The Unexpected Blessings of Quarantine.

Like many of you, this pandemic has rocked our world in ways we didn’t know were even possible. And in no way am I trying to make light of a very serious crisis that our entire planet is currently facing. I truly understand the sacrifice and commitment countless humans have made for the lives and safety of others. Especially those in the medical field, first responders, military personnel, linemen, construction workers, truck drivers, grocery store employees and the men and women in government who are doing their very best under the circumstances.

My husband and I have been very fortunate to continue to have steady paychecks and work from the safety of our home. There have been moments we both wanted to kill each other because we live in a small apartment. Workspace is limited, cramped and shared with countless toddler toys and messes. We are healthy and realize there are many who are not, and there are many who have lost their lives, or a loved one because of this awful virus.

We both have family who work on the front line, in the medical field, as a police officer, fireman, and serving others where their place of employment has remained open during this time.

I share all of that just to help you understand that we are in no way living in a world of rainbows and butterflies over here. We are not living under a rock ignoring what is going on so we can remain in a state of ignorant bliss. But oh doesn’t that kinda sound amazing right now? If I close my eyes and really really try I can pretend that while I am sitting on my patio swing in the sunlight while my daughter naps, that I am really laying on a hammock of my beach house backyard listening to the waves crash against the shore and the seagulls squawking off in the distance. The salty air filling my lungs with a zest of calmness that only the beach can bring. . . *Sigh* Wouldn’t that be amazing right now? If you are fortunate enough to live in a world that is your backyard, can we be friends? And do you have a guest house that accommodates three?

I could run down a very lengthy list of negative aspects and extra stresses covid -19 has brought to my mental health, and my family, but I feel like the world is doing a good enough job filling social media feeds with fear, anxiety, panic, negativity, and hate. There doesn’t need to be one more from me.

For the last couple weeks I have seriously struggled with irrational fears.

– how long will this take? – what if we try to return to normal too soon and our daughter gets it with her compromised little lungs? – what if she gets it and she dies? – how could I possibly live with myself if she suffers from a choice that I made as a mother? – what if I never get to work with my team again? – will I get to celebrate my daughter’s second birthday with family this year? – what if my boss figures out he is doing well without me on the team of three and he doesn’t need me anymore? will I ever get to see my only two remaining grandparents again? what if my father who has survived cancer, legionnaires disease in the past gets this and he is taken away from me and my family and we won’t even get the chance to tell him goodbye? – what if, what if, what if, what….the bloody if?

You know what? That list right there are some of the fears and possibilities that have run through my head in the middle of the night, and in the middle of my work day that have crippled me. I have called my boss and had to apologize because my productivity for that day was trash because I spent three hours trying to get my head out of that tailspin of fear and anxiety.

If you have done that tailspin and you got out of it, I am standing up and cheering for you like the loudest most obnoxious cheerleader you have ever had! If you are in the middle of that tailspin and have no idea how to make it stop, GIRL, I am standing up and cheering for you to keep going, to force yourself to get up, to get dressed, to show up, to fight for your mental health and get yourself out of it. I encourage you that if you have those thoughts of “what if…” that you follow them through to the reality of how you would deal with that worst case scenario. You know what? If that “what if” happens, you will get through it. Because you were made for more than this circumstance. I also encourage you to look at the world you are living in and seek out the random blessings you never would have had without this pandemic.

I wanted to share the biggest blessings this 2020 giant global pandemic has brought to me personally and my family.

(There are more than this, but these are my big ones)

1. I have been with my daughter 24/7 since this has started. I have watched her really start to use her words and not just signs. I have been able to take breaks during my work day to snuggle and read a few books before going back to “work”. I have been able to really focus on helping her work through emotions because mama toddlers can feel the stress of this world too. They may not know what it is called or how to fix it, but they feel the stress too. Being a working mom sometimes can be filled with so many tears, guilt, comparisons, failed expectations, and worry that you are screwing everything up with your child. I know all of those are present if you are a SAHM too, but that is not a world I am familiar with personally. For me? Working from home, and having THE hands down, most amazing boss / company ever to work for has allowed me to continue my job from home, take the time I need to in order to be present for meals, impromptu story time with mommy, extra snuggles, nap-times, and so much growth that I would have missed so, much, of, if life was “normal”. This is time with her I will never get again and I am so thankful that I realized it before we return to normal so that I can cherish every moment I am getting and do my very best not to take it for granted.

2. Fighting with my husband. Haha, I know that is a weird blessing to list. But the truth is, we are human. – shocking I know – and sometimes we get off our axis, and are no longer on the same page. We get into a routine of drop offs, pick ups, passing conversations that are the exact same every single day but you feel like that is all you can give because you are just spent. We have been spending so much “quality” time together because we too have been together 24/7 since this has started. That means that we have had opportunities to work through some issues we have ignored and some we didn’t know we even had, and therefore ignored. You know what? We fought. And I don’t mean that cute five minute fight like the movies where you quickly make up and make out. No, this was days of me working on my heart and not talking to him unless it was out of absolute necessity because I was so upset I was afraid if I tried to say what I felt I was going to punch him in the face….that kind of fight. Four days of literally I think the same amount of sentences shared between us. Now, we have known each other for 25 years ladies. Twenty-five years. I know this man. He knows me. We have been together for 12 years and our 6 year wedding anniversary is tomorrow, May 10th! (Praise Jesus, that is no small feat) We have never fought like this. And I don’t think we ever would have if it were not for being “trapped in the house together”. But I am so happy we did because our marriage became stronger, we became closer, and better spouses because of that. We were able to work through it and refocus our hearts on our marriage, our family, our goals for the future, and priorities as Team Lee has been absolutely amazing. So I am thankful.

3. Taking control of my own life! THIS ONE IS HUGE, well for me anyway. Hopefully you have not had to fight for control of your own life, and I don’t mean be enslaved to another human’s control physically, I mean mentally allowing yourself to believe the lie that you are not worthy of respect. Believing the lie that you are not worthy of love. You are not worthy of better. You are not worthy of genuine friendship. You are not worthy of the goals you have. I believed the lies that I am not worthy of more….for too damn long. I freed myself from that during quarantine.

AND IT’S BEEN AMAZING. Not easy, but amazing nonetheless. I started this blog and my IG for Immeasurably A Mom. I have made friends all over the world, and hopefully one day I will get to meet many of them in person. I set new goals to explore my love of writing. I have a goal to one day become an author and to hold my book in my hands. A book on what topic you ask? Oh Who knows? But one day I will get there and I am sure I will tell you all about it.

In conclusion….

I love this life I have been given, with the crazy family we have and friends that God has blessed me with. We only get today once. So I am making the most of them. Covid-19 and all. I wouldn’t trade my little world for anything! Right now I am excited to celebrate this weekend as we cross the 6 year mark for our marriage, and my 3rd mother’s day together. (Our first little one was still alive on my first mother’s day three years ago, and even though they weren’t with me much longer, I count it!)

TODAY I CHOOSE JOY! I CHOOSE TO SEE THE GOOD! I CHOOSE TO COUNT MY BLESSINGS! And I choose to take the time to write it all down to hopefully encourage you to shift perspective from fear, anxiety and stress to the blessings and the good you wouldn’t necessarily have expected.

 How was this 6 years ago already? (Also we look like babies) My Always & Forever! May 10th, 2014

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