35

Someone tell me how I’m already halfway through my 30’s, please.

I just got out a calculator to confirm my age. 30? No problem. 35? Oh, we got problems now! Do you know that I went to two doctors complaining about medical issues and acne (which has never been a thing for me in the past) and they both welcomed me to old age? Rude. I’m out here buying new face washes and serums with the max percentage of acid allowed to melt my face back into submission. I started off this decade with a surprise birthday party surrounded by friends and family and now I wake up every morning to surprise hormonal acne and neck pain.

30’s are wild, ya’ll.

I will say this though: If you are struggling with one of your birthdays in the 30 decade, go ahead and read some magazine articles on what life in your 30’s looks like. We’re out here thriving. Or at least, peaking in a lot of areas of life.

Take that for what it’s worth to you.

Tell me about a time…

You were on a team and it impacted your life.

The pastor leading the group discussion sits down to my left and angles toward me. I’m already uncomfortable. I’m sitting in the second seat, stage right of a U-shaped seating arrangement. It only occurred to me after I sat down that it was most likely left untouched for one of the two pastors leading our group. To think, I nearly took a seat in the back. I wish now that I would’ve but as my hand skimmed the top of one of the furthest open chairs, my eyes squinted toward the screen. I should have brought my glasses.

The pastor leaning in was too polite to concede that I’d displaced the unwritten seating arrangement but the fact that I’m now sandwiched between the two speaks volumes. Whether he senses my internal dialogue or not is unclear as he opens with small talk. How far was my drive? Am I from here?

“Not far but I’m not from here. I’m from a city outside of Detroit. My husband is from up north. We met at school and live here now.”

I catch myself before nerves propel me to divulge more unprompted facts but my halted speech is abrupt. I parrot his questions, asking him the same as if he didn’t give us his story last week.

“Oh right. I knew that,” I confess as he tells me again.

After more get-to-know-you conversation, the pastor brings my attention back to the group question he posed earlier: Tell about a time I was on a team that made an impact on my life. My thoughts come quickly, stumbling over one another in attempt to move the “right” answer to the forefront of my mind. I’ve been on plenty of teams. What type of team? What type of impact?

The pastor senses my struggle. He wants to know if I’ve been on a sports team where we worked to accomplish a united goal. I have.

“I was on a volleyball team that was conference champs,” I shrug. It was fun but it doesn’t feel too impactful outside of the adolescent lens. I rifle through more sports memories and one stands out: Soccer.

“I was on a soccer team in high school. Our coach ODed during the season. It made the news. So that was… pretty impactful…” I trail off.

Discussion opens up and we share our stories across the room but I keep coming back to my response. Did I go with the right one? Everyone else shares about teams where they built each other up and leaned on each others strengths to cover their own weaknesses. They’re beautiful stories of teamwork. But mine? How was I impacted? I replay it in my mind…


They called us into a room. I can’t remember the details but we were making jokes, coming up with theories on why we’d been called together instead of heading out to practice or the game. I think someone might have made a joke about someone dying. It could have been me.

Our head coach’s eyes were already puffy when he walked through the door to tell us the news. Our assistant coach had died over the weekend and they would let us know all of the details for the funeral arrangement as quickly as possible.

Our assistant coach was young with the biggest smile. It always made sense to me because he had the biggest heart as well. For his love of the game and his players. For his fiancée who was coming in from out of state the same week the team clustered together in a classroom to learn of his passing. He was funny. He had a way of getting your head back in the game when high school drama threatened to come onto the field.

The funeral service was short. Too short. Perhaps in homage to a life not aged but I wager it had more to do with the fact that his OD made local news. No one seemed to know how to reconcile his death and his life. At least we didn’t. We looked to each other. To our parents. To our school.

The soccer team, well, we wanted to donate a permanent scoreboard in his memory; we were denied. I went to a small Lutheran high school and, although I wasn’t in any of the official conversations, it was relayed to us that it came down to politics. We shouldn’t honor the way he died. I think that’s what they said. We wanted warm up jerseys with his name on them. We got pale blue t-shirts with a white letter at the bottom of the shirt that was hidden if we tucked it in.

