Remind Yourself That “We are Still in a Pandemic”

Someone asked me, “What’s your best way to get through virtual schooling and all that’s going on in this pandemic?”

I replied, “We simply need to remember that This is a Pandemic. We are just making the best of everything. People keep hoping for normalcy but that is never going to happen in these situations. The resistance to change and adaptation is the real cause of unrest.”

Let’s face it! Virtual schooling is not anyone’s first choice. It’s almost impersonal and the kids don’t get to physically meet friends. We all know there is only so much a child can learn through a screen.

But here’s the crux of why the older generation feels the burn the most. We adults don’t get any time to do our own thing, let alone breathe. It’s hard on the kids, yes but I think it’s harder on the adults.

For months and months, we have been together. The four of us! And while I have loved being with the kids, I have missed my life before. Corona free, guilt free, worry free.

The anxiety was overwhelming during the time leading up to the school deciding on virtual learning. I knew that is what I would choose, no matter what the school decided but let’s not confuse helplessness for willingness. I would be lying if I said that I am happy the kids are home 24/7. After all, it means I have lost all my me-time that I had dreamed of, when the kids would be at school.

That time in which I was going to better myself, work harder of my writing career, maybe get a job too.

My daughter had just joined kindergarten. She hasn’t even experienced a full school year. I haven’t experienced more than a few months of being at home alone, with both my kids in school. That bliss that I dreamed of has fallen through my grasp.

I miss going to Panera bread, enjoying a sandwich and working on my books. I miss my impromptu coffee dates with friends. I miss having the no responsibility feeling for a few hours a day.

And now that we are in virtual schooling, I can see a lot of what I had imagined to be true. There have been technological issues, signing out of class by mistake, not to mention the kids running to me as soon as I think they are settled in and now I can work. No matter where I am in the house, I have to keep my ears tuned to the kids waiting for them to shout out to me.

It is all extremely overwhelming. I miss a lot of what was before and feel saddened by what I seem to have lost. Something that has no quantitative value. It is a feeling of despair that overcomes me, every now and then. And it’s most scary when I start worrying about not knowing when this situation will end.

And yet, I am remind myself of the importance of looking at this as a – ‘glass as it is’ situation.

Are we anxious? Yes. Will there continue to be hiccups? Yes. Are we going to try look at this as an opportunity for personal growth? Yes!!! But even if we didn’t, and just barely got through with a reluctant smile, that’s fine too.

It’s been hard and it may just get harder. But we will all get through this too.

I didn’t think I would live through a war (Gulf War). I did! I never thought I would have an arranged marriage. I did! I didn’t ever think I would live in USA. I did! I never thought I would become a writer and publish books. I never thought I would choose the path to entrepreneurship and work from home. I did! My whole life I thought I would never have a dog. We adopted one last November and have adapted to our family growing.

I never thought we would spend almost 6 months just almost just my family and here we are.

This is after a lifetime of challenges I never thought I would have to go through. Humans adapt to any life!

When I was out of school of 6 months during the Gulf war, my mother didn’t make me study or take classes to “fill my time. “. I kept myself busy while my mother was busy with a 6 month baby and worrying.  There were bombs exploding around us at times so my mental & creative growth was the least of her concern. All my parents cared about was keeping us safe and healthy. We had food, clothes (well! I didn’t even have that when I went to India with just what I had on) … and a comfortable place to live.

Many of you will disagree with me that this situation is not comparable to a war. I beg to differ. Just because it doesn’t tick all the boxes, doesn’t mean it has not made us all feel the same anxiety. We have all oscillated between doubt and fear. Hardly ever admitting to ourselves the extent of our own anxious, knee jerk behavior or reactions. It’s hard for adults to put themselves first, let alone admit to feeling sad about not being able to put themselves first.

And that’s what we all need to remember. We make the most of the situation we are in. We are human, so are the kids. It’s okay if the kids slide a little. It’s okay if those kids aren’t getting A+’s . If they aren’t taking a lot of extra classes or clubs after school. Yes, it is difficult to process because often we want the world for our kids, but it’s also important to remember we first want them to be safe.

All we all want is to make sure we make the best decisions for our kids to keep them safe and healthy.

Whenever you get frustrated or angry or feel hopeless, remember your why. Remember that we are all just trying to make the best of a weird situation. Hanging tight. Waiting for the storm we are in to blow over.

Kids have been troopers so far. The fact is, they are much more resilient than us. All they need from us is, to have a positive outlook to take their cues from. So take those deep breaths moms and dads. Have patience and have appreciation for every single  person whose helping your kids have a semblance of normalcy.

So, whether you feel the glass is half full or half empty, remember to be grateful for the water that is there. It is what it is, till we get through it and then it becomes a memory to cherish.

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