I’ve been staying at home for over a month. I have experienced being alone and working from home for some time — actually years. I have been able to do this because I have the Internet. I’m privileged to have the resources and fortunate to have connections to family, friends, and people around the world. I’m finding the most important things in our lives are the relationships we have.
I published my book, Define Your WHY, in mid-February. I was excited about all the events and book signings scheduled. Then COVID-19. Everything was postponed or canceled. It wasn’t long before I was feeling sorry for myself.
Then I looked at myself and my feelings. I am luckier than most. It is okay to have those feelings. All of us will go through grief, feel fearful, and uncomfortable because everything is uncertain. I realized it’s not just about me and that I’m not alone. The world is in crisis. This is bigger than any one of us.
“Separation is painful, but it is the right thing to do.”
Queen Elizabeth message on the BBC 4/5/20
I am privileged to have access to what is happening around the world. I can connect to family members through videoconferencing, FaceTime, and other tools. I’m playing Mahjong with my sisters and friends, talking to my children, Sara and Andrew, regularly, having the greatest FaceTime sessions with my granddaughter. I even had a virtual birthday celebration. This is no time for me to feel sorry for myself. Andrew’s girlfriend, Melissa is making masks. Andrew helped her create a video for her students at Pacific University so they could make masks for those that need them. All we have to do is wear them if we have to go out. A mask is more about protecting others who are vulnerable.
I’m fortunate to be able to stay at home and be safe. We need to stay home so we can protect people like our doctors, nurses, and first responders so they stay healthy and are safe. I’m grateful for the grocery clerks and people stocking the shelves. I’m grateful for the people delivering packages and mail. I’m grateful for electricity, water, and waste management. That means people are working for us.
I’m grateful for our teachers who are trying the best they can to connect to their students. My heroes! Yet, I feel they are asked to do much more than is needed now. I applaud the states that are waiving standardized tests. I wish we could PAUSE teaching content. Teachers and families are struggling. Maybe teaching can be different during this crisis. Teachers can be there to listen, to calm anxieties, and to help families be there for their children. Many parents still have to work at home.
Okay, I’m ranting. I just feel like this crisis is so big that we need to rethink everything.
If you have to go outside or to the store, keep a physical distance, wash your hands often, and wear a mask. We can do that!
Who are you grateful for? What are you grateful for?
I have a house and my husband, Tom, is making sure I am okay and shops for me. He also is there for his 99-year-old mom who everyone loves. She is an inspiration for many. I am so grateful for my husband during this time because he not only helps his mom and me, we play games, watch movies, and laugh together. We’ve been working on puzzles. I’m reading more. I’m exercising by dancing around the house while I vacuum. I’m cleaning out closets. I’m writing more.
What are you doing now that you have put off when you were busy?
I have a garden with beautiful flowers and even found some caterpillars from Monarch butterflies on the Milkweed plants. Life goes on. My flowers are just starting to bloom. We planted vegetables. I’m privileged to have a garden. I have three sisters and we meet weekly virtually for our movie club. All four of us love to garden. Terry has a beautiful garden with vegetables and fruit trees. Janet started an aero garden in her house to grow herbs and vegetables. Sandy grows an amazing garden with vegetables and strawberries on her lanai in her condo in Hawaii. Yesterday, I went out to my garden before the rain and took some pictures of beautiful blossoms.
Today it is raining. We planted our vegetables yesterday. I’m grateful for the rain.
I’ve been reaching out to people I haven’t talked to for way too long. Connecting to others is crucial. It is what makes us HUMAN. We need to connect even if it is virtual. I’ve called some friends and several others I haven’t talked to in a long time have reached out to me.
I wish Internet companies could provide equitable access to the Internet to everyone. Staying home is easier for me and others in the same position as mine.
How do you respond to something big like this when we have no idea how long we’ll have to stay at home. A pandemic can change us and how we live and work. We have no idea how long this will last. Yes, it is scary. Fear can keep us from moving, from doing this and that. I kept making my To-Do list and couldn’t do any of it. I had to stop and reflect on what was going on with me.
I was trying to be a human DOING when all I wanted to do was BE. I need to rethink what it means to be a human BEING. We can all be human beings doing the right thing.
I thought I had to do everything on my list. So forgive me for not posting more often, for not putting up all of the podcasts that I’ve recorded. I’m working on those now but slower. We can do less and be more MINDFUL instead of MIND FULL.
I got this. We can do this. Stay at home. Wash your hands. If you have to go out, use the 6-foot rule and wear a mask.
This time can also bring out the best in all of us.
We are all in this together.
For all of the Rethinking Learning podcasts with Barbara Bray, click on the podcast tab at the top, the logo below, or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/ for the podcasts and reflections.
Go to this page for resources, questions, and more information about Barbara’s new book, Define Your WHY.