I was on Twitter this morning, early enough in the news cycle that it wasn’t yet doomscrolling, and I found a couple of good threads about coping during this pandemic lockdown/isolation stuff. One was about teenagers doing virtual school, and it highlighted many reasons that some kids are actually happier this way. Yes, like adults, there are the extroverts who feed off of being around others in person, but there are so many others who don’t need that. Ones who are suddenly discovering the freedom of not participating in so many extracurriculars, ones who are experiencing a relief from harassment or bullying or just the petty bullshit that is high school. Ones who are appreciating the extra space in their work areas, the freedom to go to the bathroom whenever they need to, or eat lunch at a normal speed. Ones who learn best on their own and don’t need the crap stress of “group work” to learn how to work with others.
This isn’t true for everyone, I know, but there’s been so much focus on “Oh, the kids are suffering! Let them back in school!” and so little attention paid to the ones who are benefitting. My son loves it. He is relaxed, has time for the things he loves outside of school, gets to take breaks and pet dogs and have snacks (and he’s a teenage boy — snacks are important!). It’s not perfect, nothing’s perfect, and there is no ideal learning situation that fits all sizes. But just like I’m enjoying working from home most of the time, it makes sense that many younger people would have the same experience.
The second thread, and it’s related to that first one, was about coping in extreme situations, such as a year-long global pandemic. If you’re on Twitter and you’re interested, you can find it here. But one of the biggest takeaways for me was a reminder to try to break the cycle of ruminating, having repetitive thoughts about a negative event or situation, and try to find and focus on the positives. It sounds so simple and obvious, almost insultingly so. But there are many things I’ve appreciated about the last year, and maybe it does/would help to try to remind myself of those sometimes. Things like my son not hating school as much as he used to, working in comfy clothes with my dogs nearby, getting to see my son and husband during the day, seeing how much more relaxed my husband is about work now that he’s at home, maybe even not having to work around people who stress me out!
Oh, yes, I know, there are so many bad things about this time, and you all know them and have your own too. But in many ways, this quieter life is well-suited for me. And it’s forced connections in other ways — I’m so grateful for our Blogville group, and I’m not sure we would have gotten together this way if we hadn’t been feeling lonely and isolated.
It’s been a long haul. I know I’m struggling more often than not. If you are too, know that it’s understandable and you’re not alone, and keep on trucking. I really do believe things will get better, and with any luck, we’ll be able to carry forward the good things we’ve learned from living through this pandemic. After all, we’re all works in progress, aren’t we?
This isn’t the post I meant to write today, but that happens sometimes. So here are today’s photos: more snow, hooray! And I’m working on donation hats with some deep stash. Happy Wednesday, friends.