Today has been a rough day. From the moment that I woke up, I have been filled with emotions. Tears have come very easy on and off all morning.
It all started with my morning mindfulness session. I typically meditate every morning. One thing that people do not realize about mindfulness and meditation is that it is not always meant to simply clear your mind. We are all human and our minds are always working. Sometimes, sitting still brings up a lot of emotion and that is ok. It is how you learn to handle those emotions, sitting with them and not judging yourself or the emotions, that is important.
Then, it was thinking about all of the nurses, doctors, police officers, grocery store workers, and so many others on the front lines that brought me to tears. I happened to see a very moving montage on TV that sparked it. I have been struggling with this new reality, but I cannot help but think that these people are just total and complete heroes. We owe everything to these people as they sacrifice everything to keep us safe. While sometimes it seems very difficult to stay inside and away from others, it cannot even compare to what these people are dealing with every day. So thank you to all of you who are on the front lines!! We appreciate you so much!!!
I also think that emotions came when thinking about the fact that this weekend is Easter and it has always been a time to be together with family. I am missing hugging my mom and dad right now. They stopped by yesterday to bring over masks that my mom had made and we always just meet from a distance in the driveway. I cannot invite them in or hug them. I hate it. I know how much my kids miss them and their other grandparents. I also know how much we are missing getting together with all of our family to celebrate. It made me very sad.
I also was thinking about how life has changed forever. I have to believe that once this is all over, things will never be the same. That makes me sad for my children. I feel so sad for all of the seniors out there missing out on this last year of high school. I feel sad for kids in kindergarten missing out on this very special year. I feel bad for all of the kids missing their wonderful teachers (my daughter misses her 3rd grade teacher more than anything I have ever seen in my life and it breaks my heart). I visited a student of mine yesterday and had to wave to her from her front lawn for social distance. It was so great to see her smiling face, but heart breaking that she ran to me and wanted to give me a hug and I had to push move away from her. She did not understand.
What I have learned though is that emotions are not a bad thing and definitely not something to be ashamed of right now. We are all dealing with this in our own way. When this all started, I thought that I would be able to be strong through it. What I have learned is that the longer it goes on, the harder it is to give myself a break. I still want to be the best for my kids and sometimes I don’t feel like I have the energy or patience to do it.
I read an amazing post yesterday that equated this feeling and this pandemic to being on a plane. Sometimes, when we are flying, we may hit turbulence. The pilot will come on and talk to the passengers in a calm voice letting us know that we are going to be hitting some bumps and that the flight attendants will not be serving snacks or drinks for a while. We need to put our seat belts on. No one sounds panicked in that moment. We are also reminded to put on our oxygen masks first before helping our children. That is what is happening now. We must be taking care of ourselves so that we can best take care of our children. We need to be the ones not sounding panicked while the news blares data and numbers that they do not need to be worried about. However, it is ok to realize that we have to take the time to let the emotions out and to take care of ourselves so that we can be the best for them. Many parents are playing teacher, parent, chef, hairstylist, therapist, etc all day long. It is a lot of turbulence.
One of the things that I decided to do was to think about the positives of this all being over and being able to hug those people I miss again. I recorded my mindful minute for my students on that idea. Here it is. Feel free to give it a try. I hope that it lifts your spirits and helps you today!