Live more. Worry less.

This is the statement at the top of my agenda this week.

As has been my habit when flipping to a new week, I crossed off several of the meetings which have now been postponed or canceled. My blank week is now filling up with evidence of our new lifestyle.

On Wednesday, we have a FaceTime meeting with my Mick’s English teacher. Thursday I have a Zoom meeting, etc.

Live more.

After nearly two weeks at home with the kids, we are learning a new way to live and are becoming more comfortable in our confined environment.

Last week, on my last trip to Menards, I found a huge roll of brown paper- builders paper. Using painters tape, I’ve papered big sections of wall. From ceiling to floor at the bottom of the stairway I have written out the kids’ school assignments for each day.

Mick’s Marquette fifth grade assignments are color coded on the right. I took some time to go through the packets each teacher sent home and figured out what he needs to do each day for the rest of the week.

Yes, it would be easy enough for him to finish this work in less than five days, but the kid needs structure and something to occupy his attention. So that Science chapter has been stretched out. I’ve made the extra work no longer “extra” but required.

Shannon’s VHS seventh grade assignments are on the left. Being that all her work is through her iPad, there is less that needs to be written down. As I explained it to her, I don’t know her assignments like her brother’s. After each lesson, I want her to write down what she did for each subject so we can talk about it.

VHS has also divided up the week differently. Instead of having work each day for each subject, she has a rotation of two or three subjects a day. What I do like, is that there are attendance assignments — something simple but which holds students (and parents) accountable to work daily.

At the top of the stairway I have another floor to ceiling papered wall. This paper is blank, awaiting a bored child or parent to begin doodling. Stickers, crayons and a few imaginations will soon fill up this wall.

As a family, we are finding creative ways to live more, have more experiences and take advantage of what we have, in our house.

Worry less.

As a person with an anxious brain, worry is an ever present monster. It sits at my knee and pounces at very inopportune moments.

Living in such tight quarters, I don’t want my anxiety and worry to seep into my relationships and affect my children. My anxiety has been particularly difficult to wrestle while living the COVID life.

I’ve learned not to fight it — that just makes it worse. I’ve learned to live alongside it- like a stinky cat that won’t leave you alone.

We take walks as a family, tiring that animal out. I work on clear communication so that obnoxious things can’t tangle us in a web of yarn.

This is working. My feral beast is starting to take naps. For hours this weekend I forgot about the coronavirus.

Through living more I am able to worry less.

OK, agenda. Good call.

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