Well, here we are wearing the same outfits and running out of give-a-cares. We are still in search of the toilet paper we will NEVER again take for granted, and we have added hairstylist to our impressive resumes. Election campaigns have quieted, and GPA now stands for global perspective adjustment.
This is QUARANTINE 2020.
Something new unfolds every day of “shelter in place”; I find myself whispering–who knew more than ever.
- My new office.
Who else is sharing space and WiFi with 1,000 people right now? My virtual classroom bounces between the kitchen, the dining room, and my bedroom. Because I do not have a dedicated work space, all sorts of fun circumstances and experiences have commenced.
Here are a few of my favorite [also read as frustrating] experiences from last week: microwave opening and closing, people chasing each other through my classroom, freezing screens during virtual meetings, conversations distracting me in the middle of my sentences while teaching, and noisy bags of food being opened and closed during my lectures. These are only a few of the enjoyable perks of an absence of a private, dedicated space.I get it; flexibility is absolutely necessary. I am on board with that, so I discovered a new office space that works perfectly [minus a slight lag in WiFi performance]…inside my car in the garage. I am NOT kidding.Just this week, I filmed a teaching video, attended a Zoom meeting, and caught up on emails in my car. NO ONE came to find me. It was an absolute win. Who knew my car in the garage made a great office space?
Try it. You’re welcome!
- Not a horticulturist.
I am quick to admit my inadequacies as a gardener. While it is a skill I would love to have, I am at peace with the simple fact; gardening does not come naturally. In fairness, it mostly just doesn’t come.
A beautiful pot of maroon-bonnets [proud Aggie mom] arrived a few weeks ago. They were hearty, healthy, and happy. This is how they looked a handful of days later.
After I spent an excessive amount of time beating myself up for not being a horticulturist, I decided to share my failure with the friend who brought me the plant. Her response was the perspective adjustment I needed.She suggested I gather any seeds that had fallen and save them for next year. That’s when another thought occurred to me. Texas bluebonnets [or maroon ones] are annual plants. Their cycle is seed, flower, seed in one year. Gardeners and smart people know these things.
I enjoyed only a portion of the life cycle of the plant, but what I perceived as the end is not necessarily so. This is a good word to apply to my own life. Especially in trying times like holing up in your house for days, weeks, and months on end, perspective adjustments will be the difference between losing it and surviving.
What I tend to measure as a loss, is often just a pause in outward growth, not a devastating end. Bluebonnet seeds germinate in the fall, grow throughout the winter [where growth is not visible], and bloom in the spring.
Our lives often follow the same cycle. Rather than being consumed with what’s visible, it’s necessary to remember what’s growing. Lessons from my lack of botany skills. Who knew?
- Value of thank you.
Gratitude covers a multitude of crankiness. It adjusts perspective. It shifts attention from inward to outward. There is something about being grateful that is humbling.This week, I had an epic meltdown. This was not an I hate being stuck at home meltdown. It was an I feel unappreciated colossal breakdown. I am not entirely convinced the two were not uniquely linked.Several things happened, I’ll spare you the agony of the details, but the straw that broke the camel’s back had to do with kale. Kale, yes.
It wasn’t about the kale.
Don’t forget to say thank you. I heard those words repeatedly growing up. I am guessing you did–too.
We never know how our gratitude intersects someone’s silent need. Last week, I failed to convey my weariness to the people within my four walls. They had no idea the kale would be a tipping point.
I found myself wanting to wave the “don’t forget to say thank you” flag. Everyone is still adjusting to this new normal; I understand the shifting sand beneath us. I think remembering to lead with gratitude is the secret ingredient to thriving in this season of transition. Who knew?
With everything so fluid, I’m holding on to the familiar. Remember to say thank you, AND eat your kale.
With everything changing, who knew stability was still within reach? We can be the best versions of ourselves in the midst of suffering and the unknown.
Find yourself a space of your own, don’t lose sight of the growth that is not yet visible, and remember to lead with a heart of gratitude [and maybe shy away from the idea of cutting your own hair].