Today it was announced that in my state, Massachusetts schools will be closed till at least May 4th. My personal thought is that my son along with so many will not go back to school until the fall and I am not filled with panic or worry that he will regress in anyway. I in no way minimize how important academics and the social interactions they are, but I choose to take this time to incorporate other things in my sons day as well. Clinton’s outlet right now is creating a comic book with one of his teachers that he meets with thru google classroom and I think its beautiful. I firmly believe that that process is helping him process the pandemic or “hibernation” as I call it.
I acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, how important physical distancing is and why so many feel afraid, but I choose hope. I choose to believe that on the other side of this we will be better to each other, kinder to each other and maybe even appreciate one another a little. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the hysteria, the fear, panic and posts that flood our feed. It is so easy to forget that these moments as scary as they are can be life changing for so many.
We are all held back by some sort of fear whether it be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of criticism, fear of being noticed, fear of fading away or a fear we cant define and that is OK but do not let it paralyze you. In this time of uncertainty, helplessness, fear, panic, frustration, unemployment, sickness, sadness, political agendas and toxicity I urge to take all that ugliness and make something beautiful. That book you want to write? start it. That business you want to start? research it. Those health goals you want to reach? do it.
Do not let this shutdown be your cage, dedicate a little bit of time everyday to something you want to learn, something you want to do do not just sit in fear and more importantly do not let your children sit in fear. They will not remember the academics they learned during the pandemic, but they will remember your resiliency, they will remember the laughter, they will remember you did not just stay stuck.
Trying to replicate a school day or even a work day while trying to do everything else in the middle of this pandemic is recipe for not succeeding at any of it. I knew as soon as the school closures started that if I attempted to try and replicate a school day not only was it not going to be successful, but I would cause unneeded stress, so I backed off. We spend roughly about 2.5 – 3 hours a day with academics which isn’t consecutive and then we spend time together and apart working on creative projects.
I firmly believe everyone is creative in their own way, that everyone can needs a creative outlet and I also believe it does take time to find that outlet. Being creative does not just mean paper, pencils, markers, crayons or even writing – it can be refinishing furniture, decorating, planting a garden, making clothes, sewing, knitting, cooking, having fun with legos etc. Use that excess energy and create you just might surprise yourself and you just never know who you might inspire.