“Stay positive” they say. Okay, sure. It would be great if we could all stay positive all the time, especially during this pandemic. And despite the Coronavirus and social distancing, there are still a lot of positive things happening in the world, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes. But, let’s be real about it, there are a lot of things that also suck. It is essential that we acknowledge and accept the sucky parts just as much as we acknowledge and accept the positive parts. I do not know about you, but I have always been taught to “stay positive” or “think positively” or “it will all be okay” or “don’t think that way.” But then what happens to all of the so-called “negative” feelings? I’ll tell you, they just get buried until we can’t pretend to “be positive” anymore and we explode. So, I’m saying that you need to feel ALL of it. Yes, we can feel all the good things while still feeling all of the bad.
Yes, we can feel grateful AND disappointed. We can feel grateful for our jobs, our homes, our families, our health and also be super disappointed about our child’s soccer season being cancelled or school being cancelled (am I right, now homeschooling Mamas?). We can be frustrated with the pressure to do it all and be it all. We can be sad and lonely without seeing friends and family. We can grieve the loss of all of the big events, trips, parties, date nights, sports, and really our own sense of normalcy while still being grateful.
Yes, we can enjoy extra time with loved ones AND feel overwhelmed by their presence. We can love spending more time crafting, watching movies, playing outside with our kids. Things we do not often have the time to do. While also feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by all of the quality time. We can be excited to have our spouse around more often while also feeling frustrated with the extra dirty dishes left out or the requirement to share the tv remote. But we still love them and all this time together.
Yes, we can be hopeful AND feel like everything is falling apart. We can hope that this will all end soon and also feel the weight of it on our chest when we wake up in the morning or before we go to bed at night. We can keep our heads up and smile and tell ourselves and our kids that it WILL all be okay, it WILL all be temporary while also feeling uncertain and fearful about the future. But it will end and we are hopeful.
Yes, we can be a source of support for others AND prioritize our needs. We can be there to support each other, our friends and families, while also saying no and setting boundaries to take care of ourselves. We can want to respond to every text with encouragement and positivity and also take time to put away our phones and unplug for our own sanity. We can do our best to “homeschool” our kids while also saying “go watch a show while Mama takes a bath.” We are still supporting, loving, and encouraging each other.
Let’s stay real. Not positive. Not negative. Stay real.