Everybody is adjusting to the new and temporary normal. Whether you usually work from home, now have to work or receive your education at home, if you continue to commute to work, or if you are currently laid off, we are all in different situations and are struggling with how to cope with it.
To the students: You are adjusting to a different way of receiving your education. It’s different and it’s hard. You miss your friends. You miss your teachers. You miss walking through the hallways or through campus. You miss the school activities you have had to abruptly stop. Seniors are mourning the end of their senior year because this is nothing like any of you expected. Athletes are mourning the loss of an entire season. You all left school on that last day not knowing when you’ll see your friends and teachers again. We are all here for you. Everyone is here for you.
To the teachers: You’re doing great. You are learning new ways to reach your students. You are doing enough. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t stress yourself out. Don’t ask yourself if you’re doing enough for your students because you are. You have worked with your colleagues to create the best way you can teach your students. Your students are appreciative of what you are doing and look forward to the communication from you. They look up to you and are excited about the new experiences you are creating for them. You are doing enough. If you’re a cyber teacher, you may be accustomed to working from home and virtually but everything is different for you too. If you have kids at home with you, you now wear many hats during the work-day. You’re struggling to balance parenthood and work. If you don’t have kids home with you, your life has changed too. You are thinking about your family and their health. You are concerned for your students whose lives have also changed. Your routine has changed as well. Everything is different for everyone.
To the parents and grandparents: You’re doing great too. Amazing, actually. Your children, whether they are young or old, need you. Don’t compare yourself to other parents and grandparents. You are trying to help your child. You are trying to work from home or work out of the home while trying to care for your children and ensure they are getting what they need. Maybe you are laid off. I am praying for you and with you that you are able to go back to work because this has become a stressful time in your life. Whatever situation you are in at home, in the meantime, take advantage of the time you are given to be with your kids. You’ve seen social media posts with opinions, judgment, ideas, and organized work spaces created for your kids. My favorite has been the funny coping memes. Sometimes sarcasm and laughter are how I can get through things. So what do you do and what do I do? My kids are on their bed, the floor or a couch. Are they okay? Yep. It’s fine. Are yours the same? Then you and your kids are fine too. Don’t get stressed out. Are are your kids goofing around and would they rather text or call their friend or play Roblox? Fine. Let them. They are stressed too. They are enjoying the free time. Lay down next to them. Watch a movie. Play a board game. Pull out that puzzle you’ve been thinking about doing for a while. We pulled out a Christmas puzzle we didn’t have time for last Christmas. See that? We didn’t have time. There’s never enough time. There is now. Embrace it.
To the caregivers: You are doing great. It’s in your nature to help others. You are still there for those that you care for. You provide for them. You give them what they need and they and their families are forever grateful for your compassion, kindness, and care. We are all appreciative of everything you are doing. You rock!
To the essential workers: Wow. Whatever line of work you are in, you are important and we are ALL grateful for you! You keep us safe, you heal us, you provide the essential needs for us to live and thrive! We all need to understand that you may also want to take advantage of the time home with your family but we all appreciate that you are still there to help us all.
To those now working from home: Woah what a change for you too. You are now trying to do the same type of work in a different setting. You are learning new ways to communicate with your co-workers. You are learning to use technology that you’ve never used before. Some of you are also learning how to juggle and balance your life yet you continue to be the best parent you can be. You continue to do your job because we also need you. Don’t stress though. You are doing great.
To everyone who is donating their time, energy and money: You are simply awesome! I’ve seen restaurants donate food. I’ve seen kids making masks for workers. I’ve seen volunteers help hand out food. I’ve seen schools and neighbors organize things for kids to help them with the quick transition into being at home all the time. I have seen so much camaraderie and kindness that I am simply blown away. Thank you all!
Everyone is trying to adjust to this new life. We are all in this together. I am impressed at the way we have bonded together to help each other get through this difficult time. Everyone has their own story to share about how they are coping with this huge change. Everyone is in a different situation and we cannot compare ourselves to others. It’s not fair. Nobody is in the same situation as anyone else in this world. You need to be confident that you are doing the best you can. Then, be proud of what you are doing.
Remember, we all have the opportunity to slow down and enjoy family and life. It’s not what we expected or planned on doing. We’re anxious to go back to doing what we all usually do. I am too, but in the meantime, don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about the concert you were going to go to. Don’t worry about the game you were going to go to. It will be okay. All of our plans will suddenly come gushing back and then we’ll all be busy, deciding on whether to eat dinner at 4:00 or 10:00 because we’re too busy in-between.
Take advantage of this time to become closer to each other because in a way, we needed to be apart to become closer together.