It was a while coming. A slow burn. But I finally became officially fed up with the constant feeding of our angst with the phrase “stuck at home.” I want you to know this, with no neener-neener inflection whatsoever:
I’ve worked from home and cooked from scratch (for reasons of budget and health) most every day for 25 years, so it’s no transition for me. I don’t own a pair of slippers or a pair of sweats. My message to you is—you can do this. You can do this. You’re adaptable and resilient and resourceful. Stop using the self-defeating words “stuck” and “cooped up.” If you think you’re going to lose your mind, you will. You can’t learn a whole new lifestyle in a day or a week, but you can and will learn if you allow yourself to.
Open your eyes and your heart to the abundance of your confinement. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty said, “A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
You can do this.
Why do scientists put tiny drops of substances under a microscope? Because they know there’s a whole world contained in that drop of water (or whatever)—you just can’t see it without that microscope.
You can do this.
So I asked my Facebook community: what’s new and wonderful in your drop today? Autism parents, autistic adults, introverts, extroverts and others all weighed in. Here are some of their responses, filled with grace, gratitude, and brave determination.
I expected no less. Hope you’ll add yours in the comments below.
“I look at my life over the years with my son and I really don’t feel the angst I believe I may if he did not have autism. Being home was not unusual as going out in public was limited. His body can only handle so much stimulus. The times are so unpredictable right now. Pretty much used to unpredictability over the years. And then there’s Patience. Although sometimes ‘patience’ just isn’t available, I have reserves galore when I really need it (built up from many years teaching kids with autism/disabilities). This is a time for parents who have kids with special needs to see just how strong you are. We’ve been facing things our whole lives that the ‘average’ person has no idea, but many are facing it now and time to come. Time to flex some muscle (spiritual muscle that is).”
“I feel the opposite of this. I have a child with autism and with no schooling or supports, or even a breather at the park, means there is no respite. We have also spent a lot more time at home because of the fact our child has autism, but sometimes the trip to the park is the break in the day we all needed. As for home cooked meals from scratch … with three children under 5 and one with ASD it is all struggle street here right now and this is at the bottom of my list! But we will do it. And we can do it, but it might look messy.”
“Your post is new and wonderful, and I’m struggling but trying, encouragement and gentle support help … I will continue to try my best, for me and for my kids! Thanks as always for your amazing encouragement!”
(Ellen responds): “You can do it! It’s so odd to me that when we start a new job, no one including ourselves expects us to know how to do it all on the first day, or the first week. There’s the expectation of transition, and a learning curve, and acclimation. And yet, when everyone retreated to home for both work and school, routines were destroyed, new schedules and methods needed, inner resources never before called upon became essential—and we were shocked at a what shock it is! The best gentle support will come from within. Be gentle with yourself on this new journey. It will come. Did I mention, you can do this? Stay in your light.”
“Sunshine coming in my windows with a kitty stretched out in a pool of it, time to really cook the food we love, and time to reflect (something we all need from time to time). Also, a love of simple pleasures, reading, crocheting, music.”
“I have loved being with my inner self for years. As an introvert having to function ‘out there,’ I love my time being home. My family tree keeps expanding rapidly … all over the world!”
“Pretty much live in slippers and sweats, and don’t cook from scratch nearly as much as I wish I did, but I’ll never complain about being ‘stuck at home.’ Grateful for all I have and who I have.”
“I have always liked being at home. I have my routines and my interests and passions so do my husband and when the four kids were home so did they. I agree you can do it.”
“We homeschooled and I had a home office and cooked from scratch. I do miss my time with the fitness coach, trying to do exercises at home. And miss the book club and quilt friends. But I keep so busy! It’s a better time for introverts, readers, crafters, and homebodies for sure.”
“The ratio of positive to negative thoughts ratio is approximately 20-1, meaning every negative thought takes 20 to override. Choose your words wisely and change the internal dialogue.”
“Extra time with my growing and almost gone kids … blessings.”
“I too am a parent of a son who is now a young adult on the spectrum. I too have built up a lot of patience and tolerance. I am not stressed by being home. I am stressed and anxious about the state of the world during this pandemic, especially those who don’t have the luxury of a single-family home with a reasonably large yard and a safe neighborhood like I have. In my home and yard I can find infinite ways to occupy my time.”
“We laugh more and have enjoyed time spent together without having a place we need to be. I enjoy ordering groceries online and we have been supporting local restaurants by doing takeout. Life rolls on. What I am not okay with is not seeing my children and grandchildren. Thank you Lord for technology (although it is not my high suit). Even then I stop to think of those folks in nursing homes whose family can’t visit, the sick in the hospitals that are so alone and the dying that don’t have familiar faces with them when they take their last breath, and that is when I remember how really blessed I am.”
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