I have been hella moody on and off for weeks now. All things (pandemic) considered, everything is well in my world and at the same time everything is flipped upside down. I can’t say that anything specific is “wrong” but things are definitely different. It’s the difference that has me out of sorts.
I needed a pep talk the other day from my coach. I was needing relief from myself and a new perspective on how I have been navigating pandemic life. It was basically a vent session where I verbalized all the things that had me cussing in my head and super annoyed about the people I love the most. My OCD-ing over dirt bike deals on Craigslist hubs and the snack consuming, wrapper littering, not wanting to do online schooling, leaving the fan on in the bathroom constantly, bickering over all the things children have been easy scapegoats for my angst.
I was also being pretty wretched to myself about, well, myself. I was should-ing all over me. I should be eating better, writing more, and exercising. I should be more organized with the distance learning stuff (for three kids, ages 4, 11, and 13), all while holding commitments for my coach training and clients. I should be more motivated. I probably should be learning to bake bread. I should be doing all the things I’m not and I should be amazing at every single one. I was aggravated with me and taking it out on myself and my beloved sheltering mates.
We’ve all lived through one or many hard seasons in life. They certainly range in severity but in the thick of it, they weave similar thematics of disruption, fear, sadness, regret, loss, shock, frustration, or helplessness. Thankfully we don’t stay in these states because the human spirit sends relief that looks like: love, hope, peace, and laughter in the very midst of it.
When I look back at my hard seasons of tragedy, setbacks, and disappointments there might have been a defining moment where it started but the moment of relief is often blurred through the stretching out of time. Sure there are dilemmas where we find solutions and AH-HA, it’s fixed and that is great. However, the rolling effects of Covid-19 are not going to have a blanket remedy for the enormity of the impacts being felt by the whole wide world.
How do you know what you should be doing in a situation you have never been in?
This question was my pattern buster that interrupted all that should-ing (AKA shaming) taking place and brought the shift I needed in the uncharted waters of pandemic life.
I’ve never had to BE me and do all the things during a pandemic so how do I know what or how I should be doing? I don’t know because this me has never had to move through life like this until right now.
This was the awareness I needed to extend myself the grace I was craving for me, from me. I was casting all sorts of judgment onto myself for feeling like something was wrong when it was really just different.
I hope that lands with you even a little bit and it helps you shift any pressure you are applying to yourself too. At the root of my moody, out of sorts, unease, was ME choosing to feel like something was wrong with ME for not being my normal self in a not normal situation. Nothing is wrong with me, there is just a whole lot of different in the world right now.
I needed relief from all the expectations I was putting on myself and I am still soaking in this reprieve. Grace for all the feelings and all the pressure and all the uncertainty. Grace for being a mom and a partner. Grace working from home while simultaneously juggling online learning with three children for what will surely feel like an endless summer. Grace to ease up on the snacking because Lord knows that when I can go shopping again I don’t want it to be because nothing fits anymore. Grace to extend to my family who is also experiencing something for the first time.
I never would have chosen any of my unannounced life disruptions but the value of moving through those experiences changed me in ways I am forever thankful.
It’s hard to know how this is going to change us and to what degree, I just know that it will. So, until then, extend yourself grace-filled reminders to drop unrealistic expectations and hang on to sweet moments of relief during pandemic life. One day we will be able to glance back on this with gratitude for how we’ve grown in unexpected ways.