I wish I could start this blog with all hearts, flowers and kumbaya feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown… But I cannot! When things first started going south in March, I remained optimistic. I never ever dreamed life and America would completely halt. At first, I welcomed the order to shelter in place. My husband was unofficially (because the hospital didn’t have tests) diagnosed with Coronavirus just one day after we were forced to stay home. He stayed in our basement for two weeks and quarantined from the rest of our nuclear family. I did my best to take good care of him: I served him food and drinks several times a day, washed his clothes, sheets and bedding, prayed often that he would be OK and the rest of us in the home would be spared from the dreaded virus. During this time, all I thought about was being thankful that we were safe and asking God to please let this all pass soon. Worrying about toilet paper and paper towel shortages was the last of my concerns at that point. After 10 straight days with a fever, my husband was on the road to recovery. But our country was far from recovery. But still, for a while after my husband recovered, I welcomed the chance to slow down.
You see, I am a woman in my mid-40s… Oh dear, I don’t like writing or even thinking that’s what I am. I have three kids who are 16, 12 and 10. My husband is a consultant who travels every week while I manage the kids, my career and anything else life throws at us. Basically, I run around like a LUNATIC trying to make sure my kids don’t miss a practice, game, social event, school, a meal, a party, a play date, a doctor’s appointment. To most moms with three kids, this is the norm. Well, for me add trying to maintain some sort of career, be mindful of spending, wanting to look cute and put together AT ALL TIMES, not dare miss a gym session, weekly blowouts and manicures, acupuncture appointments, staying “in-the-know” on all pop culture and current events, being sure I have plans for Saturday nights (cute outfit a must) with the hubby who is only home on the weekends and being on time to Sunday mass with the family after (shamefully) typically too many cocktails on Saturday night… Hence why I welcomed the slow-down from this life I have created.
During the first months, I spent a lot of my new-found free time reading things I never had the time to dedicate to. I loved drinking my morning coffee in peace without rushing, throwing in one of the never-ending loads of laundry mid-day (I am convinced my laundry makes babies in the laundry basket), cooking for my kids with plenty of time for clean-up and no stress of what and where I had to rush to next. TIME was a coveted word in my personal vocabulary -- and suddenly I had more time than I ever thought possible. This feeling of enjoying my time stuck with me for quite a while.
I always like to look put-together -- and that was still true even as the world around me was falling apart. I still wanted to take some of my time to make sure I looked good. I have long believed, “If you feel good, you do good.” Every morning during the pandemic, despite having nowhere to go, I would still wake up, clean myself up and sit at my vanity to put on make-up. Next I would ask myself, “What should I wear today?” Ha, funny self-proposed question given the circumstances. Before the pandemic, I would usually wake up and get dressed in my gym clothes with the plan to kill it at the gym after getting the kids off to school. These days, being comfortable, feeling good and looking cute on the off chance my husband might notice seem to be a priority for my personal well-being. I decided that my gym clothes with stretch aren’t the best daily option because of the spandex, the clothes grow with me, and during lockdown the kitchen and I have developed a whole new intimate relationship. No place to go, constant fear and unrest. The news and social media only bring me down and make me think of “What if’s?” and not even knowing who and what to trust anymore.
I decided to focus on what I could take into my own hands during this terrible crisis. A few things came to mind: Focus on the things that I love! You can only experience abundance when you are feeling abundant. I know it sounds nuts, but it is true. Everything is energy, and the more I find myself focusing on lack, the more lack I am creating around me. As I lacked being able to go out and do what I wanted, I still worked to create an abundant, positive energy. I also decided to chase to legit CHASE the fun! I vowed to sing, dance walk, joke, spend time with my kids and socialize more with the goal of just having fun. Lastly, through all of this, I decided to make feeling good a priority. I realize that I can be so discipled about organizing, taking care of my kids, cooking, working out, career, my marriage, looking good etc. But I also need to be devoted to my feelings, too. So now every day I think to myself, “Self, what is going to make you feel good?” And then I say, “Go do it, Francis Alpha Woman!”. My morning and evening mantra, “I decided everything is possible and success is inevitable".
This pandemic has given us time to focus on other priorities. So what have you done to make yourself feel good over the past year? Comment below!