I went to dinner with my husband tonight. We were talking about how our eldest child was going to leave the nest in a couple years. I got emotional and had a feeling that I can only describe as frantically reaching out my hands, grasping at something that is slipping through my fingers. And then I thought, “I’ve wasted too much time. It’s happening too fast.” I let myself feel it. All of it. It felt right. And then the feeling passed and we went on with our conversation.
As we drove home, my husband said, “You know, I guess we should really take advantage of the distance learning thing, because we get to see the kids a lot more.”
At hearing him say that, a new thought popped into my head.
Oh…this is a blessing.
I mean, I saw the pandemic as a blessing in the early days because it brought our family a lot of togetherness that we really needed at the time. But I had lost sight of that as summer wore on, and then, you know, raging wildfires and all.
As frustrating as the pandemic, and subsequent distance learning challenges have been, I hadn’t let myself see the blessing that is still unfolding. When I resist reality–wishing it was different, thinking it SHOULD be different–it blocks me from any insight about what else is possible.
When we open ourselves up and get curious about what else is going on, we see more of the picture. The one new thought my husband offered, birthed new ones.
What if this is how it was always going to go? What if this was the plan all along? How is this FOR me? FOR us? If it’s for us, then maybe this is time we need together. Maybe the future will look very different for my kids and this is teaching them something they need to know and experience. I was crying about lost time, and here I was gifted all kinds of extra time. My husband has fridays off and so even he gets to see the kids more.
Trust me, they drive us nuts most of the time, and I still don’t LOVE distance learning, but I’m doing myself a huge disservice by punishing myself by railing against what is. The truth is it’s both things. It’s hard and it’s wonderful. It’s a trial and a blessing. It’s good and it’s bad. Whichever side I feed will win. I’m going to choose to see the blessing more than the curse, and stay open to what’s possible.
That feels so much better.