Still at home, and you?

Hello world, are you still out there?

I’ve spent most of the last 6 weeks trying to stay positive. I’ve stopped obsessively reading the news. I’ve been gratitude journaling, and going for long walks. Upping my weekly run mileage. Practicing yoga and silent meditation. Discovering a new favorite Netflix drama.

I’ve been checking items off my to-do list. Celebrated the kids’ birthdays and Easter. Filed our taxes. Stained the garden boxes. Deep cleaned bedrooms.

And yet. It’s hard to keep it up. It’s exhausting.

My children are not with the program of staying positive or helping accomplish to-do list items. They seem unwilling to listen unless I yell at them, which goes against all of my positive parenting training. I have been teaching positive parenting classes for awhile now, and at this point one would hope I could successfully implement it in my own life. Not only that, I don’t like yelling at my kids because it makes me feel bad and it’s exhausting. It also goes against my personality — I don’t like yelling. I don’t want to yell at anyone. If I’m upset with you, I’d much rather write you a strong worded email. Better yet, I’ll just remove you from my Christmas card list and be done with it. Passive-aggressive works much better for me than straight out aggressive.

I suppose there’s not much to do except soldier onward, and maybe just pay the kids a little less attention. Perhaps redoubling my attempts at praising desired behavior and ignoring annoying behavior could be useful. Who knows?

What I’m into lately:

Books: Finishing reading Harry Potter 7 to Marie. Also, I discovered checking out audiobooks from the library on my smartphone. I’ve been listening to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, a novel about a blue-skinned packhorse librarian in Applachian Kentucky during the 1930s (Yes – apparently the blue-skinned people of Kentucky were real). Also reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle and The Esther Anointing by Michele Mclain-Walters.

Podcasts: Unlocking Us with Brene Brown. NPR’s Up First.

Movies: Lately we’ve been watching the Disney+ streaming channel and enjoying the many offerings of Disney and Pixar films. Most recently we watched Monster’s Inc.

TV: Outlander. A tale of a 1940s English trauma nurse who falls through time into 18th Century Scotland (and into the arms of a handsome young warrior).

Exercise: Hiking, running, yoga. We’ve been discovering some new walks around town. Yesterday went for a long walk in the woods and Paul ran and ran.

New found appreciation: For phone calls. Texts and emails had replaced most of my phone calls, but now I’m enjoying hearing voices. Plus it can really be a more efficient way of conveying information.

Nonprofit: FOOD for Lane County. There are lots of great nonprofits out there, but if you’re looking for an organization to donate to, please consider your local food bank. Hunger will continue to be an increasing problem during this pandemic, and food is the most basic of needs.

Gratitudes: I’m thankful to have less rushing in my days, particularly in the mornings. I’m thankful for good Internet access, and the ability to do my job remotely. Thankful that my husband has been enjoying cooking for the family, and that we are all healthy.

Wishing you well,

Ursula

P.S. What are you doing to stay positive through all this?

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