…and keep going

Sometimes I am just not in the mood for writing, but yet I have a lot of feelings. Poetry is one way of getting your feelings out without all the words. This is what came up today…

Exhaustion and despair, while hopeful and patient.

Everyday the same, with changing stories constantly.

My mind slips in and out, focused and forgetful.

Goals and purpose, replaced with survival and endurance.

There is a dawn each day, hope arrives and retreats.

Surrounded by love, remembering what matters.

Suffering is part of being human, our response is our choice, the one thing we control.

Seek the good, find the bright spots, honor the sorrow and keep going.

Parallels of Life on the Road & Life in Quarantine

Photo: Homeschooling in the Camper, December 2015

Does anyone else feel like they are constantly running out of toilet paper and the dishwasher is always full? Is that just me? Maybe that’s why we were all hoarding the TP at the beginning of quarantine, everyone was home. Everyday. All. Day. Long.

And yet, there is a simplicity to the days at home, no rush to get out in the morning. No waiting for Dad to return home from work to have dinner. These things I do enjoy. These are the moments that remind me of our year on the road. It was just us, all day, everyday. Our days were simple.

I have noticed a lot of parallels between our nine month camper trip and our quarantine life. While the girls were five years younger and our space was much smaller; homeschooling, spending all the days together and missing our friends are the same.

Homeschooling on the road looked a bit different, we didn’t have online classes or any support from teachers. Our classroom was the national park we would be visiting that day and math was from a workbook at our tiny dinette table in the camper. Andrew and I balanced the teaching responsibilities, while he focused mostly on math and science, I took over writing and art. The struggle to get the kids motivated to work remains the same. Luckily now we have the support from their schools, giving us a break from being the authoritarian the whole time.

The constant togetherness is another theme that runs true from our time in the camper. Eating, sleeping, dressing and even bathroom time. All together. In the camper, our quarters were tiny. Showering meant the girls and I would grab our toiletries and shuffle off to a campground bathroom, we would each find a stall and get ourselves clean, the girls arguing about having to share shampoo and soap. Me, wondering when the next time I might be able to shower in peace would be.

Today, we are in a big house, with multiple bathrooms and plenty of extra space. While we are all together everyday, we are generally apart, separated in our rooms, passing by in the kitchen for lunch. The highlights might be the pass by kiss before Andrew heads to work in the basement and a sip of his freshly brewed coffee before he disappears for hours of calls. Maybe a quick snuggle from my youngest between classes or company on errands from my oldest after school and walks after dinner with the dog.

Socializing is much different, yoga classes in the guest room, zoom happy hours by the fire and maybe a socially distant visit every few months. We miss family gatherings and easily seeing our friends without the impending doom that we are going to infect someone or get sick ourselves. On the road we didn’t see our friends or family much either, but when we did see them, the first thing we did was give a big, strong hug. Oh, how I miss hugging.

There is a lot I miss these days, but also so much I am grateful for and I realize I can have both these feelings at the exact same time.

Tell me, what do you miss most in these quarantine days and at the same time, what are you so grateful for?

Challenging Days

I had different post ready for today, but in light of the news this week, it didn’t seem appropriate to ignore what is going on in our country right now. 

I wanted to share how I am feeling. I am struggling, as I imagine so many others are too. How is this the country we live in? How is this the world I am raising my daughters in? I am feeling challenged today because at the beginning of the year instead of a New Years resolution, I decided to choose a word that will carry me through the year, last year it was Mindfulness. When things got difficult or I got frustrated about my situation I tried to be mindful, focus on my breath and drop into the moment. It helped. And I still use this as a calming practice, especially when I get heated about something. 

This year my word is Acceptance. It comes from a place inside me, of where I want to be, accepting of myself, my body, my abilities and all that I have in the current moment and not grasping for more. It is also a goal for me to be accepting of others. To try and see what they bring to the world, and when I feel challenged try and understand what their struggles might be and how they got to the situation they are in. 

Today, I am having a hard time resonating with this word. Trying to comprehend how domestic terrorists could attack our capital, I can’t for the life of me understand why people would act in such harmful ways. I can’t get my head around how people can be so dedicated to a leader who is so dangerous, evil and manipulative. I am at a loss of what to do. 

Instead of feeding my worry with food or drowning myself in wine, I am choosing self care. That doesn’t mean I didn’t scroll through social media and feel my blood start to boil, oh I did that, but then I decided how I wanted to react. I took a walk, I did yoga, I took a shower, during lunch we turned the radio on to music (not NPR) and I checked in with my kids. I sat down at my desk and I wrote down how I felt. I will deliver food for the food bank this afternoon and it will feel good to help people in need. And for now, thats the best I can do. I might still have a drink tonight, but it will be a choice, not a reaction. I am sure there is more I can do, but today, as I am grappling with my word for the year, I am accepting my feelings for what they are and I am focusing on self care. 

*These are my feelings as of Thursday afternoon (to be posted Friday morning), I am adding this in because I am not coming back to edit and in these crazy days, a lot can happen over an evening.

Let’s Start with Accountability

Welcome to my new blog! Thank you for being here.

You might be wondering, why I am starting a new blog? Good question. Honestly and selfishly, it’s for me. I need Accountability. This year I want to make a regular habit of writing AND posting it. The goal is to share my writing, have my voice be heard, listen to what others think and start a dialogue. In the end it is for me to write each day and post it with confidence. 

I spend so much of my time reading the news and scrolling on social media, but what I am looking for is inspiration, motivation and upbeat stories of real life to fill my time with light and positivity. Instead of searching for it, I thought maybe I could be the source! My goal is to post something, not too long, on the blog twice a week. This will give me accountability and hopefully won’t be too overwhelming for those reading. I will be posting anything that comes to mind, it might just be morning ramblings, it might be recipes or something new I tried in the kitchen. Possibly, a kitchen fail, like these Black-Eyed Pea Fritters from New York Times Cooking, I tried to make this week and failed miserably – if anyone tries and succeeds with this recipe, please let me know. I may offer something inspirational that has come up in my yoga practice, or possibly a story from our trip that might resonate with what we are all dealing with in our daily lives right now. 

Also, I have seen a lot of  parallels of this quarantine life we have all been managing for the last nine months and my family’s life on the road living in a camper for nine months. For starters, homeschooling, being with family 24/7 and not seeing family or friends very often. I may share some stories and possibly offer inspiration or hope for these long days we are all moving through. 

Help me stay accountable and leave a comment, let me know what you would like to hear about and lets have some fun reading and sharing something other than the news this year! 

Thank you for reading, I hope you stay tuned, feel free to like this post, share with others and subscribe and I can pop right in to your inbox.