I started this off as an Instagram post, but the character limit cut me off before I even got close to my point so here I am on the blog talking about something completely off topic, but I felt like it was important enough to say. I also found myself searching forever trying to find a photo to match what I’m about to type, but there’s really no good photo to match. So I’ll just post. First off, we’re ALL healthy and just fine. I don’t want to make you continue reading thinking I’m about to drop some big dramatic bomb, because I’m totally not. I just want to talk about what’s happening around the world because it’s at the point where it’s really hard not to.
I struggle with anxiety. It got extremely bad after I lost my dad six years ago, but I’ve done my best to keep it under control. I’ve always had it, at least a little bit, but it was mostly weather related situations that would set me off. I’d have, what I think now were, panic attacks when weather got really bad like tornado warnings etc. It was the lack of control I felt that really, really got to me. I had zero control over the weather so I felt helpless and scared and angry and sad. Over the years it’s gotten MUCH better especially after having my daughter.
I guess my mama instinct kicked in because I have never panicked in a situation because I always want Pepper to know that it’s okay, no matter what.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my dad and how he used to stand out on our front porch in crazy serious bad weather. Just stand and watch the stupid clouds and I’d lose. my. ever-loving mind seeing him out there, but even now years later.. I do remember myself thinking, “as long as my dad is standing out there looking at those terrifying clouds. It’s going to be okay.”
and guess what? It was.
My dad was a man of few words so I never knew and now I’ll never know if this was a strategy for him to keep his family calm because he knew as long as he wasn’t panicking we would know it was okay and we were safe… or maybe he was just a storm lover, maybe both. Now, I’m not saying that was the smartest strategy if it was one because something terrible could have very well happened while he was standing out there, but what I’m saying is that while he remained calm and even though I was still very scared, I felt safe. Very little, honestly.. I can’t really think of anything, shook that man which is kind of a really admirable thing and something I unfortunately did not inherit.
Now, let’s bring it back to today and now, the Coronavirus is obviously a serious situation. It’s scary. Dang it Tom Hanks even has it! I’ve lost sleep because I’m up late at night reading articles about it, but honestly? The scariest thing about it? The hysteria. I get tight in the chest thinking about some headlines I’ve read and things I’ve seen. Headlines that aren’t even true! I’m definitely not saying do not prepare your home and keep your family safe. God knows that’s what we all want to do. I’m saying to keep calm for yourself, your family, and society. Buy some extra food if you don’t keep a very stocked kitchen (I actually do keep a pretty well stocked kitchen because of what I do for a living), keep hand sanitizer with you and use before and after you’re in a public place, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and please stay home if you’re sick.
I’ve always carried hand sanitizer with me because I have a kid and kids are gross, man. But even selling out of hand sanitizer!? It’s a bit scary. This week we decided to start the whole “social distancing” thing which trust me, is VERY hard to do with a toddler who just wants to GO GO GO and that same toddler who wants to GO GO GO licks the shelf at the grocery store because it’s “funny”. It made me cringe when she did it before, but now? What do you even do when you have a kid who just doesn’t understand the concept of germs or that there’s a virus spreading? I’m not going to sit and explain to her because I don’t want to scare her. I want her to go on living life as normally as possible because panicking doesn’t do any one any good. We paint, we play games, we watch movies, we do projects, we bake cupcakes, mommy loses her mind.. it’s all good, y’all we will be fine. If the worst thing that happens is that I watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 43985 times tomorrow, then I’m okay.
We may not be able to control what’s happening, but we can take control of this by taking small precautions that make us feel safer. Pepper has no idea anything is going on except that we’ve been staying home a little more, her parents are being extra boring, and I’ve been asking her to wash her hands more often than usual.
Life is literally full of obstacles and we have all had our share of them. This is a new one, it’s a little scary, but we will get through this one too. I’m just trying to let you know that it’s okay to be a little scared. it’s okay to take normal precautions to protect yourself and your family. It’s not okay to hoard hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and whatever else is going to be the next thing thing that people decide is super important. It’s not okay to shame someone for feeling like this is serious. Remember your peers need to stay healthy too in order for this thing to stop spreading.
I’ve contemplated writing this for days and I am no expert on this type of situation in any way, shape, or form. But, I do know from personal experience that staying calm is best. It’s easier to feel in control when you’re calm.
So take a deep breath with me, stay safe, eat your fruits n’ veggies, wash your hands, and most importantly, be kind.
With love, Star