In one fell swoop and in less time than it takes my pony to scarf down his breakfast, I became unemployed and a homeschool mom. Such are the crazy times in which we live. Businesses and schools are closing indefinitely, toilet paper is worth more than my jumping saddle, and suddenly giving someone a hug could potentially kill them. Phrases like “the new normal” are becoming a reality. Well, I’m a horse person, an eventer and a server/bartender who is in her fifties with a seven-year-old son. “Normal” has never really applied to me.
What does apply to me, and to all of us, really, is learning to navigate the craziness while still keeping our wits about us. Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would be filling out unemployment forms, as I did this morning. Never in a million years did I think Land Rover would be cancelled (Dang it! That’s my vacation destination each year!). And never in a million years did I think I would not only be educating my second grader, but also trying to find activities that can run out some of his energy (Self lunging is rapidly becoming an option).
Yes, it’s a new world, and yes, it can be frustrating. And while I am by no means trying to make light of the fact that this virus should be taken seriously because it can be lethal (I have parents in their 70s who are immunocompromised), I also think that we have to discover new ways to be kind to each other.
We have to continue to laugh at ourselves and our situation because laughter really is the best medicine, especially when you’re stuck at home with a vibrating child (Who ever thought he’d be tired of watching a screen?!). And most importantly, we need to find a way to be grateful for what we do have — make some lemonade from that huge lemon life handed us all.
I have read repeatedly that starting each day thinking of five things you are grateful for can change your overall attitude and help drive away depression. I need that even when I’m NOT facing the coronapocalypse! So here are five things I am thankful for in the midst of this crisis:
And finally, TIME!
Seriously, though. The one thing that this incredible situation has given us more of is time. Suddenly I have more free time than I ever believed possible. And isn’t it amazing how quickly it disappears! I told my mom on the phone yesterday that the more free time I have, the less I have. Seems silly but it’s true.
In spite of that weird fact, I had time yesterday to have that rather lengthy phone conversation with my mom. I have also had time to work on the neverending “Honey D0” list hanging on my fridge (Just please don’t ask me to actually CLEAN my house. Now my tack…that’s another story). And exercise! I live in a large, family-oriented neighborhood. It has been nothing short of amazing how many people are out walking and riding their bikes. And the dogs are definitely winning. So many people are walking their dogs.
I’m reconnecting with my family, my husband and my son. Which is the single most important thing I’m grateful for. And with so many restaurants closed, I have probably cooked dinner more this past week than I have all year!
I’m actually reading actual books again, and naps are a reality I NEVER thought I’d see again. All because I have been given the blessing of time.
Finally, as a horse person, and an eventer, I am SO grateful for time with my horse. Lots of time. Time to just enjoy him…hand grazing and grooming, lots of grooming (it IS shedding season after all) And yes, time to train. To work on those things I sometimes put off because there isn’t enough time. Well, now there is…and with more and more shows being cancelled each day, and the spring season coming to a screeching halt, even more time to fix those nagging little issues and simply just enjoy my horse.
So I am learning to be grateful in the midst of the crisis. A habit I hope to continue even after things return to their original version of normal. And if they don’t, and we’re faced with yet another new normal, I hope I’ll still find time to be grateful. Because gratitude is a good thing, and don’t we all need more of those?