Saturday, March 21, 2020

Lockdown Week 1, Take 2, Switching the Field

 I just spent the last hour plus writing a lot of things out.  This week has been different, challenging, sometimes HARD.  But I don't think it was any harder for us than for many others.  In fact, due to the need to keep Aaron safe the last almost ten years, it may have been easier.

But as I look through my notes that I've jotted down this week, one thing stands out.  This too will pass.  This will be temporary.  It will change the focus of many lives. Sadly, it will take many lives.  But we need to look for the good, too.

Last Sunday, as part of our worship service, we watched "Music and the Spoken Word" from the week before.  As part of the service, the speaker spoke of  the "Winged Victory of Samothrace".  The statue is broken, missing her head, her arms.  He referenced the beauty of the lines, the grace, and the unknown origin of the statue.  And then he said that it reminds us that "Victory is beautiful, but never flawless."

That spoke to my soul.  Life doesn't have to be perfect.  I don't have to get everything right.  I just have to keep trying.  I feel so overwhelmed by all the roles that I have: nurse, teacher, cook, referee (yeah, three teenage boys will make you one very quickly!).

President Nelson's message of hope during this time was also helpful.  We can find joy in the journey, which prompted me to think about what was happening if I wasn't finding the joy.  What am I looking at?  In soccer, when an offensive player is being overwhelmed with defense, many times they call for them to "switch the field."  If the defense is focusing on one or two players, that means someone else is open.  When I'm overwhelmed, discouraged, I need to switch the field.

When I focus on the news, the inability to get out among people, all of the "what ifs," it's hard, it's crazy hard!  I start to worry, am I doing enough?  Am I good enough?  Can my kids learn what they need to at home?  What about AP tests?  Will he be ready?  What about soccer?  Are we taking enough precautions to protect Aaron? Can I get all his meds?  What about food?  Can we make it through this lockdown without hating each other by the end? What about getting enough exercise?  Why me?  Why us?  Why now?  And why on earth an earthquake????

But when I switch the field, everything changes.  Spring drives me crazy. 
There's never enough time with soccer and band and choir and scouts and youth group and prep for end of year tests and AP exams.  We rarely even eat dinner together.  I usually leave it out on the counter until everyone cycles through because schedules are so difficult.  It's cold and rainy, but sports and carpool and everything goes on.  Kids are "done" with school, but still not done, so it's a struggle to keep not only my kids focused at home, but my students at school.

Instead, life is much slower right now.  I make breakfast each morning.  That hasn't happened for years.  Michael watches a quick funny video from his principal.  We start the day with a short seminary lesson via Facebook Live (thestevescott, I highly recommend it!) and then move to school work.  The boys are (fairly) focused and get their work done during the morning.  We all have lunch together and then "story time."  I'm reading The Orphan Keeper out loud to them.  It's a good book, but one I don't think they'd ever pick up on their own.

When things get squirrely, when frustrations rise, I send them outside to play football in the yard, or upstairs to use the pop-a-shot.  There's free time.  Yeah, quite a bit of screen time.  We do a scripture study and write (briefly) in the evening after dinner and then watch a movie together.  Last night was Lion King and there was discussion on whether singing was allowed or not.  I pulled the "mom card" and announced that we could, as long as it wasn't overwhelming.  😁

We've adjusted nursing hours so that Aaron's school nurse can come in and work with him each morning for a little bit, so he's still learning as well.  I'm hoping to go back to school for a Masters in Social Work the fall of 2021, and I need to take three classes prior to that to be admitted into the program, so I'll be doing online work along with the kids.

We now have time to cook together.  Michael and I did a quick inventory of the food we have in cold storage, and we're in good shape there.  Wednesday morning started out with an earthquake.  Utah doesn't usually get those.  We were definitely shaken up, but so many people called or texted to check in on us.  Not only neighbors, but also a nurse manager and his equipment company.

So while it's taking time to get adjusted to our "new normal," there are good things too.  We've done the new normal thing before.  And this won't last forever.  It may last a long time, but it will come to an end.  I don't know what will happen in the future, but I know if I can stay close to God and remember that sometimes I need to switch the field, we'll make it through.

This is not the first time the earth has gone through a pandemic; it won't be the last.  I'll do whatever I can to protect my family and my community, but at some point, I have to leave the end result up to Someone else.  I don't have that kind of influence or power anyway.  I'll try to nourish and care for my own soul so that I can be open to the needs around me.  And as we prune out the excess dead wood, there will be more energy to put into areas that are more important.

And if you're wondering, the previous post was in definite need of switching the field.  There wasn't much focus on the good there at all.  Be grateful it was just a draft.

Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left. 
~Hubert Humphrey

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