked to stay home. That is what I am being asked to do to help stop the spread. I can do this.
I know that like me, your emotions are probably all over the place. I hope you can find something that makes you smile today! I would love to hear what you’re up to!
I will leave you with a few tips for when you’re trying to get a grip of your emotions:
- Acceptance – This is such a huge word. Let us accept what is currently occurring. Let us accept however we are feeling at a given moment. Let us accept how our spouse and children are feeling.
- Grace – Another profound word for us to remember during this time. Give yourself grace. Give yourself a break. This is not a time to be hard on ourselves. If you are having a moment, go have that moment. This is not a time to be expecting yourself to accomplish a ton every day. Just get through the day as best you can.
- Get out of the house. Take my husband’s advice and go for a drive with your significant other, your family, or just by yourself to get some alone time.
- Lower your expectations of yourself and your family. This is not a time to be hard on your children for forgetting an assignment. Help them to be organized and to keep track of things and remind them to get something done that they may have forgotten. Most teachers understand that this is a trying time for families. The same goes for how you are treating yourself. If I cook and clean up three meals for my family and help my kids with their schoolwork, then I call it a successful day.
- Find something every day to give you joy.
- Try a puzzle! I am working on my first puzzle and I am having so much fun! My husband was making fun of me about how a puzzle is perfect for my perfectionistic personality!
- Play a silly game with your family.
- Make up a new dance or song with your family. My daughter’s homework assignment for theater was to do this. We made up a dance to the teen beach movie song “Surf’s Up” and we danced and giggled and pretended we were at the beach.
- Adopt a pet! This is the perfect time to go adopt a pet while we are stuck home. My three fur babies have given us so much love and are enjoying us home and giving them extra attention. A few of my friends have recently adopted a dog. If you can afford it, bring some more love into your home. It benefits both you and the pet.
- Tolerance – there is so much judgement going on. People are bashing our governor, the president, and each other. It makes me very sad. Let’s have some tolerance and remember that everyone is going through a tough time and doing their best. Let’s not be republicans or democrats right now. Lets just be loving people getting through this together. I would like to see less politics and more love. My friend said she got bashed on Facebook and was going to take a break. I told her not to let someone push her off Facebook. That makes me very sad that that happened to her and I’m sure she’s not the only one.
- Help someone. It gets you outside of yourself. I will take food to a food drive tomorrow. I took cookies to my friend. I’m sending out a card to my friend’s father today for his 80th birthday. Do something for someone else and see how much better it makes you feel.
Sunday night I looked out the window and the beautiful sky took my breath away. I felt it. It was a message. It felt like pure hope to me. I heard the message loud and clear. I smiled at the sky and yelled to my girls to come look with me. Let us all have hope and patience that this too shall pass! Wishing us all health and safety. Sending you all love!
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene LCSW-R
P.S. Lillie woke up this morning and said “I had this dream. I was on a bus heading to a field trip with my class and my teacher and we weren’t quarantined!” Melt my heart. One day my sweet girl! One day you will get to go on a field trip again!
P.P.S. My thirteen year old son came downstairs last night (he is always in his bedroom) and we watched Jumanji 2 as a family. Moments like this are the moments that make me smile. A little goes a long way these days!