Wear A Mask.

Dear Readers,

I could go on and on about why this is a good idea, but as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”

Well, here are two-

My daughter- “wear a mask, it keeps you safe”
Me- Wear a flipping mask!

I really feel like the Centers For Disease Control are doing all they can to keep us safe, so the VERY LEAST we can do is wear a mask.

So, wear a mask, and protect everyone else around you including you, because the life you save COULD be YOURS.

Think About It.

Feel how you feel and give yourself permission to feel that way.

Dear Readers,

Pissed off? Frustrated? Tired? Angry? Sad? Depressed? Scared?

Good. That means you are alive, human, and breathing.

This week’s blog is all about me giving you permission to get all up in your feelings and feel how you feel.

I heard an awesome interview with Brene Brown who was talking to Marc Brackett about his new book, “Permission To Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive.

who was explaining that the feelings we have are also tied to the feelings we have about the feelings we are having, it gets complicated in a hurry.

For example, if you feel irritated and frustrated that you are having to teach your kid, and then feel guilty for feeling that way because “at least you have a job thatand you “should” feel grateful….

Um, no. Humans are much more beautiful and complex than that. Did you know you are capable of feeling BOTH those things, literally in the same minute or even second?

Case in point, a few weeks ago, when I burned this cup of macaroni and cheese in my microwave,

I was

1. Scared it was in fact on fire. The smell was dramatic.

2. Irritated at the notion I would have to clean it up and make more.

3. Relieved that there was not a fire.

4. Filled with shame because I was feeding myself and kid the macaroni and cheese rather than something healthier or more substantial. *writers note to parents reading this* – I am not judging you if you do this, I am judging myself.

Also, we have so many strictures in place right now, telling us what we can and CAN NOT do, I really think it’s okay to feel how you feel and feel the way you feel about it. Really go ahead, feel all your feelings.

Think About It.

It’s the little things…

Dear Readers,

The internet is rife with bloggers and authors telling you how to fill your time, (what time????)

So, my blog this week is about recounting the little things that made me happy, and I invite you to count with me.

Almost fire in my microwave

I was busy and preoccupied so put a container sans water in my microwave. It could have caught fire and didn’t, so YAY!

Thank you notes for transit workers from the kids!!!

My company asked the kids to write thank you notes to the “essential employees” and these are just a few.

New cider (Thanks Josh and Keya) for my first Zoom Happy Hour

My husband helped set up a virtual happy hour for me and some of my friends. Glad we have a laptop so we could do that.

Work from home- means photo ops with the monkey
Pepsi is optional

My aunt sent us her world famous chocolate/white chocolate chip cookies!

Right now, it can be a really hard thing to keep the “little things” in mind, and truly it’s what keeping me sane right now, along with the mantra, “This will not last forever.

Tell me what you are doing to cope, and share any mantras or mechanisms you find helpful or even some things you have tried that failed.

As fellow writer Jon Acuff likes to say. “Now is a great to me to be terrible at something new”

Tell me something new you are doing.

Think About It.

Give yourself a break, really.

Dear Readers,

My mother of choice is amazing and strong and smart and is REALLY struggling with social distancing because she can’t (safely) hug her grandkids.

Another friend who is not a fan of socializing is “being there” for folks who are social butterflies like myself, but finding that it’s wearing on her to be there for them.

A friend of mine lost his job and is working on figuring out next steps. In the meantime, he is taking time to figure out ways to maximize the time to encourage his creativity.

Still another friend is trying to balance teaching her kid, working from home and on top of having (understandably) high levels of stress with the two of them in close quarters, she is also concerned she isn’t teaching her kid enough. What a great Mom.

And on and on, with stories just like this.

Stuff is HARD right now. Life is HARD right now. Some people have it easier than others, and it does no good to compare suffering.

Take me, for instance, I knew getting myself set up to work from home was going to be challenging and it was going to take a hot minute, so I told myself, be patient with yourself and others and realize this is probably going to take a whole lot more time than you think. Guess what? I still was impatient with myself and frustrated at my lack of productivity though I had steeled myself for that very thing.

“We are grieving the loss of the ordinary”- Professor Haston

Just a month ago, I was going to the gym and complaining about it.

Gym time with munchkin

So the internet is full of well meaning folks telling you what a wonderful opportunity this affords us to work on a new skill or clean out your closets, with articles with titles like “How Not To Kill Your Spouse” and “Clean Your Closet During Covid” and “10 New Things to Do While Quarantined” while that sounds great, it can and is often exhausting to think about adding yet another item to your to do list. I don’t think you need to take anything else on, do you?

You are already learning tons of new skills just to survive. Strategic shopping/delivery for groceries. Social distance is a constant. Learning how to become a teacher when you had no aspirations to do it ever, and let’s not forget the ever present fear that despite all this care and precaution, you might still get the dreaded virus and have to cope with that too.

So I say again, it’s a lot. You need to give yourself a ton of grace and realize things have drastically changed for everyone and we are ALL coping the best way we know how.

For me, there has been crying, and a lot of frustration expressed, and some unexpressed. Working on that, because the temptation is strong to try and be positive and try to spin because that’s my default position, and it doesn’t serve people to cover their very real fears with a “at least….” useless fill in the blank platitude.

So what I say is, figure out what works for you. If you need a little more rest (trust me you do) take it.

If you need to social distance 8 feet instead of 6, I support that. You want to collapse at the end of the day because you literally have nothing left to give work or your kids or your spouse. That’s okay too.

Something that I started doing last week that is really helping is I am resuming practice on my songs (after my last show in February I stopped for a bit) and working two or three counts of a Broadway number (Free thanks to YouTube!) a night. Check out my “Fosse”

This might last two weeks or a month, but right now, having ANY kind of routine is really keeping me grounded, so I am trying that. Next week might be a whole different thing, so stay tuned.

If you are so inclined, tell me something you are “having to do” and something you are “trying” because of “flattening the curve” behavior…

Let me hear both- please.

Who knows, maybe something you are trying will become someone else’s new normal…

Think About It!