I remember when my dad was sick in the hospital. Mom went to visit and we stayed home. I felt like I was surrounded by a box that wouldn’t let me see forward. My mind couldn’t think; I was worried and that spot in my mind that held my dad was a black hole I could not fill. It seemed like the world stopped; I withdrew to my room and slept.
A few hours later, mom arrived with relatives [she didn’t drive] and took my little brother and I to the hospital to visit dad. He smiled. Tubes were everywhere, but he smiled. I knew he would be OK.
Back at home, the box was gone, and I saw things through the lens of knowing he would be coming home, through his smile. I could breathe again.
These days, I get calls from my son and his family on FaceTime; I see their smiles and hear their voices; we talk about how we are changing our ways to keep going forward, looking ahead. And we laugh.
Those calls lift my heart, just as my dad’s smile did. I can focus on my little world knowing there will be another call and another day. We are all thankful for our “another days.”
And Scott, my husband, is always hopeful. He meditates to ease the stress and we walk daily. His smile uplifts me. It’s our frequent hugs that keep us going forward; he fills his days with work as the owner of the local newspaper, keeping home as much as possible and using the phone and Zoom to connect. I fill my days with the things I love: Scott, family texts/calls, birds singing, flowers blooming, bugs buzzing, cat purring, healthy foods and exercise, good reading, art. Without these, the box comes back, but with these, my mind eases and and my body relaxes, as if I am in a bubble that is keeping the darkness away. Together, we help each other through the days.
This is how we handle the extra stress of these days.
So, everyone is stressed and worried. The World Health Organization reminds us to look after our physical and mental health:
One of the best blogs I’ve read in a while is from Sean Patrick Hughes, who reminds us through his varied experience as a veteran and father of an autistic child:
- Take it one day at a time.
- Be grateful.
- Serve others.
Read the blog to know how important these three things will be to help you get through these days: Special Needs Parenting in the Age of Pandemic — it’s about far more than that, which is definitely enough.
In my life:
- Take it one day at a time. — family chats, art, conversations with Scott
- Be grateful. — Scott and I to each other and while breathing in the beauty of our world around us in our daily walks.
- Serve others. — Scott gets the news so others can make decisions; I write two blogs, one for education, and this one, now for any focus now in my life.
In your life: How are you strategizing for these three things?
May you discover the bubble and smiles that ease your days.
Resources for Dealing with Stress
Johns Hopkins: Stressed about Covid-19 — Here’s what can help
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker