Our COVID 19/Social Distancing Family Experiment – The Beginning

Today is the first Sunday of my life that I woke up and didn’t feel guilty about thinking about skipping church…or possibly, just possibly skipping church.

Today, I will go to the grocery store for the third day in a row before 8:30am to try and beat the crowds as I try to determine how to ensure my family is fully stocked on necessities while also trying to figure out what I can buy to donate to other families who don’t have the same luxury of stocking up.

Today, I am confident our family will camp out in front of the TV at some point to play video games, watch movies, and figure out what the heck to do with a day in which we can’t rely on other things: people, activities, items to occupy my kids.

Today, I will IM with multiple other moms, friends, family and work colleagues as we prep for what tomorrow will bring.

Tomorrow is when shit gets real, and I really start to understand what the heck the new world looks like. Working at home full-time indefinitely, helping coordinate eLearning for my children, finding ways to keep the ship of our live sailing while keeping the people I love most – both in my home and outside of it – safe and healthy.

Three things a know as I look at the beginning of an unprecedented time in my life – but also in the life of the five generations of my family alive today.

  1. Things will be…: I know that I will be afraid at times over the coming weeks. I will be overwhelmed. I have family all over the country from a sister who is a nurse in Seattle to parents in South Texas (including one with emphysema), to a brother in Boston.  I have friends that I can’t help, even as some are dealing with real-life possibilities of supporting their families while possibly being sick and just waiting for a f’in test to be available.  I have neighbors who may need me, or I may need them, whether it is for supplies or for sanity checks.

The truth is the next few weeks will likely be the ultimate four-letter word of feelings, but we will get through it.

  1. This could be the most amazing opportunity for my family: Over the last decade, life happened. I’ve been navigating an interesting professional journey, working my ass off, as I desperately try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  In the interim, my three kids have grown up.  No longer do I have the snuggle monsters that love unconditionally. I have a teenager who is surly and struggling, a pre-teen girl who is sad more than she is happy because girl-drama absolute sucks, and a 6-year old who is my lovable but clearly the last child.  I have a husband that I love more than life itself, but we have started to lose each other as we try to figure out at early-40+ who we are as individuals and as parents. When you have known each other since you were kids, it’s fascinating how easy it is to accidentally grow apart as you grow up together.

Yet, for the first time in my life, I’m going to be forced to find a way to focus on what matters most.  If I don’t walk out my front door when this is over and know my kids just a little more or understand my husband just a little bit better, then I’ve missed an opportunity.  What that means in the long term, only time will determine.  But I’ve been given a chance, one way or another, to reconnect to the people who are the Suns in my life. My orbit sometimes feels like it has been weakening, and I pray I can strengthen the bonds.

  1. We are not alone: Not one of us is alone, even when we are alone. Billions of people, across the globe, are in this with us. Pandemics don’t care about gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.  In moments like these, we will might see the worst of human nature, but the best of being human will always shine even brighter.  The beauty of timing here is that technology allows us to see each other, hear each other, and be with each other in a way that was never possible before.  If you feel lost and alone, if you are struggling, reach out – even if you can’t do so physically.  While walls may separate us temporarily, the beautiful videos of Italian communities singing together reinforces that we can always find a way to find the good in the middle of the bad together.

As you begin your Sunday journey, remember we are all in this together. And when things feel bad, listen for the music…

Italian Singing

 and remember:

Gloria Gaynor I will survive

  

Three Secrets of a Working Mom Wardrobe

Stitchfix Ideas

I have five minutes to write,  as I try to fit in finishing  a presentation, showering and dressing,  then heading out to a client meeting to colleagues who also happen to be fashion divas. Of course it makes sense to stop  and blog in the midst of this…

Well, I can’t help when inspiration strikes. As a scramble to figure out what to  wear  today,  a few quick things occurred to me. Continue reading “Three Secrets of a Working Mom Wardrobe”

Balance doesn’t exist

I have never been very balanced in my approach to things. I’ve been all or nothing for everything. Sports. Work. School. Love….  You get the idea!

Balance

I jump into what I’m doing head first because it is the only way that I know how to do things. When I’m working, I’ve been an 80-hour-a-week girl or I’m not successful. I told my husband that I loved him after three weeks of dating. Granted, my hubby isn’t the most balanced individual either, but I love him for it. This approach has worked well for me throughout the first 28 years of my life, and then, it just didn’t.

My oldest son was born with a bang! He was a month early via emergency c-section as I was in the midst of severe pre-eclampsia. I had worked 70-hours trying to finish up some major projects while also trying to prep for my in-laws holiday celebration. Probably not my wisest moment. My little man spent two weeks in the hospital, and I spent 10 days there.  My husband was terrified, my mom had to fly in three weeks early after the doctors finally realized my horrible headache was a brain hemorrhage. To say the least, it was an adventure.

Since that crazy day, I’ve continued to struggle to find that perfect balance. Less work, more work. Less TV, more TV. Less wine, more wine. For eight years, no matter what I try, I constantly feel unbalanced. Is it me? Is it everyone? What can I do better?

My hypothesis – BALANCE IS AN ILLUSION. Single or married. Kids or no kids. We all constantly struggle with finding balance. It’s why there are is a booming business in self-help books and programs. I am fairly confident that 90% of personal bloggers touch on it at some point in time.

We all want balance. The perfect balance. But life changes on us. It evolves from week to week and day-to-day. Today, we live our lives from meeting to meeting and event to event. Half of us rely on our digital calendars, others use their day planners, and most of the rest have a calendar hung up somewhere in the home.

How do you find true balance when the structure that helps you navigate your life is rigid and inflexible? I am not convinced you can. Instead, I think you have to look at yourself and understand where you can adapt and evolve. Drop something that you are comfortable with – either short-term or long-term. Recognize that true balance is fluid. One week, work might need more, and one week,our family may need more. Hell, one week you need to focus on you more. Allow yourself to be flexible and you might find that real balance is actually coming from embracing an evenly unbalanced life.