As the final dishes were cleared and both the moon and the volume of the music was rising, the two of us snuck out onto the concrete patio overlooking the greens of my teenage years. The same ones I imagined I’d marry my best friend on. We peered back in through the floor to ceiling windows witnessing the unorchestrated assembly of our childhood confidants, college companions, and future family on the dance floor.
Make sure you step away at some point in the night and allow yourself to take it all in…there will never be another time in your life when all of these people can be found in the same room.
That was some of the best marital advice we were given.
Take it all in…
I’m not sure those emotions will ever be replicated, however, the advice is something I still hold onto nearly nine years later.
“We empower ourselves and each other to do our best work by cultivating meaningful relationships and creating equitable and safe spaces for everyone to courageously lead and unapologetically express themselves, with accountability” (Teaching Lab). Heart, one of my favorite Values of Teaching Lab.
We start each call with a Welcome and Nurturing of the Heart. Given the unimaginable circumstances that have flipped our way of interacting in less than a week, it was fitting for yesterday’s call, to begin with, open-air to respond to the following prompt:
How are you doing?
I don’t have my own kids, but I’m concerned about the 1000’s of kids who are questioning where their next meal is going to come from…
I’m thankful for the property. We recently moved, which has allowed my kids a weekend outside without any additional contacts…
Sorry, I can’t be on video right now…I have 3 boys and 2 dogs running around. It’s lunchtime and I’m learning how to navigate my roles as mom and a professional simultaneously…
I’m ok. I’m working on giving myself grace…
I began to bubble…
5 days into our social distancing.
Emotionally beating myself up along with my new coworker…
Frustrations stemming from my routine and workspace becoming a shared worked space overnight and suddenly having a manager looking over me
Neglecting to accept the fact that neither, my once sound sleeper, or my perpetual cat napper no longer want to sleep…at all
Finding myself self-indulging in a book written by my once teen idol, instead of the curriculum materials I should be diving into
Preparing a stockpiled frozen pizza and iceberg salad for dinner…no, not because we are out of food, but because I couldn’t be bothered to prepare anything else
Arguing with my husband (aka the new coworker) because I think we need another three-hundred dollars of stock in the pantry
Self admitting to being the meeting attendee on a virtual call whose camera was just a little too high because at the time I was more concerned about texting my friend to make sure her little one’s fevers were coming down
Those of you that know me, may or may not know, I’m a worrier. My sisters refer to me as the emotional one. Therefore, the last week or so has weighed heavily on me.
Nurturing the heart…
Our meeting started with this and then transitioned into brainstorming ways to nurture our partners during this difficult time. What I failed to recognize during that call was I wasn’t allowing myself space to nurture myself.
“When you feel like your day is unraveling or you’ve been hard on yourself for whatever reason, “giving yourself grace” is about giving yourself that kindness you often deserve…The type of thing you’d want your best friend to do for herself because you don’t want to see her breakdown” (TODAY Parenting Team).
…and then, once again… just as the moon was coming up and the music became louder (because the littles finally fell asleep) my tears began to drop
The weight of all my perceived incorrect actions throughout the day was unconsciously destroying me.
I’m ok. I’m working on giving myself grace…
In the midst of the pandemic and my emotional boilover, my colleague’s statement popped back into my head, hitting me like the breath of fresh air my cabin fever self needed.
Today I woke up and took some me-time.
It’s 2:15 pm. I’m still in my pj’s and haven’t brushed my teeth yet. I’ve genuinely enjoyed playing with my kiddos and texting my sisters to see what self-distancing and homeschooling are bringing to light for them.
I took advantage of extra cuddles, drank the extra cups of coffee and left the dishes for someone else. I pretended I didn’t hear my coworker’s sigh when I joined 114,000 others to watch John Legend’s live Instagram concert during naptime instead of working. I’m treating myself to kindness today. The grace that lets me breathe a little lighter and smile a little more. It’s not what someone else thinks I should be doing, it’s what I need to be doing.
It’s important we take moments to nurture our hearts. Give ourselves grace and during these difficult times go back to the martial advice that still holds true today, take it all in. The good, the bad, and the unknown.
Feel all the feels and allow yourself to step away.
Rachel Hollis said, “Some of the best ideas in business come when you’re up against a wall so don’t be afraid of this process (being creative).” Likewise, Sarah Blakley stated, “There is always a hidden blessing in every situation. I often talk about the importance of alone time to think, create, invent, and connect with a deeper meaning. Also, the importance of getting off auto-pilot and taking time to reflect.”
As we continue embarking on social distancing, allow yourself the time and space to digest this, what we hope is a temporary, lifestyle change.
Give grace to yourself, your new coworkers and your community.