Meditation: Headspace, Adapting to Sudden Change Length: 10 minutes Where: Living Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: Calming
Today has been a bit stressful, with lots of moving parts. We got some bad news today- our oldest daughter was in confirmed contact with someone who has COVID (at school in Michigan- WHY are they back at school in-person with a surge happening? Completely ridiculous and irresponsible decision that infuriates me.)
Now, of course our first worry is her health and our family’s health. Very likely we would all be okay if we got the virus, being younger and healthy, but it’s a concern obviously. She seems okay, though, with no symptoms, and my husband has at least had the first round of the vaccine, so feeling fairly positive about that part.
However, we do, of course, have to cancel the family trip to Florida to visit Steve’s parents that I’ve been writing about. We were all so excited. We went through every possible scenario like John Nash, working out flight changes and negative tests against days in quarantine, and it just looks like there is no way to make this trip happen safely.
We haven’t completely given up… but, most likely, it’s not happening.
It’s a huge bummer, but, honestly, we’ve been very lucky during this pandemic. If this is the worst thing to happen, I really don’t have much right to complain.
Of course, seeing your children so incredibly disappointed is heartbreaking. That’s been the most painful part. These poor kids have been through it this year- I can’t imagine barely being able to see friends as a teenager!- and you just want so much to give them as much joy as possible. It’s so hard to have to explain to them our ethical responsibility to the people around us, family and strangers alike, when really what you’re saying is “sorry, we can’t do this either!”
It’s a double whammy for me, honestly. For one, these kids may be my step-kids, but I love them with every ounce of my being. I’ve been in their lives since the youngest was two years old. They are so deep in my heart. Their pain kills me!
I also feel the pain of my husband, though, and my heart just breaks for him. He’s about the kindest, most loving dad you can imagine, and I know it tears him in pieces to see the kids crushed. It’s part of life, and he knows his job is sometimes to disappoint his kids, but it really kills him, too. On top of which, he’s been missing his parents like crazy (as have I- I got unbelievably lucky with my amazing in-laws), and I know he’s so sad he can’t go see them right now. It’s been much too long.
All I want to do is somehow magically take all the disappointment away, but I can’t. That’s life sometimes. I’m processing my own, too, since I am missing him, the kids, and his family so hard. It’s really a small disappointment in the big picture of life, but after the year we’ve all had, it was great to have something to look forward to, so it’s extra hard.
Since I’ve been dealing with all of this today, I chose a meditation called “Adapting to Sudden Change” from Headspace. It was nice to stop, put the phone down, and just breathe for a second. Stop reacting and clear my head so I could respond instead. It felt like I cleared away some mental clutter in order to make room for clarity.
This whole year has been about adjusting to change, then adjusting again and again. It’s actually strengthened that muscle, I feel. I used to like to know every. Single. Thing. That was happening. Now, I’m a bit more flexible. You never know what life will throw at you.
I heard an interview with Riz Ahmed today where he was talking about what he’s learned during this time, and he said something to the effect of “Nothing in life is guaranteed, everything can go away in an instant, and so every single thing is a gift.”
I love that so much, and truly try to live my life that way. I’ve had nothing. Like, really nothing. I’ve been homeless more than once in my life, lost everything I owned in a fire, had nothing more than a few worldly possessions on more than one occasion. I try to appreciate everything. Now more than ever.
We are lucky. We are alive, healthy, we have food and a roof over our heads and family and love. So much love.
As long as you have that, everything is always going to be okay. This I know for sure.