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Blessings and Missings

We’re about 3 weeks into this quarantine/shelter-in-place situation (regardless of what we call it, its effect on our lives is the same). Taking the pulse of everyone’s reactions via social media, personal conversations and secondhand reports, one thing is abundantly clear – feelings and reactions run the gamut. 

We must remind ourselves not to take our cues from anyone other than ourselves. However we feel is okay, and if that changes day to day or even hour to hour, that’s okay too. 

I’m mostly finding blessings in this corona status quo, but there are things I’m missing, too. 

It’s a blessing to have my college kids home for a little extra time. Their presence in my day-to-day fills my heart with joy and gratitude and my life with light. It’s a challenge sometimes to stay fully present and cherish this gift, because let’s be honest, stress can creep in pretty easily. I often find myself moving from cleaning to cooking to projects to getting outside for that walk to planning the next trip to the grocery store, only to have the kitchen sink clog and force me to convert the laundry room sink into a dishwashing station. But I’m making a special effort to keep centering myself because the absence of this is something I will definitely miss one day. 

I’m discovering the blessings in simple things, like walking outside and breathing in the fresh air and savoring some of the quietness. Being able to stay in pajamas all day if I want, and having few to-dos beyond taking care of my family and our home. Yet I’m missing the sweet preschoolers I help teach and I’m missing their precious smiles and hugs. I’m missing coffee and lunch dates with friends, and going out to dinner with my husband. Also in the missing category are Target adventures with my daughter that involve more than just running in to get essentials and leave as quickly as we can. 

For our college kids it can be a blessing for them to have a relaxing of the academic demands placed on them and to have home-cooked meals and be the creator of their own schedules. They’re finding new ways to connect with friends and may even be having more meaningful conversations. But these kids can also miss the independence of their college life, being surrounded by their friends and able to come and go as they please. Some, who thrive on routines and structure and don’t do well with change, may find themselves feeling anxious and unhappy with all semblance of their comforting normal temporarily thrown out the window. 

Wherever our college kids are on that spectrum of blessing versus missing, we need to show them grace. Support and love them and let them know that however they feel, it’s okay to feel that way.

Our little kids have been gifted with the blessing of less. Less hurrying and running from activity to activity. Less rushing in the morning to get to school. Less stress to do it all. And they have the blessing of more. More time at home and more time with their families, especially with their parents. Maybe more family playtime or walks or meals together at the table instead of on the go. More sleep. 

These same littles may be missing being able to be with their friends. They might miss some of their sports or activities or being able to go to the park and play on the playground. And yes, they might even miss going to school a little bit, too. 

In fact, there are some school age kids who rely on school for the emotional support from teachers or the meals provided, because these are lacking at home. For these kids, the missings might overshadow the blessings.

Have faith – this too shall pass.

We don’t know when this temporary alternative existence will return to life as we know it. But we do know that it will. The when is uncertain but the if is not. What we miss will return to us. And hopefully some of the new blessings we’ve discovered will continue to enhance our lives. 

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