Turns out, that even with time on my hands I did not perfect a Gluten Free bread recipe, learn the piano or brush up on my Spanish. Nor did I even try. I am not coming out of this in the best shape of my life. Conversely and thankfully, I have not put on the COVID “19”. I started off making yummy healthy dinners using all of our “on hand” products and somehow devolved to nachos with tons of cheese for dinner. I did work really hard. Hard physical labor. And, while my efforts are paying off, it is not in some incredible, monumental “OMG, look world at what I have accomplished!” way. But, in sort of an average way.
Don’t hear average as a negative. I am realizing that my dinners are average. My garden is average. My horse skills are average as are, often times, my people skills.
BUT….I do show up. I try. I continue to work on all of the above. Every day I am working hard to make sure we have groceries, dinners, the yard/gardens are being attended to, laundry is clean. And, I do it all with love and forethought. I work hard every day and every day I advance my goal. No matter what the goal is. And, while my everyday might be sort of average, working hard and advancing my goals daily turns it into above average.
Throughout all of this insanity I realized we all handle stress differently. In listening to others and quarantining with 3 others I realize….some go hard core eat healthy and workout. Others, the complete opposite. Some turn to drink. Some are busy learning a new skill. Some become depressed or anxious and have the inability to move literally or figuratively.
Me…I need to stay busy. And not a seated busy like needlepoint or crafting. Like cleaning tops of windows. Up and down ladders. Building gardens. Moving 135 bags of mulch. That kind of busy. The kind where even in the solitude of garden building I am unable to let my brain wander. If I stop and think, the anxiety can come rushing in. And that is no good for me or the people in my current bubble.
I also realized that, while tough at times, it was best to leave my #farmboy alone in his thoughts as he figured out how to navigate the pressures of this pandemic on all of us financially. I let him be. I had to remind myself that peppering him with questions to minimize my anxiety would not help him, and therefore not help me. I tried to only listen when he needed to talk it through.
I realized I can’t push the girls into doing something/anything. Even if it is on their list of things they want to do.
I have also learned to bite my tongue more and more when someone in the family gets ornery with me or says something that I don’t care for. I have had to make decisions on when it is necessary to speak up or raise a mama eyebrow. Does not mean I have perfected this either. But, I am getting better. Then, I often find myself in the garden muttering away. Just out there using up all the words I wanted to use inside. Sometimes I feel proud of my new found pause button and other times I feel as if I have lost my voice and my passion. It depends on what day you talk to me….it is a continual struggle.
Our little bubble world started off as a 3 pack, and then we added a 4th. Our girls, while not loving our fairly strict bubble world, were willing to live by the rules and feared the worst if they did not. Our girls have been kind to one another and to us.
Today our army of 4 will disband. That kills me. And, while at times some one in our group has been grumpy/sad/anxious with the world, or one another….we have made a very solid team. We are all completely different from one another and that can be frustrating…but we all come to it with love for each other and an understanding and mindfulness that this is serious. We worried for ourselves and almost more interestingly enough we worried for the others in our group.
My people and the world will someday look back on all of this and remember our times in quarantine. The scary. The sad. The worrisome parts and the joyful parts.The parts that had us turned upside down and backwards.
And while my little gang of 4 never did make 1 stinking tik tok….I can honestly say that bonds were forged in new ways that will never be forgotten or displaced.
We celebrated 2 birthdays, our very first horse birth and Mother’s Day…each one super special. And while I wish the world was not suffering physically or economically I can say with all honesty that I have leaned in to the whole experience with gratitude and love. That I feel so lucky to have had my baby girl 1 and baby girl 2 here to celebrate with. And these celebrations might go down in my heart as my most favorite…(minus having the boys here with us) because we were more creative. We spent less. There was no FOMO or feeling of let down or regret.
As our days together winds down, and the reality of having to deal with the fall out of all of this financially, educationally, emotionally I am reflecting on what will my take away be? As I find myself tearing up thinkng about girl 1 going back to Austin I berate myself slightly for sometimes forgetting in the moment how lucky I am and how much I love my people. Trust me though, I do love them all. I will treasure this time together and I will continue to work on being more aware in the moment of all that love and not waiting until it is gone to realize.
I hope that my little gang of 4 remembers witnessing the birth of our new baby horse. That they watched ALL “100,000” episodes of New Girl together, They concocted new drinks. Celebrated in a bar even when the bar was closed. Saw sunsets that were breathtaking. And double rainbows. And were together. Safe and healthy and loved.
I sincerely hope that during these unprecedented times you and your bubble gang have bonded, shared, leaned in to the experience in a most above average, average sort of way…..
And, as it turns out, my life, my people, my loves are anything but average.
I send my love out to all of you and I hope you and yours are all healthy physically and emotionally. As a PSA from me to you….as restrictions lighten up, please do not take your health and safety for granted. Please be smart. Wear a mask. Wipe your stuff down. Start going out in to the world but, do it wisely. If not for yourself, then for your loved ones…those that help make your world above average.