What Will You Bring With You?

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Most of us have experienced a big move in our lives and in my opinion, the best part of a move is going through old things and purging what you no longer use or need and starting fresh in a new place.  There’s something so energizing about finally letting go of things that no longer serve you. 

We’ve all seen tough and scary times recently ,and it’s been a weird world for a few months.  Strange and uncertain times may still be coming in the months ahead as well, but it’s tempting to rush back to our old life and our old ways.  We are so excited to begin again, but I think we all want this tough and emotional time to have meant something besides loss and fear. As we all move back into the world in some ways after being sheltered at home (small or big depending on where you live), it’s worth some time to think.. What will I bring with me? What will I leave behind? What have I learned about the needs of my family and myself?

“Grow through what you go through” is one of my favorite mantras right now.  I made a list of  a few things I want to bring with me and in turn the things I’d like to leave behind. I wonder if many of our lists are the same and in some way this has connected us all?

1. Creativity- In the first few weeks of quarantine with so much being cancelled and closed, the boredom set in quickly. We were forced to find alternate ways of entertainment. We all saw the youtubes of DIYs, Recipes, home workouts, etc.. In my home we had time to remember that we all love drawing and creating new things.  I have a wall of quarantine art! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we brought some of that ingenuity into our new world? 

2. Appreciation for Nature-For a lot of our shelter-in-place order,  the only place fun that was “open” was nature.   Because of this, we were so thankful for it.  As we hung out on our driveway and took walks each day, I found myself noticing the details of the changing seasons in the Midwest more than I ever had before. I noticed the fresh air and appreciated it more. I realized that nature, birds, wildlife go on no matter what . We even discovered beautiful trails nearby that we never knew existed. I’m hoping we can all take this “nature as therapy” into our lives for the long haul and remember to breathe that fresh air whenever we can. 

3. Flexibility-Life seems to change by the minute these days. Suddenly school, camps, vacations and even friends were cancelled. Some went from offices all day to working from home. Kids appeared in backgrounds of conference calls, we had doctor visits online!? How could we have even imagined all of this? So many of these adjustments were tough to take and we’d all like to leave some of these sudden changes in the past, but it’s incredible to think about how not only adults but children have adapted to the numerous and unexpected pivots. Each new alteration seems to have less of an emotional impact. I’m hoping we have all just become more adaptable instead of numb to the changes, but can you picture a better life skill for our children to have?  

4. Good, True Friends- Even though it was hard to connect with friends in usual  ways of going out to dinner, getting together for parties, etc., have you noticed a deeper connection to those you have been connecting with?  Maybe you’ve even made it a point to connect with friends and relatives who live far more often. I’ve noticed in my own life a group of family and friends that have been regularly checking in with each other and making a point to make sure we are all “okay”. This sense of community and true friends is something I’ll forever be grateful for and I plan to make a point to stay connected and check in whether or not we are seeing each other face to face. 

5. Appreciation for Family– So for those of us who were quarantined with our family units for two to three months, the family dynamic was probably not always easy, but I’ve heard and seen amazing stories coming out of this time. For example; brothers who don’t normally speak were now hanging out together, siblings were having “sleepovers”, sisters were helping each other with homework, kids were finally making dinner for their parents. In our family , board game night was our Friday night entertainment, and we kind of loved it. We had never before been forced to spend so much time together, and although we all look forward to our alone time and getting together with friends, we had moments  to remember how much we truly love and appreciate each other . In terms of extended family, there were so many family members we were missing hugging and seeing in person. We saw so much tragic loss on the news and started to really appreciate the health of those we love. We couldn’t wait to hug our aunts and uncles and grandparents. Some we still have not been able to see and are missing them so much . Imagine the joy and appreciation when we can finally come together and celebrate. 

6. Simplicity-So who knew we could live without casual shopping, gyms, nail salons, dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, packed sports schedules and just the daily scramble?  Sure, we missed a lot of it, but It amazed all of us to realize just how little we actually need.  Here’s something that is worth a big discussion for every family in terms of the simpler schedule: How much of the packed schedules are we willing to go back to? Maybe it’s time to ask kids and ourselves what we really want to add back to our lives. Maybe, for example,  three sports was too much, maybe we don’t need to add our names to every committee list, perhaps we need to keep some Saturdays clear for family nights. This forced  break was needed for some of us to realize a slower schedule will actually make us more healthy. I know that as sports camps and school schedules and parties are starting to fill the calendar, I am starting to feel some anxiety. We all owe ourselves a moment to discuss and reflect on this before moving on to our next phase. If it works for your family, let kids know that this is an option and that the goal is to prioritize what they really want to do and to reduce stress. 

With all that is still unknown and all of the tragedies that have happened, here’s my wish for  your family and for mine : My hope is that all we have gone through has prepared us to make a better world for ourselves and to be ready for whatever may come our way. Take time to breathe, look around you, and love your people today.  Let’s commit to prioritizing the good stuff!

For more information on Charity Bomb’s children’s mental health initiatives: GENzEQ. Stay connected with us on social, sign up for our newsletter, and if you can, donate to our cause today.

-Melissa

Charity Bomb Consultant and Content Contributor