The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected everyone in some way including my family. In May our fifth grandchild was born and it is August and we have not met him. My heart breaks because this little boy has never met his paternal grandparents and fear is driving that decision. You see, because we live by faith, does not mean everyone lives by faith. Some are living in fear and fear is what is driving this decision by one of our children. Now don't get me wrong, I understand the fear because my 81 year old mother in law lives there too, but on her birthday, the neighbors stopped by to visit outside. And I sigh...
Does this make me angry, bitter, resentful? Not exactly, but it does make me sad because there are more families struggling with greater problems than us not meeting our grandson.
Here are some tips to help you put aside the distractions that we are trying to escape and it doesn't matter what gender or age you are, everyone needs to give themselves a break.
Turn off the television, the radio and the technology for more than the time you are in bed sleeping. Give yourself a set time to check email, social media and your calendar. No need to speed dial google or the news every hour on the hour.
Stop reading the negatives social media posts. Scroll, my friends, it is healthier for your mind to avoid these posts. If something sparks you to reply to a post and it has a negative thought, stop the thought and move onto the next cat post.
Turn off your notifications, every single one of them. No need to remind yourself that you have another unread email or social media post. The less you know, the more rewarding it will be.
Plan time for you. Close the door, lock it and sit in a bathtub and rest in a bubble bath with a good book and a beverage. Epsom Salts and bubble baths are cheap and therapeutic.
Call a friend to take walk in the city and visit some of the local shops and see what they have. From neighborhood cafes to the old antique boutiques, browse and be thankful that you have time to spend it with a friend.
Take the children to a park and let them run around mask free for a few hours and breathe in the fresh air. Let them play a ball game, slide on the slide, jump in the pool and let them be a kid. This is just as stressful for them as it is for you.
While the children are playing at the park, put your phone down and read a book or bring a notebook and start making a list of things you will be changing in your life.
Learn a new hobby. Crocheting, baking, jewelry making, writing, journaling, genealogy are a few of the new things you can learn.
Read a book that you have on your book list. There are a lot of new authors popping up every day on Amazon. See the latest book and support a new author.
Write your pandemic story and how you have adjusted to the changes. Put it in a time capsule for your children or grandchildren.
Find that unfollow feature on social media and unfollow the haters, the hateful and the ones who make you want to scream at a screen. That unfollow feature is probably the best feature of Facebook.
Remember ET phone home? Pick up the phone and call a family member that you have not talked to for a while. Mom or Dad is probably feeling a little stir crazy with not being able to socialize with their friends. I know my mom is feeling lonelier these day because they have cancelled all of their luncheons for the seniors.
Get ready to donate the old and make a fresh start into 2021. The clothes you have not worn in a few years can be donated to families in need. Check out your local thrift stores and ask them what they are doing for homeless families. There are some that are giving homeless families a second chance.
Make an appointment with yourself for a personal self-care day. Hair, facial, massage, mani/pedi are a few of the indulges, but there are plenty of inexpensive or free self care days. Hiking, swimming, day trip to a nearby town to visit antique stores or shops and have lunch or an early dinner.
Visit a local museum and learn about the history of the community. You might be surprised at how much you don't remember or didn't know about the town you live in.
Pull out the old photos and put them into a photo album or scan them into your computer. Personally I prefer photo albums and enjoy looking at them. Online, they seem to get lost in folders.
Book an online party with friends. Prepare your snacks and beverages and set a time to catch up over what's been going on in your lives.
Make time for your spouse and support a local business. Put your phone down and talk about something besides work and the children. Reminisce about the days before you were married and bring up the special memories that drew you closer.
Put aside time for family and friends. Call an elderly neighbor to see if they need anything or bake a cake or cookies and drop off.
Find a local place that rents kayaks, canoes or paddleboards and spend a few hours on the water enjoying nature.
We can't fix everything, nor can we do everything, but we can make the best of the situation we are in. We may not get to do everything we want, but what we can do is continue to enjoy life dancing in the rain and getting wet. This soon will pass and when it does, the stories we will tell over the years will definitely be classic stories that our children and grandchildren may never remember.
Treasure these days because this is one time in our life that we get to start over again as parents, friends, neighbors and grandparents. Live it right this time.