As a stay-at-home parent, some of the biggest stresses for me throughout this pandemic have been adjusting to a wide-open schedule, concurrently fulfilling multiple roles, and dealing with a perpetual avalanche of thoughts and emotions.
The underlying stress of COVID-19, safety restrictions, isolation, transitions for my kids, and navigating school social work, my daily baseline is higher, causing increased stress levels due to the constant level of tension. The more I talk to other people, the more I realize this seems to be the new normal for a lot of people. And, I think that says something about this pandemic and the impact that it's having on us, even when the effects aren’t always clearly visible. As I processed my experiences, I pushed myself to be honest and authentic in writing this post, acknowledging the fact that looking back over this year has been difficult and draining.
Maybe we’re all superheroes just by doing our best to make our corner of the world a better place in our daily routines, in our small yet still significant interactions, words, and behaviors.
So, in the spirit of vulnerability, I have been tired for months. And, although, of course, at times I have been swept into moments of joy and gratitude, I have also spent an inexplicable amount of time barely hanging on through the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities. As I have continued in this less than ideal reality, I found myself confronted with the idea of moving through rather than pushing away the negative emotions and experiences.
As we contemplate the past, and consider our future, let’s not forget to incorporate a little bit of grace for ourselves, our neighbors, and those in leadership positions, we’re all only human after all.
Even as an adult, I have found that many children’s books offer gentle, hope-filled reminders that I need in my own life.
Today, I challenge you to celebrate MLK Day by taking some time to find a book, article, podcast, or movie to continue to expand your understanding of racism. To get you started, I wanted to share some resources I have found particularly helpful in my journey on this issue.
This year, my perspective on my process of setting goals and intentions has changed. My expectations of 2021 are reflective of the fact that we are still navigating this global pandemic. But, this acceptance brings a hope of setting realistic expectations, living daily with intention, and dreaming about what I want to carry with me into the future.
The Advent season, Latin for “coming,” feels especially relevant this year as “waiting” corresponds with the experience that has consumed most of 2020.
Although Christmas celebrations will look different than years past, the beauty, sounds, and tastes of the holidays remind me of life before the upheaval of 2020. In addition, I have found comfort in the celebration of Jesus’s birth and the reminder that 2020 is just a drop in the bucket of time.