Day 30: Lifeskills

Day 30 came and went without much fanfare. I don’t know what I expected. I guess maybe to find out whether or not this 35 day quarantine will be extended. I want to have a handle on the situation, to get an idea of what’s to come. (Like that is possible…)

Lately I’m reminded of this quote that I can’t quite recall. It’s about bending instead of breaking in a storm. It might be a proverb–The wind does not break the tree that bends or something to that effect. But I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Whatever it is, it’s about navigating and accepting change. Bending and moving with the flow. Riding the wave, being an observer instead of a reactor. It’s just that usually we are afraid of what is uncertain, afraid of what we cannot control.

Motherhood has forced this philosophy on me. For years I couldn’t plan anything. Maybe someone would need to nurse or have a blow-out poop. Some days it was paralyzing.

Now the moods of my girls change so fast that some moments I can’t respond to one mood before they move on to another. They give me constant chances to work on changing my tone without changing my actual feeling toward them. They help me to never take things personally. Giving me endless opportunity to look at things from someone else’s perspective, I practice empathy on an hourly basis because sometimes being told that you’re not allowed to put on your bathing suit and pretend to be doing ballet at bedtime can be devastating. Sometimes having to wear pants and socks is the worst news you’ve ever received. When you’ve been on this earth less than 36 months not getting to eat what you want this instant could seem like the end of the world.

It turns out that navigating this kind of change, at this fast pace with these tiny humans is a lifeskill and one that’s really coming in handy now.

This tragic time in the world is giving us all ample opportunity to put this stuff to use. Every day I hear stories of people doing some creative, kind gesture to make this experience sweeter for someone else and everyday I see a tired soul, exhausted from change ready to give up.

My prayer for us all is that we will bend. That we will let this experience shape us, but not make us bitter. That as a people we will bolstered and not broken.

Until tomorrow,

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