Hello, sweet friends, this Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone 04.2020 post is the one I planned to share Thursday when I shared this one instead. Thought I needed to get the questions out to you all for the upcoming 10 on the 10th post. And with that done, I can get back on track.
It’s probably pretty safe to say we’ve all been living outside our comfort zone in the past month or so. Nothing about life in April was very familiar or comfortable. We’ve all had our ‘normal’ lives turned upside down. If not by 180 degrees, at least by 90, right? So it would be safe to say, I think, that just daily life in April was a stretch outside my comfort zone.
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone 04.2020
One of the best ways Covid-19 has impacted my life is the way it has influenced me to try new things. To think of new ways of doing something old and familiar. That whole ‘when life gives you lemons…or a pandemic…’ mentality. And it has caused me to slow down.
Until this stay at home restriction, I was all about making extensive daily to-do lists and dancing as fast I could to tick things off. Only to start all over again the next day. To be perfectly honest, that worked well to help me get things done, and I will probably go back to that AC=After Covid. But it didn’t allow for me a whole lot of me time. Or time to do some of the things I enjoy doing.
So I want to take what I have been forced to learn by this virus, and apply it to life once the germs settle and things return to normal. What has Covid-19 taught you?
Unplanned Play Date with Lucia
The other day I took food over for the kids. I planned to text the kids I was coming, just drop it off at the door then text them after I was back in the car and headed home. Thank goodness I had worn my mask. Because no sooner did I get out of the car with the chili and cornbread, than a little body appeared in the frosted glass front door. The door opened and there was my little buddy, Lucia, calling “Gabba!”
Oh, it was so hard not to sweep up my darling granddaughter in a hug and seal it with a kiss. Thankfully, she knew that was against the rules, too. But my plan to be super stealth was foiled. And by a 4 year-old who seems to have a Spidey sense about when her Gabba is near.
Lauren came to the door with Cami in her arms and invited me in to set down the food. I asked her how Cia knew I was there and she said Lucia just has that sense when I’m around. I asked if I could take baby girl for a quick bike ride and her mommy said yes. Music to my ears. We got her dressed, brushed her hair then Cia found her bike helmet while Lauren fetched her bicycle. We were about to head to the door when a dark, sad expression came across my granddaughter’s face. Lucia remembered her face mask. She ran back to the kitchen to find it on the counter.
I was worried she didn’t want to wear it. But Lauren explained that Lucia is very scared about possibly getting sick. She wants to wear a face mask. WANTS to wear a face mask, anytime she leaves the house. Including playing in the back yard, on the drive way, or going for a walk.
To the Park and Beyond
It hurt my heart a lil bitsy (as Lucia says) to think that a 4 year-old has to worry about ‘bad germs.’ Even when doing something as innocent as enjoying an unplanned play date with her Gabba. But with our face masks in place, we were on our way.
Cia rode her Frozen blue bicycle with silvery streamers and training wheels and I jogged beside her. Our destination: the neighborhood park. When we arrived at the park, Lucia asked if we could throw rocks. Something we had done once before. From the path behind the park into a ravine in the desert beyond.
As is the case at all El Paso parks right now, the playground equipment was wrapped in yellow ‘caution’ tape.
I had known it would be. So we stayed on the little path around the park. Meandered over to the gravel path where we could safely launch our rocks.
Launching Rocks into the Desert
It warmed my heart that Lucia remembered our rock throwing from months before. We launched big rocks and little rocks into the ravine trying to hit certain targets like bigger rocks or cactus.
I sat down on the gravel path at the edge of the ravine and Lucia scrambled onto my lap. And for a few minutes, with the exception of the masks, life felt normal. All was right in my world.
Then Lucia asked to take off her mask. It was over 90* and hot. She was wearing her bicycle helmet and a mask. Lucia shed the bicycle helmet but was still so uncomfortable. And I was so torn. PC and I go outside without masks. We walk, ride bikes, run without masks. And we rarely wear them in the car. There wasn’t a soul around. We were there all by ourselves. But I am pretty certain Lauren and Francisco keep masks on the girls even when they go for walks.
I allowed her to remove the mask for just a moment to cool off and then we put it right back on. But was that moment enough to put my baby girl in jeopardy of contracting Covid-19? Seeing my granddaughter have to go to the park in a mask was a step outside my comfort zone. But helping her remove her mask felt like an even bigger step outside my comfort zone.
How could an unplanned play date be so complicated?
We spent about 30 minutes throwing rocks, playing hide and seek and talking, then Cia rode her bike back home while I jogged along beside her. I watched Cami for a few moments before heading back across the mountain home.
On My Way Home
As I drove across the mountain, I started thinking 4 month-old Cami has hardly seen me without a mask. I am not sure she will even recognize me without without one. I started wondering how Cadence, my 9 year-old granddaughter is going to remember this significant time of her life. Fourth grade, the school year that wasn’t. For months, as a single child, she has been away from all other children. Already introverted, how will Cady handle social situations once the quarantine is lifted?
Lucia is younger and may remember very little. But how will this affect her as far as worrying about ‘bad germs’ and getting sick? She is already very OCD at 4 years. Worries about washing her hands long enough, wants to clean them with hand sanitizer. Can be preoccupied with health. Will this all fade from her memory?
And Cami. She has truly only been around her little family – mommy, daddy and big sister Cia. Will it be harder for her to adjust to being with new people? With extended family but also with the daycare teachers in the future, her little ‘classmates.’
Our Cedar Closet
I was going into sixth grade the summer my family moved from Boston to Memphis. We went from living in a very old duplex to a 6 bedroom single family home with a big, beautiful backyard. One of the things I liked most about our new house was its cedar closet. It was a closet within the closet in my sister’s bedroom.
The cedar smelled so good. And my mother used it to store winter clothes, my parents’ wedding outfits, some blankets, quilts and a few family keepsakes. But I liked it because it was the perfect place to hide from Nazis. In 5th grade social studies, I had learned about World War II, the Holocaust and the Nazis. From that moment on, my life was changed. I had nightmares about Nazi soldiers standing on our front porch with big rifles at their sides. I was terrified that somehow Nazis would find me in Memphis, Tennessee and drag my family and me to a concentration camp.
To this day, I am still haunted by the Holocaust. Children all over the world study World War II. Why did it affect me so deeply?
Tomorrow, Lauren’s maternity leave will be over and she will begin working again from home. I am going to be helping her with the girls until they can take them to daycare. So tomorrow, I will go over the mountain and be reunited with all my El Paso girls. And hopefully, a little bit of normalcy will return to our lives. And rather than an unplanned play date, we have some planned time together.
Do you think this quarantine, this virus will stay with you and your family long after the restrictions are lifted? Am I making a mental mountain out of a mole hill. Please let me know what you think.
I found this website with 30 quotes about stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s actually good for us to do things we aren’t comfortable doing. But sometimes it doesn’t feel that way!
Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with me. Hope you are staying healthy and finding great ways to enjoy this very unusual time in our lives.
Hugs and kisses,