This was part of an email that was sent to staff and parents on Monday, March 16th, and let me just tell you, it left me in pieces. We'd been seeing other districts close until the end of the month or the beginning of April while we waited on a careful decision from our district, and when we learned of the decision, for some reason, it felt extra scary. I've been watching the news, and I see everything about the recommended time out of school, but somehow, reading the word "indefinitely" makes it seem much more real. That one little word about threw me for a big 'ol loop! When will we get to see our students again? When will we hug our teammates again? What will it be like when we go back? What will happen next year? The unanswered questions make it a little hard to breathe.
What's so tough about all of this is the uncertainty and confusion. We are teachers and we like to know what's going on, and we just don't right now. In the past few days, I've seen so many friends talk about being overwhelmed and scared and nervous, and I'm trying to let myself know that it's okay to feel that way, but it's not okay to let those feelings win. I've struggled with anxiety for quite some time now, and situations like these are the most difficult to deal with because there isn't an end yet. I have this terribly vivid imagination that really wrestles with my anxiety. Each time I read something or watch the news, I start to create scenarios about what's happening and then I get worried that I'm not cleaning enough and then I start to think about my parents and my grandparents and then I think about the person who sneezed near me at Target two weeks ago and then I wonder what my students had for breakfast and then I worry about what will happen to my favorite shop down the street and then I remember what I watched on that movie one time and then I wonder if I need more quarantine snacks and then I start to cry. And this mess happens on a daily basis!
Anyone else feel that way? It's like the anxiety version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! Mercy! If You Give a Megan a Negative Thought! AHHHHH!
Y'ALL! That makes me so tired to think about, but it's the dang truth. It's hard to write and it's hard to live, but I know so many people, especially teachers, share my fear of the unknown right now. It is in times like these that I'm so thankful that my husband and I are polar opposites because, while he may not always be a cool cucumber on the inside, he sure is on the outside! He's over there talking about going to buy a boat and our vacation in May and how everything is going to be fine. He is calm, witty, collected, and hilarious. Sometimes he amazes me with his "it's all good" attitude, but I'm pretty glad that I am quarantined with it right now!
So in the midst of all of the craziness, I'm trying to channel Austin a little bit. And also trying to take some advice from my girl, Taylor Swift. In one of my favorite songs, she says YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN. YOU'RE BEING TOO LOUD. Amen, say it again, sister! Those overwhelming thoughts are TOO LOUD! During this unpredictable time, I'm going to make it a point to focus on the positive. Even though there's been so much negative, stress, and confusion, I've seen so much JOY in the past few days.
I had an hour phone call with my best friend.
I finished a book I've been meaning to read for over a year.
I worked on a puzzle with my husband.
I spent a lot of time in the Word and in prayer.
I went on a run and saw so many people enjoying the fresh air. (No one was within 4-6 feet, don't worry!)
I baked homemade cookies for the first time.
Things might get more confusing and more stressful, but it's all about perspective. We need to find JOY in the INDEFINITELY. This time will be written in the history books. Our children will talk about COVID-19 in school years from now. How will we tell the stories? Teachers, I know we've got a lot going on in our brains and our hearts, and it's okay to be nervous! But it's time to take a collective deep breath, put our heads together, and think positively through this! It's hard to imagine what the next few weeks will look like for us, but the things I've already seen about gathering resources, sharing ideas, and getting creative together have made me so proud to be a part of this profession. I've been so uplifted in the last few days seeing many people shout out teachers for being amazing, and I couldn't agree more! Y'all are some incredible people, and I'm thankful to know you and to get to walk through this time with you. Focus on the POSITIVE and the JOY in the indefinitely! For now, it's back to the baking and the Spring Breaking!