How are you, friends? It’s rough out there. It doesn’t sound like this is coming to an end soon. I’m thinking of and deeply appreciating all of the people in the medical community who are on the front lines, working so hard to keep everyone safe. You have my respect and my prayers. All the people who are keeping a new world going with deliveries, transportation, teaching (even at distance), and all those offering their services and help. Thank you.
How are you managing? Are you able to be flexible to all the changes? Are you able to be a little more gentle and patient with yourself and all those around you? I haven’t been on that Gentle and Kind track this week. I felt frustration, anger, and avoidance. The “realness” of what’s happening started to take shape in my mind more clearly. School is officially out for the rest of the year. Everything is canceled (which has been true for awhile, but going into week four this reality is taking on new significance). The suffering and impact on clients, friends and family was heartbreaking. I feel frustrated and unable to help in some cases.
But I also didn’t do a great job helping myself.
My meals last Tuesday and Wednesday went something like: large coffee, kids breakfast leftovers, maybe more coffee, tortilla chips, guacamole, more tortilla chips, kids leftover dinner and wine. Oh! I forgot the Easter candy course. Yeah, the easter candy is in my home office and God help us if we have any left for the actual Easter celebration.
No water. Exercise was something like walking from the desk to the bathroom to the tortilla chips. Went out to get the mail. (I realize going outside is a luxury that isn’t very feasible for some people right now, but I have an outdoor space that is safe….and unused for those days)
In contrast, let me tell you about someone else living here on our property. Chickens. We have four baby chicks at our house. This is the first time we’ve had chickens and so we pay careful attention to them. I make sure we’re giving them fresh water, cleaning their pen. We get them outside each day for some fresh air, and bug snacks and sunshine. We feed them high quality food and some greens each day in our garden. We speak softly to them and hold them gently. We observe them to see if they have any indication of being ill or needing additional help. My husband makes sure the space they live is heated (even more than our house…).
You see, I had taken a white knuckle approach to our Shelter in Place situation. As my friend put it so eloquently, “it's like an international flight with two kids under five. You buckle in and do whatever you can to get through it. It's going to be bad, but it's over at some point.” Yep. I am guessing lots of you can relate to this approach.
Well, my friends, it turns out this may be a 20-week “international flight” with my family and our communities. School will not resume this year, it’s uncertain how summer will unfold.
We needed a new strategy beyond “Endure and munch chips”.
SImple is usually best in these situations. It’s not the time to get fancy so I landed on something solid.
So, my new strategy is simple and I wanted to make sure I share it far and wide.
“Treat myself as well as the damn chickens”.
I’ll say it again:
Treat yourself as well as a chicken
Fresh water, outside time, protein and greens, gentle chicken-talking and patience. Can I commit to that? Basic Chicken Care. That’s what I’m asking of myself for myself. Let’s start there. Do you want to join me? Let’s take the same attention and care towards chickens and give it to ourselves and our community. Let’s take the Chicken Pledge and be present, kind, observant and drink a lot more water.
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