It’s March 18th, 2020…It’s Wednesday…this week has already been 20 years long for most of us.
If you are like me, you weren’t built for this. I was built for the expected, the routine…even the mundane. Same thing day after day. I know – some of us would say we wanted spontaneity and surprise, but really, we only wanted them planned, positive, and within our expectations. This week is not that. This month is not that. This year is not that.
On Friday (Friday the 13th no less…if you are superstitious this did not help you at all!!) schools in our area closed. Until April 13th. Spring break just grew a bit. Then, yesterday (March 17th – serious leprechaun antics) they announced likely closure until the start of the 2020-2021 school year. WHAT?!? This is almost 6 months with no on site school support. August 17th would be my son’s first day of school. That is 5 months from yesterday. I almost cannot wrap my mind around 5 months without school. School is our normal.
It’s unreal – I keep thinking someone will tell us it was all a hoax – a test of our mental agility and emotional resilience. But I am becoming more and more confident that that is not the case. This is a real situation of epic proportions. A villain of the likes many of us have never seen. A villain that is going to leave a mark on all of us.
So take a minute. Take five if you need it. Stomp your feet and yell and scream. Throw a grown up tantrum. Cry if you need to. Cry over cancelled events, cancelled concerts, cancelled play dates, cancelled birthday parties. Cry over missed coffee dates, cry over the moments of silence after the kids were settled at school. Cry for our kiddos whose worlds have been turned upside down. Cry for the big things and the little things, the simple and the complicated. Then take a deep breath, wipe your eyes, and put on your big girl (or big boy) pants. We have work to do.
Today, let’s just tackle where to start. The first step. Once we have that down, the power starts to come back. And conquering this uncertainty, well, it is going to take power.
Find a space in your house – it might be a mirror or a window, it might be scratch paper – anywhere you can write. And every day, write the day and date – for yourself and for your family. Write it in Sharpie. In dry erase marker. In crayon. In lipstick. Just do it – every morning.
TODAY IS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18th, 2020
Start there so that the days cannot blend together. Make them real and authentic. Make them only one day. Because then you only have to get through one day.
From there, make a schedule. This does not have to be pretty. Pictures not required. This is not necessarily for your children. You may not even have children. But many of us (I suspect most of us) need a schedule. We need to know what is coming next and what is expected. And right now those things are more up to you than they would typically be.
I do want to emphasize that this is a SCHEDULE – this is not a to-do list. We are beyond that simplicity. Add times. Add duration. Be specific. And be simple. Wake up. Make beds. Exercise somehow. Drink coffee. Go outside. Complete tasks like laundry and dishes. Go outside again. Eat breakfast. Eat lunch.
Use a timer. And stick with it.
It may feel futile. Or just plain weird. But your brain will thank you. Your family will thank you.
There is magic in the mundane and power in the predictable.