If this wasn’t a devastating worldwide pandemic, accompanied by the overhanging knowledge that we cannot make plans, because none of us knows how long this is going to last, I am perfectly happy to be sheltering at home. Unlike many, I have no desire to get out. This is not hard in the least. My nest is extremely cozy, and it offers all I need.
Yes, of course, I miss my DRC Peeps – along with all the projects and activities that fill our days at the Center. And, yes, I am sad that I am not able to meet with families to help them navigate the complexities of opting out of school. However, to be completely honest, as much as I love my role as the Executive Director of Deep Root Center (I wouldn’t want to do anything else), as an introvert, I find the job utterly exhausting – mentally and emotionally. During normal times, I feel like I never get enough downtime – space to pause and get completely lost in my thoughts.
I understand that I am fairly unique in my desire to be alone. My mother, indirectly, reminded me of this during a video-chat and texting session this past week. Mom is a widow. My dad died seven years ago. She had, up until a few months ago, refused to enter the technological age. I think it would be fair to say she came into it kicking and screaming. But, once she made up her mind, she acted fairly quickly. She took a computer class, bought a tablet, and had internet installed in her house. It took a while, (with my three siblings, and the Spectrum guys, working on it) to get it all set up. This past week, I talked (texted) her through downloading the Google Duo App on her tablet so she could do video chats with my siblings and me, as well as her grandchildren. She is thrilled to have that visual connection to her family.
After our initial conversation, I sent her an email with the link to my latest Vlog post about allowing kids to be bored. She responded, in a text, that I should do one about loneliness because it is similar to boredom. It is something that she has experienced, off and on, since my dad died, but it is especially prevalent, now that she is home-bound. She has talked about the effects of it with other folks who have lost a spouse and are living alone.
I find it disconcerting to offer suggestions for those who are feeling lonely, mainly because I don’t personally experience it, but here goes. I think the main part of this may be that most people are not comfortable with themselves, or their thought processes. They may have crowded every moment of their lives with busy-ness, so they wouldn’t have to dig deeper to learn more about themselves. Maybe, they have filled their emotional cup by serving others, and not taking care of themselves. There are so many variables to the equation, and I am not here to judge any of them.
No, I am not suggesting it is only, mind over matter. However, changing your mindset could be helpful. By switching up your narrative - the story you tell yourself - you may be able to experience something besides loneliness. Maybe, you could feel - useful, creative, or even joyful. The concept is similar to some of the memes that have been circulating social media since this pandemic started. "Instead of thinking: I am stuck at home – think: I am safe at home, and I am keeping the ones I love safe."
In these times, when technology is readily available, (like I tell my DRC kids) you can experience anything you, previously, may have only imagined or dreamed about. The world is, literally, wide-open to you, despite being confined to your home. Go! Explore something that captures your interest, take a class, learn a new skill, imagine, create, invent, and then share. Anything can be possible if you believe it to be so.
And, in the process, give yourself permission to mess up, allow yourself grace, and most importantly love yourself through all the ups and downs.
Stay safe and be well!
I am still thinking about compiling a book from the last six years of my weekly posts. I need help though. If you have been a regular reader of this blog, please consider sending me two things: 1) ideas for categories, and 2) specific posts that have stuck with you, and that you think would be important to include. Thank you!
I am also in the process of self-publishing my second children’s book as an e-book. I have it all formatted and one third edited. Stay tuned!
And, here are the links to, Cooking and Let Them Be Bored, the two, Yes, It Counts, Vlog posts from this past week. Enjoy!
Stewart’s Holiday Match Grant
Thank you to Stewart's Shops for supporting the DRC Cooking Class with a $250 grant! We will use the money to purchase food from the Food Bank of Central NY, as well as local grocery stores.
The Resources Page has been updated and organized. Check it out.
What are you and your family up to during these strange times? Are you working on cool projects, have you been tracking the progress of Spring in your backyard, or is life fairly normal? Send documentation. I will post them on the Front Page of the website and here each week.