It might as well have been red.


I sit in that second seat and absorb as much as I can about the conversation at hand. We’ve moved on from telling our team stories to race and the gospel, the topic we’re meeting on today. We talk about what it takes to have difficult conversations and how important they are to our relationship with God and to each other. We talk about the cost of those conversations. We talk about unification and reconciliation. I think about soccer.

I think about soccer all the way home. I’m angry. I think back on my shared team story and on everything I didn’t say to the group of individuals sitting in a U today. About how those high school girls were failed by their faith community. How we mourned in isolation and conflict because they focused on politics over people. Sin over grace. Separation over unification.

I’ll tell you this: I don’t think we can change as a Church until we can see ourselves as the villains in the stories we read. I know all about how we’re the lambs from Sunday School but I’m older now. God providing, wiser. And I’m learning about all the ways we’re Pharisees too.

The Low FODMAP Diet: Advice Welcome

Life is funny, isn’t it? You expect it to go one way and all of a sudden you realize you’re living a very different life than you expected. It’s been a week, ya’ll.

In my early 20s, I was diagnosed with IBS after a particularly bad day found me on the floor of my aunt and uncle’s downstairs guest room where I lived during a work internship. After dropping to the ground in pain and realizing I couldn’t straighten myself out, I crawled to my nightstand and called my aunt upstairs to help me. A quick trip to urgent care later, I had my diagnosis and a prescription for an antispasmodic to relieve intestinal spasms. Awesome.

I’ve had ups and downs since that day but it’s been generally relegated to an annoyance, flaring up when I’m stressed or eat too much fiber or happen across a dish loaded with onion. Not great but manageable. Since then, I’ve completed several rounds of Whole30 which taught me that 1) there was more than onion on that list of foods to avoid and 2) the advice to “eat more fruits and vegetables” had some caveats when it came to my body. People tell you that increasing your fiber causes upset for everyone until the body adjusts but what happens if the body doesn’t adjust?

Fast forward to 2020 when a pandemic started and the world went to shit. Unfortunately, my body went with it. Since March of 2020, I have experienced more frequent episodes of pain. I had a very short stint (one visit) with a natural doctor who maybe practices Chinese medicine (I don’t know) and paid hundreds of dollars in supplements that you can’t get anywhere else before realizing I’d not quite exhausted all other options. I called my primary care physician (PCP) and talked to her about the supplements and the pain and the things I’ve tried before. She suggested that I look into a low FODMAP diet, told me that she didn’t think it wouldn’t hurt to take the supplements, and suggested that when I was ready to look into the food approach, she could refer me to a nutritionist.

Now, listen… I’m an incredibly stubborn person. I fully own that. And I realize now that I should’ve jumped on this low FODMAP train at her first mention of it but the holidays are coming up. Halloween just passed. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas dinner! I. love. food. I love it. I thought I would just maintain a little longer and then go all in after the holidays. The thing with chronic illness, you see, is that we’re used to being uncomfortable. Used to being at some level of pain or discomfort pretty much all of the time. It’s also one of the reasons we feel ridiculous succumbing to the pain. People see us day in and day out and we look normal. I pride myself on being able to function well with over a decade of stomach issues and chronic fatigue. I feel like a burden when concessions need to be made for me. I often convince myself that eating things I know will upset me is fine because I know what symptoms it will cause and that I can handle them.

Ha ha ha… bitch, you thought.

It came to a head this week. Monday morning, I had to go into work late after waking up with intense pain that doubled me over. An antispasmodic and some Ibuprofen later, I went into work. Uncomfortable but present. Tuesday I was scheduled for a flight to our facility in Massachusetts. I debated cancelling but decided to wait until the morning to see how I felt. I rallied and honestly, I had a blast in MA. Wednesday, I couldn’t get out of the fetal position until the evening. I spent the day with antispasmodics, a ton of water, very little food, a heating pad, my roommate (thankfully!), and several Marvel movies in release date order (which my sister tells me is the only way to watch them so I can experience it the way everyone else did). I started the low FODMAP diet. I hadn’t shopped for it and we missed our weekend shop this past weekend so pickings were slim but I ordered a food journal and some books about the diet and I downloaded an app. My husband made a quick stop at the grocery store for some basics on his way home from work and I went to bed feeling like I was starting to gain back some control.

