This is part of my kitchen island right now. I am sharing it, not because I am proud of the jumble you see. Rather, I want everyone to know that it is okay if you are a little messy during these very messy times. If you were coming over I would put away the race car, hair bow and crackers. The book would go on the shelf and a sense of order would be restored quickly. I will do it. But I have not done it yet and that is good enough for now.
So many of us are turning to social media for connections as we quarantine our life or shelter in place. We read inspiring stories that help. We also see helpful hints about ways we can stay positive. People show beautiful meals, families praying, and opportunities to watch the opera or visit an art gallery.
Those things are all good. But if you do not want to sing Happy Birthday or pray the Our Father while washing your hands but just want this all to end — it is okay.
You are good enough if you are scared or anxious or cranky. And it is okay to either a) stay in your pajamas all day b)wear the same clothes three days in a row c)crave M and Ms every day or d) all of the above. I am d.
To clarify, I have two giant jars of the delicious candy. One I keep refrigerated. The other is for backup and to share with my grandchildren.
Certainly, I am not just eating chocolate. I try to exercise, organize and stay positive as I wonder what the future holds. These are scary times as companies shutter their doors and so many plans are put on hold.
One constant for me has been the joy of watching my grandchildren during this time of uncertainty. They are all too young to understand the reality, thank God, so they just talk with me on Facetime or visit. I let them create their own art and love it. My life is cluttered and silly and truly enough as I spend time with them. And one roll of tape and some yarn can entertain for quite some time.
Each day unfolds with strange feelings. I miss church. I miss the freedom to run to the store and pick up some chicken. I miss the feelings I had two weeks ago when I was planning talks and picking up books at the library and looking forward to my trip to Milwaukee.
So I cope. I have done some baking and cooking and enjoyed it. But I also have watched four episodes of NCIS in a row. So if you are eating a sleeve of Ritz crackers or binge watching a marathon of some show — it is good enough for today.
Ideally we should pray more, exercise more, and see this as a time of growth. But we all cope with stress in different ways. Some people clean. I hope that feeling kicks in soon. For now, I am knitting and reading and trying to walk but I am not going to worry if I am handling these days “the right way.” Remember, today, as we fret about the future in such an uncertain world, you are enough as you are — even with your mess.