Change the Channel – Take #2

 

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Image Courtesy of unsplash.com

My 15-year-old son, who has been visiting his sisters in the U.S., called me yesterday.

Our conversation went something like this:

I don’t feel well. I’ve had it! he said.

What do you mean? The mom in me started to worry. What was going on? Was he feeling sick? Did he have a fight with one of his sisters? What could possibly be wrong?

I’m done with this.

With what? I asked (calmly) trying to keep the edge out of my voice.

With the pandemic, he said.

I breathed a sigh of relief. OK. Nothing major. Or, at least, nothing new. If it’s the pandemic that he’s sick of, then I could deal with that. Aren’t we all just about done with the Coronavirus and 2020, in general? Well, yeah. Duh!

I want to go to school, he blurted out.

I want to go outside, he announced.

My heart hurt at that precise moment.

It’s hard, I told him. But whenever you catch yourself feeling this way, just do something different than what you’ve been doing up until that point. If you’ve been sitting, then get up and walk around. Or go out to the backyard. Maybe read a book. Eat something. Play with your niece. Just move around and change the channel.

Oh! That ubiquitous channel.

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This is hard. But we can get through it. We have to get through it.

We’re all stuck in a time warp of sorts. There’s nothing we can do to change the current reality, but we can figure out ways to not let it depress us or make us spiral out of control due to fear, and the seemingly unending nature of this thing.

This week the Public Health Officer of Canada said that we’re likely to be in a COVID19 mode for the next 2 – 3 years. Oy vey! Just that piece of news can make anyone feel despair. Yet, we can’t just stop everything we’re doing. At least, not entirely. Life was not meant to be put on pause indefinitely, although we have been in a weird slow version of it for months now. Nevertheless, we have to find ways to deal with the uncertainty and the fear.

We have to keep going. Make plans, even if they’re virtual. Get outside. Read books. Go to doctors’ appointments. Write. Find joy in everything you do. Stay connected with others.

Get up the next day and do it all over again.

I would love to hear how are you changing the channel on this pandemic.

Cross posted to the Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge.

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12 thoughts on “Change the Channel – Take #2

  1. Thanks for this lovely post. I think you’re right – we have to find other/new ways of dealing with this situation by finding new or rediscovering old interests. On a positive note, I’ve had more time to focus on writing and also this situation has helped me put into perspective my own role in the fight for equity in the US. Thanks for making me take a moment to recognize that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad to hear that you’ve been able to focus more on writing. Writing has been a great way to reflect on and process what is happening now. It will be my go-to strategy for navigating what will be an undoubtedly challenging year.

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  2. Oh! Did this ring true! I love your advice to change whatever it is you are doing in the moment to shift the perspective. Hard, but powerful. We actually retreated to New Hampshire for a lot of the summer to be able to keep our distance, yet still enjoy many of our treasured summer traditions. My heart goes out to so many – especially our teens – who want to be social, but know they need to be responsible. I think your “change the channel” advice will prove to be useful for students and their caregivers as we head into the new school year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you find my post helpful. So happy you were able to get away and have a semi-normal summer. It will help your family slip into a not-so-normal start to the school year. Stay well.

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  3. What a wonderful post! We are, indeed, stuck in a time warp of sorts, and finding a way out can be a challenge. I was sitting at my desk at school today, feeling just a little bit overwhelmed, when my eyes landed on just the right spot on a very cluttered bulletin board. A few years ago I tacked up a copy of Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things.” No, I didn’t get up and go “lie down where the wood drake rests,” but I imagined it, and that was enough for the moment. Thank you for sharing this today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Tim. Those are the kinds of things we need to “change the channel”. When we find these quotes or gems, as I like to call them, we never know when they’ll help uplift us. Thanks for sharing that experience. Stay well and good luck with the opening of the school year. I’m right there with you!

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  4. jhiggins75 says:

    Great advice! I’m going to look for ways to “change the channel” when I get stuck in the loop of worry, anxiety, etc about the pandemic and the start of school. Even though I would never wish this on the whole world, it’s nice to have solidarity with others who are experiencing this all over the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your advice to your son was so wise. I had a similar call from my 27 year old daughter who is pregnant with her 3rd child and was feeling so alone and so overwhelmed. Her husband is in his residency and she wasn’t able to make many friends in their new home in TX before the shutdown. It was all I could do to not get in the car and drive 22 hours to be with her.

    I like how you used italics for the conversation. It made it seem more immediate and accessible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is so hard for so many people. My oldest daughter is pregnant with her second child and they’ve had to put everything on hold for a while, like finding a permanent place to live and finding their community. I can’t imagine being a young mom and having to deal with this all alone. Sending lots of love and light to you and your daughter. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jennifer. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about joy with all the joyless stuff that we encounter on TV and social media. But it’s all around us; we just need to look around. Stay well!

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