I woke up Thursday morning with the intention of going into work until I doubled over onto the dinning room rug while my kids ate their breakfast. There’s something quite humbling about having your children stare down at you on the floor asking if you’re okay while you roly-poly your way into a defensive position and grit through pain and nausea (queue the mom guilt because why not). I called my PCP and they sent me for a rush X-ray where I assumed I’d learn what everyone already knows: I’m full of shit (*jokes*). Turns out, that wasn’t the case and honestly, I cried. Results: normal. But I didn’t feel normal. It hurt to straighten up, hurt to walk, hurt to sit down. I wanted an easy answer but, as most of my friends with GI issues will tell you, that’s not typically how this journey goes. So I spent yet another day with antispasmodics, a ton of water, a heating pad, and several Marvel movies. I also read a ton about low FODMAP foods and tried to educate myself on this new elimination diet.

I’m a rule follower by nature so Whole30 is easy; the rules are very defined. The low FODMAP diet is different. Food is categorized into low, medium, and high FODMAPs. Some low FODMAP items can become high based on how much you consume. Some food items that you think of as “good” like broccoli, cauliflower, and apples can be “bad” and some food items that you steer of while eating clean like jam and butter are totally acceptable. I need to relearn some things.

Today is Friday. My food journal and my books have arrived (Side note: Did you know there’s a medical chart on the consistency of shit? It’s called the Bristol Stool Chart and it is equally repulsive and fascinating. You’re welcome.) and I’ve been eating only low FODMAP foods for 2 days. I’m happy to say that I’m upright this morning which feels like a huge win. I also reached out to a friend of mine who fully revamped her diet to tackle health issues for encouragement. She gave me some good advice and helped me realize that I’ve been focusing on how my issues impact other people rather than focusing on how they’re impacting me. I’m wondering if any of you have experience with this. What resources helped you out? What recipes do you love? What words of advice do you have for something just starting out?

I’m all ears!

Febrile Seizures and Healthy Anxiety

It’s Friday morning and the air is cool. The sun is out and the clouds are sparse. The kids are off to school and daycare for the first time in 5 weeks and my music is turned up. Thank you Walker Hayes Pandora station. I have a quarter cup of coffee left in my to-go mug; it’s still hot despite being poured over an hour ago. I don’t feel like I’m scraping myself off the floor today. It’s a good morning.

I mentioned it in my last post but I started anxiety meds at the end of May. It takes a while for the meds to get in your system but I can say without a doubt that medication combined with therapy has made a world of difference for me. I still struggle with anxiety but I’m getting better at recognizing healthy anxious thoughts vs. obsessive thoughts. I’m getting better at communicating those obsessive thoughts with my husband and he’s getting better at giving me grace when I can’t let go of something, snap at him, or need to step away.

Our son had a febrile seizure on Wednesday, his second since June. He’s been at daycare both times and both times I missed the call. I saw Fred’s text explaining what happened after I got out of a meeting and immediately left work. I called him on the way to daycare. I panicked. He panicked. I snapped. I didn’t get to daycare before the ambulance left the parking lot so I followed closely behind knowing that that they wouldn’t do anything but give him some acetaminophen and ibuprofen and a COVID test. I got turned around in the parking structure. Fred somehow made it to the ER before I did.

Febrile seizures are interesting because as long as they’re not occurring frequently during a single “illness” or longer than the completely frustrating range of somewhere between 5-15 minutes, medical professionals don’t really bat an eye. The first time it happened, the ER doctor told me to Google the answers to my questions about how often to expect seizures / whether or not they occur with every fever / if they’re caused by temperature alone or the rate at which the temperature elevates / the statistics of reoccurring vs. one time febrile seizures. Google. To a mom whose son had just had his first ever seizure that lasted 7 minutes followed by another one for 2 minutes.

