• Lindsey Stopani

It's All Going To Be OK

Updated: Mar 22

It's clearly a strange time in the world, it's obvious, and everyone can agree. I don't even need to use the word "COVID-19" for people to know what I am talking about. I've been real quiet on here, and on all social media in general. I think most of us are scrolling and searching for answers, versus expressing ourselves because it's all just too much. I have had a hard time gathering my thoughts, and I think a lot of us just don't know how to feel. It changes on the daily.

Isolation isn't so unnatural to me, sadly. I'm pretty good at closing off to the outside world when things get too heavy. Add all that to being a homebody, social distancing doesn't feel so foreign. To make matters worse, within the first few days of staying home after school closures took place, myself and my kiddos got knocked out with an awful stomach virus, so we were really forced to stay down. And the cherry on top, I have been having terrible dreams, to the point I am nervous to go to bed at night. What is it with being sick and having crazy vivid, intense dreams? Nightmares really. My kids are fully recovered, thank goodness, but my stomach is just not right. I've realized now it's mostly my anxiety manifesting itself, and it's taking a serious toll on my body, and my brain. It's not allowing me to fully recover, and I need to get a hold of it. I am done with the knots, I am done with the bad dreams. I need to get it together.

There are days I am really hopeful about the direction of the way things are going, and days when I am really disappointed. Like all of you, I know you are feeling the same. I am equally proud, and equally disappointed in our society. A simple trip to the store, has now evolved to an anxiety-ridden venture. Will there be meat? Eggs? TOILET PAPER? It's all so sad to see everyone looking so desperate and ravenous over the sight of something that we had easy access to just weeks ago. I see a lot of over-buying more than anything. But at the same time, I understand. So many people started the panic train by over-buying, that it has forced others to follow along, out of fear they are not going to receive just the basics. I am really proud of our community stores for setting some new boundaries, though. Allowing seniors to shop early, and adding limitations to what people buy, but sadly, there are still the people arguing in the background as to why they can't buy MORE. If we all just stuck to the basics, we wouldn't be having this issue. We all know this.

I am not going to go on and on about things that most of us already agree with, but I want to share some of my thoughts and hopefully bring a little positivity to your day. Instead of talking about the virus, supplies, politics, or the economy, let's talk about what we are gaining from all of this. One thing for certain, is quality time with our families. A lot of us can complain about having our kids home and how they are driving us mad right now, but when are we ever going to be able spend this much quality time with our kids without our typical agendas? Let's just make the best of it. Maybe look at it as a reallllly long winter break?? Shoot, I've even considered putting my Christmas decorations back up. And there are a lot of parents out there that are still having to figure out care for their children while they continue to go to work, and would do anything to just be home with them, soaking in the extra time. Let's not forget that. Not everyone has the luxury of working from home right now, and some people are home because they have no choice, because they have lost their jobs, or are in limbo of a return... These are all factors that EVERY household in the country, let alone the world, are dealing with right now. It's a scary time filled with a lot of uncertainty, but we are all in it together, so let's not forget to show compassion.

A lot of us are worried about how we are going to manage homeschooling our kids in the weeks to come, but don't, just do what you can. I don't think anyone is going to be grading us parents on a job we aren't well qualified for! I read something recently that spoke to me about this particular subject, and it said not to add more stress to an environment that is already stressful. Our kids are feeling the stress, whether they express it or not. They are not completely blind to the world, they are hearing us, and they are absorbing our energy. So to pile more of that stressful energy on top of them, with the overwhelm of homeschooling, they aren't going to learn anything. Read a lot, watch educational videos, let them do artwork, do puzzles, get some fresh air. I'm not saying don't do anything at all, I am just saying whatever feels right for the wellness of your home and your family, do that. We do not have to follow a particular order, according to what others are doing. Everyone is different, you do you boo-boo. And to the all the teachers out there who are working hard on getting our kids study plans in order, while getting their own lives in order, "cheers" to them all. They deserve so much credit.

I look at this time as a moment to step back and focus on the things that are really important in life. Health, family, food, shelter, resources, freedom. I feel like the universe is trying to wake us up. I say this a lot, but it's something I truly believe in. Society has become so spoiled and self-entitled. It isn't until the convenient luxuries that we have are stripped away, that people start to see how easy we really have it. It isn't until we can't go outside that we crave an active lifestyle. It isn't until our kids are growing older, that we miss even the hard times of when they were really little. It isn't until our health is compromised that we take action on our overall wellness, and restore our faith or spirituality. It isn't until we are burdened with financial hardship, that we are humbled and more compassionate towards others. What I am trying to say... is try to live your best life in the present. Make changes now, and live now, because if we continue to only live in the past, or for the future, we are going to miss out. Take this opportunity to think about what this break is doing for your family connection, and society. We are driving less, spending less on gas, probably eating less, appreciating the value of basic supplies, and being less wasteful. We are connecting more than ever as humans, even though we are apart. We are giving nature a break, allowing waters to clear and leaving roads untravelled. Less people roaming about, driving about, wasting about, equals less pollution. Everything is taking a break. And although everything seems scary at the moment, there is no way we aren't going to get through this.

Promise yourself today, right now, to take at least one thing from all of this, and ask yourself how you are going to change it once this all blows over. Whether its prioritizing family time on a more consistent basis, getting healthy, paying off debt or starting a savings, changing careers, or moving to a place you've always dreamed of living. Or what can you give up? What items can you donate, what subscriptions can you cancel, or bad habits can you break? Living in fear of what is yet to come, is only going to keep you standing still and worrying about things that not even politicians, doctors and experts can promise us. Try to take a day away from your newsfeed to reduce anxiety. I promised myself today that I will not read the news if I can avoid it, I am going to get some fresh air, and I am going to write. And as for when this all blows over, I am looking forward to heading to the mountains with my family, and indulging in the simple pleasures. And damn, am I going to have one organized home.

We are in this together, and it is all going to be OK.

Painting by VAS


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