I don’t know about you, but this pandemic we’re all going through—has been REALLY hard! It’s been a string of disappointments for my kids, sad not being able to visit my parents as my dad battles pneumonia, and at times, very stressful as small business owners. Continually trying to find healthy ways to cope has been the key.
For a while there, I felt like my husband and I were dangling on yo-yos—each hanging on to our own for dear life. When my husband was feeling down, I’d try to gently tug on his yo-yo’s string just enough to propel his spirits back up. Then, he’d have to do the same for me, and the cycle would continue—leaving me a little dizzy as life spun out of control.
As the days have slowly past, our emotional highs and lows have leveled off, never again descending to the lowest of lows. Just like the yo-yo, the earth’s gravitational pull eventually won out, grounding us to face the next challenge.
I think we were both grieving our “old lives,” of only a few weeks ago, which seemed to have vanished in an instant. At times, I’ve felt paralyzed to move forward and accomplish even the smallest task.
Once we got over the shock of something so microscopic, from so far away, having such a devastating effect on the whole world—I got mad. I wasn’t just angry, my heart ached for my kids as news of school closures, and eventually all their activities were stripped away like a Band-Aid ripped off too soon.
I wasn’t sure who or what to be mad at, but I quickly realized I couldn’t stay angry forever—it’s too exhausting! Like many of you, somewhere along the way I settled in, accepting our lives are going to look a little different going forward.
Then, there’s the matter of our kids being at home. All three are older now, and should be at work, in college, or attending high school. Not to mention hanging out with their friends, but they’re not—they’re home.
At first, I grieved for them: all our son with autism’s daily outings and activities, our 20-year-old’s Spring term in college, and our daughter’s high school track season—all canceled. But selfishly, all three being home together is what I’ll miss the most when our communities start opening back up again.
One evening early on, we arranged the chairs in the family room in a quasi-circle and started serving dinner on trays. The relaxed atmosphere has lent itself to a plethora of interesting conversations.
We’ve debated the world’s response to the Coronavirus, how different (or as I argue…similar) the antics on college campuses are today compared to thirty years ago, and critiqued the latest TikTok going viral—laughing so hard, if we could bottle it, we’d make millions.
How does the saying go? Sometimes the little things ARE the big things in life.
So when I listened to Dave and Ashley Willis’ Naked Podcast #81, Rekindling Romance, I realized what has helped me cope the most—it’s all the little things…
- The smell of coffee in the morning
- Waking up to funny memes and inspiring quotes from friends
- Listening—really listening to each other
- Prayer and more prayer, for so many near and far
- Dusting off my Daily Devotional and actually meditating on its message each morning
- Patience, and lots of it when one of us is frustrated with challenges out of our control
- My husband hugging me when I have my little pity parties, while not trying to “fix things for me” in the process
- Laughing until our sides ache
- Of course, my husband suggested ‘quickies’ always help
- Picking up take-out, so no one has to cook
- Talking with friends on actual voice calls, and joining more on-line gatherings than I ever thought possible
- Keeping up our exercise routines or at least walking around the neighborhood. In fact, my whole neighborhood seems to be out walking in endless circles
- If I’m being completely transparent—yoga pants, mindlessly scrolling TikTok, and a quarantini…or two—have also helped immensely.
So I encourage you to listen to Dave and Ashley Willis’ Naked Podcast #81 (linked here) as they have some great suggestions to not only “rekindle your romance,” but helpful coping strategies as well.
As I write this, some states are slowly relaxing their Shelter-at-Home orders and although the kids aren’t leaving the nest anytime soon, I will be sad to see them (hopefully) go back to school in the fall.
Spending so much time with our kids at this stage in their lives has been one of the unexpected blessings of the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit, I may have let the shock of life shutting down around me affect my mood a little too much, but quickly, both my husband and I realized we needed to pivot and adapt if we were going to come out of this stronger.
My husband and I have survived loved ones lost too soon, serious health scares with family and friends, the dot-com’s bubble bursting, 9/11, challenges in our marriage, the 2008 recession, and we will survive this.
“The virus can invade our bodies, but we get to decide whether we let it invade our minds.”
Thank you for taking the time to read and I’d love it if you’d comment below, or on Facebook, and share your ideas with readers on how you’ve coped with the threat of the virus and having to stay at home longer than anyone thought possible. —Lisa
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Lisa hopes to share life’s stories through the ever-changing platform she founded, called The Evolving Nest. She writes and shares insights about her own triumphs and struggles during her 30-year marriage to her husband and best friend. Together they have 3 growing children, two of which live 1,500 miles away most of the year, and an adult son with autism who has the run of the upstairs to himself. Lisa also contributes to Her View From Home, various podcasts, and of course, her own website, The Evolving Nest.
Please consider following “I Do” on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or receive the latest post via email, or writing for The Evolving Nest. Lisa is motivated by the quote, “What will the world miss if you don’t tell your story?”-Donald Miller