Another interesting thing about febrile seizures is that the fever is often the first symptom of a virus. So you bring your kid to school and you temp them at the door and you send them on their way. They don’t have a stuffy / runny nose. They don’t have a cough at night. No sore throat. Not even a sneeze. Then they wake up from a nap with a temperature of 102 and they seize.

Little man didn’t need the ambulance ride but I’m shit in emergency situations and I couldn’t think straight. The director at daycare told me the EMTs had arrived and I couldn’t slow down my thoughts enough to ask the questions:

  • Does he have a temperature?
  • How long did the seizure last?
  • Is he lucid?

His COVID test was negative and I tested negative on Tuesday after a coworker was diagnosed. I waited the appropriate number of days before testing myself, we mask in meetings at work, and my other team members tested negative but I’m still obsessing. I could take another test but the first did nothing to curb my anxiety so I haven’t, telling myself that I can rely on the test results and that my anxious thoughts aren’t serving me.

Healthy: Taking the necessary precautions to prevent illness and testing for COVID after a possible exposure

Obsessive: Thinking that you have COVID and spread it to your child despite knowing you and your son tested negative

I’ve always been an anxious person. I know that about myself. I think back across relationships and I see the patterns. The way I obsessed. The way I let healthy anxiety roll into obsessive anxiety. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so rigid. I’m sorry that I held so tightly to control. I’m sorry if my anxiety made you doubt yourself. Recognizing healthy anxiety and letting the rest go is something I’ll probably always work on.

So I sent my son to daycare today. I’m slow-sipping coffee. I’m spending a moment in catharsis before I hit post and carry on with my day. And I’m trusting that God has this. That whatever caused Freddy’s seizure just is. If I could have prevented it, I would have; I can’t control what is.

Little Man

Febrile Seizure Fact Sheet

A is for Anxiety

Do you ever hold your breath doing a completely innocuous thing? Do you find your shoulders scrunched up by your ears while relaxing? Do you feel like you have a pound of bricks sitting on your chest regardless of the task at hand? Do you find yourself periodically taking really deep breaths because you don’t have any air in your lungs? Is your heart racing? Do you feel like you’re watching a reel that keeps getting faster and faster?

Perhaps you’re not cleaning the house on overdrive so you think you’re okay. You’re not obsessing about one thing. There are so many things to remember, right? That’s all this is. You’re trying to manage everyone’s schedule during a hectic time. Everyone feels like this really. It’s a symptom of our times.

But you feel out of control.

And it’s not stopping.

If you’re honest… it’s getting worse.

You’ve started avoiding things. You can get away with it for a while because people know you’re stressed. They want to give you a break and it’s not like you’re avoiding all of your responsibilities. You’re still functioning. You’ll bounce back in a second and you’re so good at managing those bricks weighing down your chest that most people don’t even know you’re struggling. You’ll be fine.

You just need a few more minutes to yourself each day. To reset. To relax. You’re so tired in the mornings. You can’t get that relaxation time in before the sun comes up so you’ll take it after the sun goes down. It used to take a half hour to wind down. Now it takes hours. It’s after midnight and you’re tired. You’re so tired. But you can’t sleep. You hold out for that deep breath to fill your lungs. It doesn’t come. Eventually you wake up on the couch and drag yourself to bed. You’ll have dark circles under your eyes come morning.

__________________________________________________________

Last month I made a call to my PCP (primary care physician) and told her I wanted to start on anxiety meds. I’ve always been type A but this last year has thrown me for a loop that I can’t seem to get out of on my own. I’ve tried. I’ve mediated. I’ve tried yoga. I’ve eaten better and exercised and eliminated as much from my plate as I could. I’ve increased water. Taken my vitamins. But on my birthday a few weeks ago I canceled a casual evening with friends last minute because I couldn’t handle it. I love birthdays. I celebrate as much as I can. But this year I tried to isolate (and I would’ve outside of my immediate family if not for my kick-ass coworker and brother-in-law who refused to let me take my lunch alone).

