“Yes, I am fine, but everything else isn’t.”
This was a text message from my youngest child the other day when I checked in from another room. This is how we’re communicating sometimes, via text while we pretend we are at school and in an office rather than on the couch and two feet away at a desk.
I found his text to be really profound and full of insight he likely didn’t even know he was offering. In that moment, he was fine.
He isn’t always fine.
Sometimes he’s weepy. Sometimes he’s angry. Sometimes, I find him sitting on the couch staring straight ahead with a blank look in his eyes. Can anyone relate? I know I can. My emotions seem to shift by the minute some days.
The thing is, sometimes, more often than you’d think actually, the boy is perfectly fine. You could even say he’s good; laughing at a funny show we’re watching together or celebrating a win on his new video game, or even relishing in a bike ride around our neighborhood on a warm day.
I can relate to this too. I find moments of real joy in being surrounded by my family even if the outside world is scary and stressful. I find the slower pace of this quarantine life actually suits me some days. I don’t miss trying to keep track of 5 different schedules and all the details they entail.
Other days aren’t as good. I feel sad and anxious and angry and scared. But, there are moments of grace and beauty, even in the darkness.
Moments where I am fine, even if everything else isn’t.
We can all choose to look for those moments to help us through this time. Find the joy on television or the internet or even in your own living room. I asked last week on Instagram, “what small thing had you taken for granted before that you may be really thankful for now?”.
The answers I got told a story of a lot of people who are spending good time with people they love and being mindful of the small parts of life that make them feel happy. I’ve found, if I look hard enough, I will find things to be grateful for, and that makes carrying the weight of all the rest of this uncertainty a little easier.
I’m sharing some of what I’ve found below to lighten things up in this darkness. Use these resources when you need a little light. All the other time you have, just look around you. I bet you’ll find your own joy. So you can be fine, even if everything else isn’t.
Remember you are not alone. Remember, you are loved.
Resources for Joy
- John Krasinski’s Some Good News YouTube Show. I promise, you’ll laugh!
- If you’re not on TikTok (yes, that thing your 10-year-old has been talking about for all of 2019) you’re missing out. There is some really funny stuff being produced there right now. I’m partial to Tatum the Talking Dog.
- The last three episodes of my podcast, Conversations with Cristie, may be helpful right now. Two are specifically quarantine related and one is about choosing happiness at times of great change. They can listen right here or you can find them wherever you listen to podcasts.
- If you’re on Instagram, I’ve been publishing 5 days a week on IGTV all about parenting through a pandemic. Check out those even if you’re not a mom because there is plenty there for everyone.