My birthday was the best day. I am uncomfortable with birthday hoopla when it is directed at me but because of the shelter at home order, I was showered with attention from afar. Birthday goodies, flowers, and a banner delivered to my front porch. Lots of cards in the mail. And a fun cupcake celebration on Zoom with my favorite people.
2. What did I miss?
Grocery shopping. I used to go to the store multiple times each week. I love meal planning and slow shopping, wandering the aisles, reading ingredients, picking up produce to make sure it is the freshest. I don’t mind wearing a mask or planning just one trip a week. But I miss being able to wander and linger. I will say that the staff at my store have been so amazing. They are kind and gentle and I am so grateful for their work.
3. What does peace look like in May?
I am cultivating some peaceful practices. A lot of walking and paying attention. Gardening will definitely be a peaceful pursuit. More time for prayer and putting pen to paper.
I have a Friday finish. Grand baby number two will be here soon. The Mama saw the doctor yesterday and she is moving along. Both Mama and Papa have been working from home and taking lots of precautions so they can be together in the delivery room and big brother will come and stay with gramma and grampa. Thank goodness for FaceTime so their little family can be together/apart.
Like Mary I am having a hard time showing up to write these days. I think posts in my head but by the evening, when I usually write, I am worn out. Moving our school online and working from home has been full of new things to learn. This week I spent a lot of time on video calls, trying to encourage and reassure my staff. When you are in front of kids, you get immediate feedback. Teaching online, even with live class times each week, means you need to check in differently. But I am so proud of them and grateful for the way they have stepped into this new way of teaching and loving their students.
It is a strange way to head into retirement. I’m not unhappy that there won’t be one of those gatherings where the retiree sits in a chair at the front of the room and everyone talks about you. And I have also had a lot of time to think about how I want life to look after June 30 and that has been a gift. One friend said, let’s call this practice.
This happened yesterday. What could be better than a small person, on a sunny afternoon, dipping his toes into the dirt. All the memories of our girls, digging in the dirt, making forts and kitchens, using their imaginations and staying engaged for hours. It is so much fun (much needed fun) to watch him play in the same place that his mama and her sister played so many years ago. Yup, this was a much needed bit of joy.
I am grateful for the daily bits of joy I get from reading blogs. Here are a few links to places that might speak into your day:
I went searching for the book (which I found in an audio version at my most amazing library). And then I discovered that it began with a TED-talk so now I want you to Watch this
That was Monday and in every so tiny ways, I found myself shifting. I am working from home. I am not taking some time off. It isn’t a staycation. But the rhythm of my days does provide space to make little moments of joy. When I go downstairs to refill my water or coffee, I take a few minutes to check in with my husband and get a little kiss before I head back to the computer. And when I see those sun breaks outside, I quickly pull on my shoes and take a walk. Two or three of those shorter walks end up giving me over 10,000 steps which is amazing! And when I turn off the computer, I make a quick stop in the other upstairs room to spend some time doing yoga or Pilates. (I am so happy I didn’t set up my work space in there. I don’t think it would feel like a gift at the end of the day if I was looking at that mat for 7 hours.)
Yesterday we made some joy by having a virtual happy hour with my sister and her partner in NYC complete with chips, salsa, and margaritas.
How will you make joy today? Let’s see if can’t feel that little shift.
The weeks have been long but yesterday felt like it had far too many hours. Fortunately there were some very good things tucked inside.
1. A wonderful Zoom meeting with online friends
2. An encouraging email from a parent who supports the extra work our teachers are doing to support our young students while in-class school is on hold.
3. Sunshine – always a good thing but that afternoon sunshine that made it possible to get out and dig in the garden and uncover some of the first bits of color.
4. Fresh baked, gluten free cookies waiting for me when I finished the second of three online work meetings (so lovely to have a husband who bakes).
5. A special Thursday night edition of wine and cheese night and some time to work on my Nightshift.
And how good is it that people are finding ways to connect. Mary hosted a Zoom meet-up and Lori did a Facebook live. I am so grateful for my online friendships as we learn to do life together but apart.
We are three weeks into this new way of living together/apart and since we can’t sit around sharing funny stories at the lunch table, I have had to look for new things that bring a little levity into my days. I thought I would share some things that have made me laugh lately.
I found these rolls of toilet paper and the attached note on my desk yesterday. My assistant applied for a graduate program and asked me to be a reference and write a letter. I was happy to do that knowing the program was a good fit for her. It was exciting to hear she was accepted and I had a good laugh at her choice of thank you tokens. In a world that is spinning, toilets paper might become the new Starbucks card!
I love it when my daughter sends text stories about that special three year old. Words are his love language and he comes up with some hysterical ideas.
Finally, my teachers have been making videos to send to our preschoolers. Those teachers are quite the comedians. I think they are being silly to take off the pressure of being on camera but I love how they are stepping into this new way of “teaching.”