Reflections on day 25 of isolation

*This post isn’t my typical comedic tone. Just reaching out to see if others are feeling the same way. Love to you all in your corners of the globe.*

Sleep is elusive these days, although that’s not completely new for me. The notebook on the bedside table to compose midnight lists helps a little, but the temptation to scroll through the melee of information or to pop open the laptop sometimes wins. And this gets the brain moving in unhealthy ways, so I often give up and get out of bed at 4 or 5 a.m. There’s always something to work on or to do. Or to worry about.

This definitely feels like it’s getting both harder and easier as we go deeper into this home isolation. On the one hand, we have adjusted to one another, taking on new roles in the household and working as a team to keep things working. Food prep is more of a shared responsibility, and the kids are asked to practice more independence and to help with chores like laundry and tidying up. These skills are going to serve everyone well in the long run. We are more mindful about meal planning, grocery shopping, and unnecessary car use. We are grateful for our living space and surroundings. Plus, there is more time to connect with each other, to enjoy nature together, and to be creative. I see the kids growing up in fine detail, in ways that may have been overlooked in the rush of daily life.

Creating artwork together.

On the other hand, being back to work after Spring Break has been a rollercoaster of emotional and mental energy, where it’s a tug-of-war between accomplishing work goals and taking care of the kids. I no longer have the capacity to stay up late to finish work like I did when I was younger, and even after my first-born. I never want my girls to feel like they are second fiddle to work, but unfortunately that’s often what happens. Trying to catch an important part of a meeting when your daughter comes in, so quiet and innocent holding a doll and me saying “Now’s not the time” and her walking away. I don’t love that. Maybe I should skip some of the less mandatory meetings, but seeing colleagues and supporting each other is important too, right?

Some days it feels like I’m trying to run a daycare and teach high school at the same time. And guess what? I’m not very good at doing either from home, let alone concurrently! And when the patience runs out, it’s my own young kids who have to deal with it.

Feeling this huge responsibility to connect with over 100 students every week in a digital capacity is taking its toll. These are students I have worked with for 7 months, many of whom I know quite well and look forward to seeing in the classroom. The best time of the year has been lost, the time of reading Shakespeare together in the outdoors, or of team building through games in the sunshine. Gone is the time of celebration and the reward of watching a never-before-seen movie, filled with comedy and drama to satisfy even the most skeptical personalities in the class. I want them to know I’m still here for them, but things are a bit of a pressure-cooker over here right now.

Still, I am grateful and practicing gratitude in these days for not only my own, safe situation, but also the essential workers putting their lives and families on the line to get through this surreal situation. There is much grieving and loss around the world that we are all feeling in some capacity.

But in this little corner I’m looking for a bit more grace in juggling it all and working on letting go of expectations even more. And please, tell me how to find the time to navigate the wave of information that came from elementary school yesterday, and turn that into valuable learning for my child!

Thinking of you all as you navigate new waters and unexpected situations. This too shall pass, but with a lot of discomfort (and maybe beauty) along the way.

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