WIP Wednesday

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.

22 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday

  1. My friend and I had a conversation along these line just yesterday. I would have done very well with remote learning because I just wanted to go to school to learn. I had friends outside of school, but I am a true homebody. There were so many distractions while I was a student (especially in high school)! I often feel like the kids at the school where I work are focused on everything but school. Many of our students love not dealing with ALL THE DRAMA! One size does not fit all. And let’s not forget the teachers. Some are wildly proficient at virtual teaching but ‘meh’ in person, and the converse is true. In our current hybrid model, Some teachers and students are loving the smaller classrooms, others are not. As with every piece of information that has come my way regarding this current situation, there are two sides to every story. My goal is to reside somewhere in the happy middle!

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Yes, the teachers — bless them. At least in our district, I believe there was a level of choice involved, so that the teachers who wanted to teach in person could, and others could do virtual if they wanted. More than anything, I think I’m grateful my son is a senior so I won’t have to worry as much about the school situation soon! 🙂

  2. Happy Wednesday! I also do much better at home (though yes, there are bad things too). I am so much focused when I can knit simple socks during meetings instead of my mind wandering because I’m bored. I love getting to eat meals with my husband. I get so much time back that I’m not stuck in a car commuting to work.

    Yes, there are things I miss also. I miss being able to visit family and give them hugs. I miss browsing in stores instead of doing curbside pick-up. I miss travel. But the bad stuff gets plenty of airtime. The good needs to be noticed, too.

  3. Wow! What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It had occurred to me I’d have preferred lockdown as I was bullied a lot and hated physical education classes so much. I love being at home but despite being an introvert have needed more company than usual and feel this year of isolating has actually brought me more close connections than ever before. It’s been a journey and we aren’t there yet.

    • Oh thank you, Liz! I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. PE classes were the worst, weren’t they? I started shaving my legs in junior high after a girl made fun of me. The things we remember, right? I think I’ve needed more meaningful connections in this time, which is why I’m so grateful for you and the others in our Blogville group!

  4. I very much agree and enjoyed your post. I am introverted and would have totally enjoyed home education. It’s actually how I raised my own family. All of 10 children have been home educated and 8 have graduated. One size doesn’t fit all. Completely true statement and that’s what is so freeing about home education actually. 🙂

    We have had a challenging year because our family business has had a huge income reduction. We rely heavily on festivals and conventions which were all canceled. Just a couple weeks before that my husband’s other job was lost due to the tornadoes in Nashville damaging the building. But we are fortunate to own our home and had savings. On the brighter side we have been able to enjoy being together more than we’ve been able to do for years. So it’s not all bad like you say.

    • I’m so sorry about your business struggles. That’s awful. I do hope we’re able to get past this pandemic and get back to in-person things; I know I’ve really missed things like festivals and concerts.

      My SIL also homeschooled her kids for several years, so I’ve definitely seen the benefits when it’s the right fit for the family. I just know I wouldn’t want to be my kids’ teacher! 😀

      • Thank you, we hope so too. I get that homeschooling is not everyone’s calling. Believe me, it’s challenging many days, but I find it has been fruitful for us. I didn’t embark upon parenthood with the plan to have 10 children and homeschool but here we are. 🙂 I imagine that is true for others in how they live too. Whatever that looks like.

  5. Thank you so much for linking that thread. I really liked it. I have had a hard time with toxic positivity, but what I liked about that thread is that it didn’t come off like that at all. I liked that it acknowledged how difficult all this is, and if we can find one small thing to enjoy, then let that carry us. Beautiful post!

    • Thank you, Jenny! I usually cringe at the “just be positive!” stuff but this did come off better, more supportive. I know my blogging friends are one big thing I enjoy!

  6. I agree! Though there’s been a lot that wasn’t great about 2020 and being mostly locked down as we are, I absolutely love working from home! I would definitely have preferred to go to school remotely as well, though of course that wasn’t technically a possibility back then. It is always a great idea to look at the positives, and being at home more than not is definitely very positive to me 🙂

    • Yay, so glad it’s a good thing for you too! It’s funny how most people are also saying, “I wish I could have done school from home!” Either I’m just friends with introverts or school is a struggle for a lot of people!

      Will you get to continue working from home at all in the future, assuming we get past the plague?

      • I am definitely an introvert! I suspect I will get to keep on working from home, at least for a while. My boss has commented several times that I am getting all my work done and more besides, so that’s not an issue. And I don’t really need to be in the office to do what I do in any case. The other couple people in my department are thinking the same thing – maybe we can be semi-remote even after all this is over. Will you get to stay home?

  7. Great point! I am a virtual teacher and I have not found this task enjoyable and/or easy! I enjoy being at home and not stuck in God-awful traffic every morning and afternoon. I am not introverted but never looked at it from their perspective. Thanks for sharing that! I do have Zoom fatigue at the end of the day that I can’t focus on knitting but I hope it gets better. We are expected to get our first snow storm this weekend and I am excited. We will still have to teach virtually, but I just like looking at the snow.

    • Oh gosh, you have all my support and gratitude! Teachers have it so difficult right now. I can’t even imagine what it’s like trying to control a class of people over Zoom. Though my son keeps his camera on and tries to participate, he says a lot of the other kids don’t. So kudos to you and though I know your job will always be hard, I hope it gets better for you soon! And I hope you got your snow!

  8. Lovely post! I’m glad remote learning is working for your family. My teenage daughter is an introvert and likes being home. She’s a good student so I expected the online classes to go well for her. Recently her motivation has slipped though. I think the routine of getting out of the house and meeting her peers was good for her. She seems to be losing interest in everything as lockdown continues. It’s good to find the positives while recognising that we’re all experiencing the pandemic differently.

    • Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I hope she’s able to get to a better place (emotionally) soon. There are definitely kids who thrive better in an in-person environment, and I’m sure it’s so hard to meet their needs right now. Fingers crossed we’re able to get past the pandemic and to a point where we can resume some of the more “normal” routines soon!

  9. Well, the school bldg was announced on Friday that it would be closed on Monday due to the snow, but virtual learning will proceed as normal. We received about three inches of snow! Not enough to make a difference! LOL!
    @Patchworkmomma, perhaps instead of Zooming from home, may be she could go to Starbucks or Barnes and Noble for a change of scenery. She’ll Zoom, wear her headphones and get her work done. Just a thought!

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