Last weekend I had to RSVP to two events and the decisions had me in tears. When Fred suggested we bring guacamole to one of them, I immediately started panicking about how hard it would be to find avocados. First world problems, am I right?

They tell me it takes 4 weeks to find out whether or not a medication helps or not and I’m lucky enough to have had a very good friend point out to me the following warning:

They said, “You know… the thing about medication that I didn’t realize is that it doesn’t fix you. You won’t suddenly go back to doing all of the things you pulled away from when the anxiety got too bad. You have to push yourself. You have to start doing the things that cause anxiety to see that that the anxiety isn’t there anymore.”

Another friend told me:

“Change is hard. We get used to sitting in this space even when it’s bad for us. We get comfortable. Our coping mechanisms are comfortable. This won’t be easy.”

__________________________________________________________

Paper Planner

With anxiety sky-rocketing over this past year, I’ve been looking to “complete” more of those invisible tasks I mentioned in my last post by writing them down or scheduling them in my calendar and whatever necessary office requires an appointment as soon as they come to me. Once I’ve written an item down as a future task in my planner or called the office to make the appointment, I can release that task until it’s due.

For this reason, I highly recommend a paper planner. I’ve been using a paper planner for several years and finally have my system down to an art. This year, I’m using the Blue Sky Day Designer Daily/Monthly 8×5 planner. I’ve been on the Day Designer wagon for a while but this is my first time using such a small version. I was worried that it wouldn’t be big enough to accomodate all of my notes but I use the paper planner for quick reminders and abbreviated schedules and keep the details in my online calendars. I used to think I could walk away from the online calendars once I got my paper calendar up and running but alas. Those insane bloggers with the multiple calendar transfers at scheduled intervals? Yeah, that’s me now.

At the start of the year, I go through all of my calendars and get all of the important, known dates transferred into my paper calendar monthly views. Before the start of each new month, I go through my online calendars and transfer dates that I’ve scheduled on my phone into my month view as well. Before each week, I transfer dates from the monthly calendar view into the specific days along with work meetings scheduled on my work calendar. It sounds horrible and redundant and inefficient but it keeps me sane. Different strokes, am I right?

Anyway, I color code the thing too. Pink for my daughter. Blue for my son (I know, I know. The gender sterotyping is appaling). Green for my husband. Gray for work. Red for personal to-do items. Purple for fun items. Yellow for info-only.

Once I started doing the calendar transfer thing, I figured I’d be one of those people who gets into the stickers or uses a stencil to make perfect shapes to color or maybe writes in different colors but in practice I’ve found the more complex it gets, the less likely I am to stick with it (and I couldn’t stand the colored writing).

I use “◯” is as an event indicator. I freehand it. I make a tiny circle in the middle of the hour line if I have an event on the half hour and if it’s an odd appointment time I follow the “◯” with the time (example: “◯:45 doctor”). The planner I use comes with square boxes for tasks so those get color coded as well. Checkmark = complete. Strikethrough = didn’t do it and not moving it forward. Right arrow means I moved it forward to a future date (and here’s the key: you actually have to write it down on a future date; it might not be tomorrow but it has to be scheduled). I put the anniversaries at the top right corner in the quotation box. Highlighters can be purchased here.

I’ve even started to put basic reminders about how to be a good person in my calendar like “call your best friend” or “Jane’s big presentation.” I used to think that if you were a good person / friend, you’d just remember those things. And maybe I still do. But I also believe that I’ve got what I’ve got with regards to mental capacity and what I got currently includes a lot of unecessary clutter and anxiety choking out the important things. So I’ve started writing them down when I hear them and replacing “absent minded” with “intentional” in my running narrative.

If your axiety has you feeling absent minded lately, I hope you’ll consider my strategy. More importantly, I hope you’ll share yours!

What tricks do you use to keep ahead of your anxious thoughts? How do you stay on task?

