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

  

Dear Alabama: Vote Your Conscience

Dear Alabama,

The eyes of the world will be on you on Tuesday.  Not just the US, but the world.  You have a choice to make that will illustrate to citizens in the US and beyond what “real Americans” truly feel is important – party or people.

I am not writing this to judge you. Many of you will never read this. I am writing this for me. Because I’m incredibly disturbed and saddened that your special election has captured the headlines in the US and internationally.

I will disclose from the beginning that I’m a democrat. Many of you will consider me a ridiculous liberal. And for some of you, because I know it may matter, I am half Mexican-American. If anything the last two years has shown me, one or all of those three things will make you dismiss me entirely.

For those still reading, I am also come from a mixed-party family. I can name many people who I love that voted for Trump, and though I don’t agree with them, I love them and respect them for sticking to what they believe.

I will not get in to the logistics of your election. You know the candidates better than me. You know what they stand for, and you know whether they are people who you can be proud are representing you and your state to the country, and maybe to the world.

What I ask you is this: 

If you are a Republican and you can’t vote for Roy Moore, then DON’T! Learn from the 2016 election. Republicans AND Democrats walked to the polls and wrote in who they believed should be there. Some didn’t show up.  Ultimately, people couldn’t vote for Hillary OR Trump, and they used their voice in a different way.

I am not writing this as a Democrat or a Republican. I am writing this as a proud American. I am writing this as the sister and the daughter and the niece and the cousin and the friend of service members. I am writing this as woman and as a mother.

Vote your conscience, and answer the very simple question. Does party matter more than people?

You are the first state of many in the coming year that will have to show if “Make America Great” means “America has lost its moral compass.” 

The Gift of Girlfriends

Last night, I had the good fortune to reconnect with some amazing girlfriends. We are a group of pre-school moms that “grew up” together as our girls grew up together, sharing the pains, joys, frustrations and ridiculousness of raising children, working, crazy husbands, and life.  Continue reading “The Gift of Girlfriends”

Second-Grade Wisdom: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. in the eyes of a 2nd Grade Student

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For my children, this is simply a day off of school and the chance to sleep in. No different and no more vague than Memorial Day, Winter Break and President’s Day.  Continue reading “Second-Grade Wisdom: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Happy New Year to the Perfectly Imperfect

2017-1
Source: Great picture  borrowed from Armstrong Economics website (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com

My instinct is 90% of bloggers in the world are currently writing, have written, or plan to write some type of blog today to kick off 2017.  Every New Years Day provides an opportunity, somehow, to turn things around, and for those of us that feel compelled to share our thoughts and feelings, this is one of the days that you can’t help but share on.

Today, I think my blog will be different… I’m going to be fully transparent about my resolutions.  Essentially, I have none, because I don’t believe in them, have continuously failed at them, and quite frankly, believe that real change does not have to happen because it is a “special” day. When you are ready to make a change, you do it.  When you know you need to make a change, but aren’t ready, then all the promises around resolutions and change essentially turns into a giant pile of BS that is meaningless and makes you feel bad.  Continue reading “Happy New Year to the Perfectly Imperfect”