My, how life can change so quickly.
Just a few weeks ago, El and I were scheduled to head out on a flight to Ohio for her spring break to visit my brother, his wife, their two baby girls, and my parents.
The news was breaking about the Coronavirus, but nothing in Texas had shut down yet. The day before our planned trip, I drove to drop off the two precious pups we were dog-sitting for a friend of mine. I pulled up to her car in the mall parking lot nearby and placed the dogs in the backseat. She was keeping her distance from me, since she’d just gotten back from Costa Rica with her family.
I asked her professional opinion, as she is a nurse, if we should get on the flight to Ohio the next day. She recommended if it was possible to postpone the trip that we should. So, I canceled the flight.
Over the next two days, my parents sent us pics of them with my nieces and pics of the snow in Ohio. After a case of severe FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), my daughter packed her bags, our dog a bag, and asked me how far it was to drive to Ohio.
I mapped it out: 14.5 hours.
I think the most I’d ever driven at one time was five hours, but I kept having this nagging thought— if everything was going to crap, I wanted to be with my family. So, through sheer adrenaline and determination, Ellie, our dog, Keller, and I piled into the car, and I drove us 14.5 hours in one day to get to our family.
We stayed quarantined at my brother’s house and soaked up the quality time with my nieces, Milly and Adelyn. At the end of our time together, I was so thankful my parents canceled their flight and drove with us back to Texas, as I was seriously dreading trying to do the long drive all alone and the thought of them flying seemed incredibly risky.
We’ve been home now for over a week, and it’s been an adjustment finding our new normal. Ellie’s continued her dyslexia tutoring through her zoom calls, and this week we will jump into homeschooling.
Even though the situation we find ourselves in is uncertain, we’re making an effort to focus on the positives as much as we can.
We’ve enjoyed taking our dog on daily walks, riding our bikes, and I’ve been cooking on the regular, which is a miracle in and of itself thanks to HelloFresh. We’ve even had impromptu dance parties (shout out to Alexa for the incredible tunes). I’m learning to make the most of this slower pace of life, and feeling less pressure to keep up with the Joneses and more freedom to be and spend quality time with my daughter.
To look into her eyes and see her. I can feel the love and respect growing from her through our deeper connection.
In the mornings, I started a new tradition of sitting on my closet floor in the dark before my daughter wakes up, just breathing and connecting with God for 10 minutes. I got the idea from one of my favorite writers, Glennon Doyle, in her latest memoir, Untamed, which I’ve listened to four times already.
I’m using this time to try new things, to create new boundaries and new routines. To follow through on the things I’ve been saying I want to do. To experiment with new strategies.
I’m finally taking the time to slow down enough to complete the little things, like putting household items back in place, so I don’t find myself overwhelmed. I’m permitting myself to create the life I’ve imagined. It’s challenging, it’s liberating, and I’m here for it.
What is this experience teaching you about yourself, about life, about your family? I’d love to hear your thoughts. In this with you, my friend. Praying for safety and healing over our country and the world. Love and Blessings.