Mental Load

My husband and I talk about mental load a lot. Mental load refers to the non-tangible tasks needed to run a household. It includes things like remembering what needs to go daycare each week and what needs to come home, knowing what assignments are due, what books need to be returned from the library, and what special themes you need to dress your kid in for school, who is due for their next doctor appointment or dental appointment and which kid sizes need to be changed out for the upcoming season change or growth spurt.

We talk about it as a couple so much because we’re at odds about how the mental load is distributed in our household. My husband feels we have a 50/50 split because he does a ton of the physical household tasks. But you just read that the mental load isn’t physical. You can probably see where this is going…

I feel the split leans a little heavier toward me. Or a lot heavier? (It’s a lot heavier.)

Case in point: I tried to delegate some of my mental load to him this past week regarding a schedule change with my daughter’s afterschool program.

Me: “You need to inform her teacher and the secretary if you change her afterschool schedule.”

Hubs: “Okay. Can you send me the secretary contact?”

Me: “It’s should be in an old e-mail I copied you on.”

Hubs: “I can’t find it.”

Me: “You’ll need to look it up on the school website. That’s what I would do.”

Hubs: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

Hubs: **Walks away from the conversation and immediately forgets my transfer of the mental load to him.**

SEVERAL HOURS LATER…

My phone, right after school ends: “RING! RING! RING!”

Me: “Hello?”

Secretary: “Hi, is this Meg? We have your daughter here. She’s saying there was a schedule change?”

Me: “Oh, yes. My husband should’ve contacted you and the teacher.”

Secretary: “We didn’t receive anything. We just want to make sure she’s where she needs to be.”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that and I appreciate you double checking! She’s okay to go ahead with the change.”

Secretary: “Okay, we’ll send her along.”

Me: “Thank you!”

Secretary, knowing I usually e-mail these changes ahead of time: “My pleasure. Do you mind you contacting us next time there’s a schedule change instead of having your husband contact us?”

Me: …

Secretary: …

Me: “Yep. Yes. I can do that.”

A Rolling Stone

Have you ever heard the phrase “A rolling stone gathers no moss”?

It’s credited to Publilius Syrus, a Latin writer who lived from 85-43 BC so it’s safe to say the phrase has been around for a while. You might even think that with such a longstanding history, this phrase is easily understood by all who hear it. Lucky for us, the precise definitions of words and the origins of phrases entice me! So I gave this phrase a last minute check today before using it in a post and discovered I had no idea what the phrase meant. Here’s what Google tells me:

a person who does not settle in one place will not accumulate wealth or status, or responsibilities or commitments.

Definitions from Oxford Languages

That wasn’t what I expected so now I’m on the fence on whether or not a rolling stone is a good thing (see my last post on burout to understand the appeal of not accumulating responsibilities or commitments). Moss, so says Literary Devices, symbolizes patience, experience, and persistence. Which sound like good things. But I’m pretty sure when I’ve heard this phrase before, it’s the stone we’ve wanted and not the moss.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who’s confused. You can read more about the way this phrase has morphed over time here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/rolling-stone-phrase-origin but essentially, what used to be a warning against social irresponsibility sort of became an ode to wanderlust.

Is it good or bad to be a rolling stone? Depends on whom you ask!

(Perhaps the best part about this utter tangent of a post is that neither explanation represents what I thought the phrase meant. Go figure.)

Burnout

If you’ve lived through this past year, I’m going to go ahead and assume you’ve experienced burnout at some level. And I mean that globally, which is insane. You’re a human? You’re old enough to understand that everything changed for us a little over a year ago? Yeah, I’m talking to you. Even as vaccines begin to be released fully to the general public and fears (hopefully) begin to subside, we’re here dealing with the effects of a year+ long pandemic, of shuffled schedules, sicknesses, deaths without closure, real fear and fear mongering, unemployment, home schooling, etc. It’s not just one thing. It’s everything.

Fun fact: Burnout can lead to anxiety disorders. Did you know that? Feel anxious lately? *raises hand with fervor* I’m a barely functioning adult some days. Thank the Lord I have a partner who carries me. But news flash: he’s going through the same stuff I am (because that’s what happens in a global pandemic where we all carry the weight of prolonged stress) so I can tell you with 100% certainty that his back is sore from carrying this team. Thanks, love!

