How are you? You hanging in there?
I don’t think I need to waste words or time talking about how different the world is today from even one week ago. You know. I know. It is what it is.
But, I wanted to check in because I’m thinking of you. I wake up in the middle of the night (is anyone else having trouble sleeping?) and think about how it feels like we live in a strange movie now, how 24 hours extend for three days, how you and your families are faring.
We know this will get worse–probably much worse–before it gets better.
So, give yourself grace. Give your pets grace.
Aside: Holy moly. Quarantine sure brings out my neighbors! Everyone is walking, bike riding, running, and so on with their dogs. Not so awesome for reactive dogs like Coop, who goes bananas all day long.
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Unless it feels right to you, ignore all the internet advice to use this time to write a book, learn a language, declutter your entire home, homeschool your children at least a grade level ahead. Why add pressure on top of the real-life dread of living through a pandemic?
Here’s what I’m doing:
- Playing with Cooper in the backyard a lot! We’re also dipping in and out of this book for some fun ideas and activities.
- Waking up early. I’m writing this at 6 am with Cooper snuggled on one side of my legs and Ripley on the other. I’m an introvert. I need time to myself each day. That time does not exist at home with John, Violet, and Astrid. From about 7 am to 8 pm, someone needs me. I’m getting up early to drink coffee in peace, to write, to putter around the internet without having to make someone a snack or clean something up or figure out a next activity. This morning time is mine.
- Flossing my teeth. It sounds small. It is small. But it’s one tiny, achievable daily promise to myself that creates a sense of normalcy and routine. Flossing my teeth grounds me in the reality that this strange time will eventually pass.
One other thing I started that, you guys, I regret but I also know it had to happen and no time better than when we literally can’t leave the house:
Potty training Violet.
In hindsight, during a toilet paper and bleach shortage, it may not have been the world’s smartest idea, but here we are.
All that said, I’m thinking of you. We are all–everyone across the globe–we are all in this together. We will get through it together. In tense, frustrating, exhausting moments, I keep repeating to myself: choose love, choose patience, choose kindness.
A lot of hard lessons will be learned, I think, but we’ll come out the other side hopefully with more compassion and kindness for fellow people and pets.
Take care of yourself.
Take care of your family.
Hang in there, friends.