There are moments when time stops. Pockets of lull. I am generating appreciation for a slower pace. The lack of urgency is welcome.
Ever since March 17, 2020, HOME has grown. Yes, it is still where we live, where we sleep, where we eat and hopefully bathe. It is now where we do everything else too...work, school, play, explore and create. I am not sure I ever imagined a "home" like the one we have now. It is tremendous. It is not always easy. The challenges have been big on some levels and mostly eye opening. I have reflected often and held the thought: This is how it is supposed to be. I say this from a place of resonance, most of what is happening just feels really good.
My kids have been attending school in their bedrooms for exactly 10 days. This morning they were both late. It went something like this: "Hey, time to get up. It's 8:30am and I am going to meditate, so I will not be around to roust you in 20 minutes. Can you hear me? Are we clear?" Through grumbles and bleary eyes, they both nodded agreement.
During my meditation I had an instinct to run into the house to make sure they were in class and I resisted because, well, just because! When I returned to shower, both kids were unmoved, deeply nestled and slumbering. So they were late. "Hi Ocean" I hear her teacher say when she logs in.
There has been lots of talk surrounding online/in person learning. In the beginning, like March 24, 2020 I had some strong opinions. That initial adjustment was unbelievably hard. Only for me. My kids were thrilled. Now, I have no opinion. I am not in a position to send my kids to private school, start a charter or open up my own pod camp to manage their education. My bottom line? I am open to rolling with it, whatever comes. And this willingness makes me less stressed, because I am not lost in anticipation. It also allows me to be more solution focused, I can solve problems as they arise. Unlike before, in the days where I spent most of my time future tripping fantasy and weaving through endless scenarios of my own making. That was exhausting.
I texted a friend the other morning: Isn't it AWESOME? All this time together is real bonding, nourishing for heart & soul. I love kids going to school at home, taking the dog for walks during breaks, and lazily moving through our days while growing quality everywhere. Of course this is my optimism speaking. And I do it heartily as the alternative is too depressing and not all that fulfilling. So I choose to look at the brighter side ;-).
I am also using this time to cultivate a business that utilizes my talents and hones my connection skills. I am currently designing my focus, deciding my target audience and fine tuning my approach. All this activity at home is assisting me, helping me understand what is possible in terms of working from my center. I have sincerely deepened my love for our home, my garden in particular, it is a living sanctuary. I am considering it to be my home office.
The new version of school is way better than the abrupt curriculum that showed up during the pandemic. I have no idea how long this ease will last. Both kids are taking their academics seriously, they appear to be into it. We are all activating our purpose. I can't help think the 'home base epicenter' offers nurturing foundation. I like living this new version of us. My son has gone off to take his afternoon classes with a friend. I am okay with it. He rides his bike, they play ball after school, he is figuring out his life on his terms. His taking responsibility and personal initiative are a pleasure to witness, sometimes. Zander did forget to do the dishes, after he promised he wouldn't, so we still have areas for improvement. His sense of humor makes it easy for me to laugh when I want to be angry. There is a teaching here for me: how serious is it? He also left his webcam at his friend's house, which delivers an irritating crinkle. Luckily, Ocean doesn't need hers so he can borrow it for the day. We have also lost our structure around time, specifically the operating hours of our clock, typically 8am-10pm. Sometimes we are up at 2am, either taking a course online, catching up on homework or watching a movie, while eating ice cream. We are no longer limited by time or numbed by the over-tasking that filled our days while trying so hard to squeeze it all in. Our unity is not predicated on conformity, it is strengthened by our individuality. Respect and appreciation are powerful components.
And then we have the chores. I do not remember ever balking at them out loud as a child. Early on I recall feeling a sense of accomplishment, especially when witnessing the sparkling sink after a good Ajax scrub or the magazine worthy bedroom organization or the garden after a grand leaf collecting. This speaks directly to my thoroughness and my creativity. We have a different experience today. More often than not I here these words: "Again? I have to do that again? I did it yesterday? How many times can a dog poop? Why are there always dishes in the sink? I already did the laundry. How can we have so much garbage all the time?" I am no longer irritated with having to respond. I realize we are all in the midst of a larger education piece. I like to call it REALITY.
I added a bathroom last year because I wasn't quite sure how teenage hygiene and my own privacy were going to get on with each other. All this time together has blurred some lines in our home, it seems I have more to share ;-/. I asked Zander why he prefers my shower to his own and he simply replied: "Because it is modern". There are blankets on my bed that are highly coveted by others and I have learned to be okay with only one of them when I decide to sleep.
What's really going on here? We are getting to know each other. We are actually living together, not just sleeping under the same roof. The lack of structure we suffered over the summer was unbelievably hard. There was a lot of screen time going on, we were all zoning out to manage the shock of "sudden stop". We are still adapting to the outside world being quite different. I never imagined MORE plastic. And the truth of slowing down has impacted our actions in a beautiful way. We really can't rush anywhere. Sure, we can try, but we will most likely run into a line of people waiting to do what we want to do or a 'temporarily closed' sign. Operating hours for most businesses have been greatly reduced, Noon -5pm is quite common. Many are no longer open 7 days as they have gone back to a 5 day work week. So more time for us to stay at home and redecorate our rooms: Ocean has taken to creating her personal space, it has been a joy watching her intricately detail her surroundings. Her imagination in action has brightened her world. We also get creative with food - especially when I have opted to work with what's available. Ocean asked me for Chicken Tikka Masala last night, she wanted me to make it from scratch. I toasted her a bagel.
"Life is what you make it", have you heard this? I believe it more today than ever before. (I chalk it up to my age, absolutely love getting older.) What do I make of my own life? I used to complain about it, what it was lacking. Now I possess more curiosity and interest in creating experience, I have the power to generate great possibility. This is refreshing. What is noteworthy here is the fact this has blossomed amidst a pandemic. Being home 24/7 with my kids for months on end, re-evaluating and redesigning our lives together, out of sheer necessity, has brought forth a bigger truth, one that had been buried deep. We each have gifts that contribute greatly to the life we live together. All we need is the space to express them. When we do, the magic happens.
I am no longer missing everything that is right in front of me due to my moving so fast. I notice my breathing. I have a stronger sense of my body in every moment. I have an easier time relaxing into space with an ease of being. No longer consumed with doing. Seeing the leaves sprout on the branches of my fig tree have added splendor. Appreciating change is a world of deliciousness. I will not say it is easy. Transformation can be intense, filled with blazing colors, emotionally consuming with an array of flavors. I am acquiring a taste for 'this constant' (as my brother likes to remind me) and it is growing. It allows me to accept the inevitable. All I have to do is look in the mirror to see how much I have changed...leaps and bounds. I welcome the recognition.
Walking with a friend today I realized my morning routine has developed into a personal ritual. I now spend the first 4-6 hours of my day on me. Sounds indulgent right? Yes, absolutely. And it is about time. I am a much better mother, friend, sibling and daughter when I have given myself the attention I deserve. Taking care of me contributes greatly to my well being!
I never went to Burning Man. I read a post yesterday from a person missing their annual pilgrimage to the desert. I wondered. I bet we could do that right here in our living room. Dress up, get naked, make art, play music, build sculpture, go quiet, grow noise, anything will do, just make it YOU.