At the start of the calendar year I started Whole30 for the 3rd time in my adult life. I went from that right into a 6 week health challenge on Les Mills On Demand (absolutely love that subscription, by the way – more on that later!). I’ve been trying to drink more water and take my vitamins regularly and kick my self-induced insomnia all in attempt to get rid of that 10 lb. weight sitting on my chest day in and day out. I’ve gotten a little lift but it’s still there. Have I tried meditation? Yes. Helps a little. Therapy? The appointment is booked.

The point is, if you look at my highlight reel and see me completing Whole30 and a 6 week workout challenge, dropping 10 lbs. and getting stronger in the past few months, you might be tempted to think I have some sort of grasp on life right now. I assure you, I do not. I do, however, have some newfound appreciation for some things due to living through a pandemic:

  • Delegating things I’m not good at doing. I hold onto things I shouldn’t because I’m afraid of doing them imperfectly but I’m learning to recognize that God gifts us all with different talents. My inability to let go is keeping someone else from being able to use their talents. Get rid of whatever it is that you don’t think you’ve mastered enough. Need to figure out your retirement investments? Outsource it. Someone else already has that gift honed. You don’t have the capacity for that right now.
  • Limiting my “yes.” I’m an introvert. I absolutely love my people and I absolutely need downtime to recover from seeing them. It’s worse now than it was pre-COVID19. If I say yes for one thing today, I’m saying no to every other social event that day – likely the whole weekend.
  • Burying my head in the sand. This feels like it would’ve been a good post for April Fools’ Day but I’m serious. I said I had a newfound appreciation for things… I didn’t say they were healthy things! I’m a total avoider. I’m not proud of that but it’s the truth. If I don’t have the energy to expend on it, I will put it off. Do I realize it makes it worse in the long run? Yes. Yes, I do. Does that stop me from doing it? No. No, it does not.
  • Washing my hands for 20 seconds. This is random and I’m not saying I didn’t wash my hands before but I’ve gotta be honest… 20 seconds is a long time. My hygiene skills were seriously lacking pre-COVID19. I’ve upped my game, ya’ll. My skin might be cracked and bleeding year round from here on out, but these hands are clean.

COVID Update: A Journal Entry

Michigan started reopening businesses and lifting restrictions but the stay at home order was extended. Some of our friends in the salon industry still haven’t received guidance on how or when they’ll be able to reopen doors. Among a list of other industries and individuals, restaurants as hurting as well.

Our daycare, which has remained open for essential workers, is finally accepting children for their summer program. That means the kids go back to daycare June 1st. I have a lot of emotions regarding that decision. The only thing keeping me sane is the reassurance that they have been open and have had no reported cases of COVID-19. I’ve been pressured to provide my return date so I’m thankful for the summer program though my work has continued from home.

I’ve been appalled by people’s behavior. After using the Facebook Snooze for 30 Days feature, my feed is beginning to refill with hatred, venom, and disrespect once more. This time I’m unfriending. Our interactions in the past do not tie us together for life.

Perhaps you’re scared or hurting and you’re lashing out. Maybe this is a low point for you. I understand. I know without a doubt that I have been in that position before and people have unfriended me whether over social media or in real life because of it. I don’t believe that you cannot change or that you’re a terrible person. But we’re not good enough friends to have a heart to heart over it and I need to make the best decision for me.

Maybe you’re not scared or hurting but you’re lashing out in anger. Maybe you think your posts are funny. I get that too. I’ve perpetuated hate toward people I’ve never met out of ignorance or bigotry or a societal influence I didn’t even know was there. I’ve been working on it for a while now but there are days that I come across an article or a post or a different perspective that lays bare my sins. It’s uncomfortable. And condemning.

But let me caution you with this: If you’re a Christian, watch what you’re putting out on social media. Be ready to receive correction and do so with grace. You can have different opinions but let’s do it without hate or shame or mockery of a person or group of people. It’s not a good look and certainly not one you’d be proud to bring to the cross.