Food & Drink

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An Emotional Roller Coaster


Life sure does look differently these days. A few months ago if you had told me our state (and much of the country) would be on lockdown in March, I would have laughed. How silly that would have sounded back then. Now, it's our reality, and there isn't anything we can do about it except adjust, cooperate, and hope our efforts pay off quickly so that we can jumpstart life again.

The fact that this situation unraveled so quickly is daunting. Two weeks ago everything seemed fine. I was going to the gym everyday. The girls were going to school everyday. We were more vigilant about hand washing and touching unnecessary objects as well as our faces, but other than that, everything seemed as it always was.

In a mere week, everything came to a screeching halt. Schools closed, restaurants closed, gyms, spas, and retailers shut down in record time. Social distancing measures went into effect, and BAM! This is the new normal. My mood keeps changing from hour to hour, minute to minute sometimes. At times I am overly optimistic and think we can get through this. Other times "my cup half empty" alter ego shows up and squashes everything. I am trying to stay upbeat and positive for my kids because I know they are looking to me to lead them during these uncertain times, but I also want to be realistic for them.

For us, we are hunkered down and powering on. Since I work from home, not much has changed for me. But I'm still fearful of what the future holds. With consumer confidence down, affiliate sales are weak, and that accounts for some of my income. I'm seeing a lot less sponsored content opportunities, and a few that I had in the works have been postponed. We are all feeling the pinch right now in some way or another.

The girls have been home for a week. Distance learning started last Tuesday, and it's kept them busy. I am grateful that the transition to online learning was incredibly smooth and relatively painless. Thankful for teachers who pulled it together after being forced to switch gears at a moment's notice. I'm also fortunate that my girls are 14 and 17 and can work independently without much direction or micro-management from me. But accepting this new normal is still hard for all of us.

They are both in their final years at their respective schools. Emma will graduate high school, and Harper will graduate middle school this year. They were looking forward to all the things the end of the school year brings. Things like warm days spent outside with friends, high school baseball games, lacrosse season, and more. All the things they've been looking forward to all year....GONE.

We wallowed in some self pity for a bit before picking ourselves up and changing our attitudes. We can't control what's happening, but we can control our reactions to it. So that's what we are trying to do. It's not easy, and with adolescents, it's even more challenging. But we are trying. And that's about all I can ask of my daughters these days.

We've been trying to get out each day whether it's a quick neighborhood walk or a drive-thru trip to Starbucks or a local coffee shop. It helps to break up the day and gives us all a chance to step away from our computers for a bit. We are playing cards and board games, doing puzzles, reading books, and watching favorite movies. I know when this is over, we'll look back on these days and occasionally wish for the free, undistracted time this has given us (definitely not the circumstances that created it though).

I have been able to find calmness and beauty in the middle of the overwhelming anxiety by sticking to a routine and making a daily to-do list as well as by getting outside for a walk or run. I am most positive when I don't have to run out to pick something up (I'm always guilt-ridden when I have to go to the grocery store) and when I avoid trolling social media all day.

I'm also trying to be respectful of the content I post here. I know many people are suffering financially right now or are in financial limbo. I don't want to post a lot of clothing posts, but I do want my content to be uplifting, an escape, and meaningful for you. I'm going to focus on some budget-conscious items as well as things to do while social distancing...sort of like my Weekend Dispatch posts on steroids.

In the meantime, if there's a topic you'd like me to cover, please leave a comment or email me directly at info@piecesofamom.com. Or just feel free to email me with your thoughts, concerns, and what is making you feel happy and safe in these confusing times.

Sending lots of love to you and to our healthcare providers, teachers, school administrators and staff,  and all those who are working tirelessly to treat those who are sick and to keep everyone else healthy. As always, thanks for being here and listening. Stay healthy and stay home, friends. xx

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