I’ve pondered what I was going to write since last Thursday. Each day my thoughts change. Today, I had my first episode of senseless tears. Seriously. I’ll explain later. So, let’s just say this past week has been a roller coaster. I try to keep on my rose-colored glasses, but according to the Enneagram survey….I’m a six. Okay, even my introductory paragraph is all over the place, so let’s try to regroup and refocus. I’m trying not to view this as a glass half full or half empty. At this point, I’m learning to be thankful I have a glass!
AAACCCHH! Okay. Here we go.
Last Thursday, I learned that each grade level needed to create a 2-week packet of lessons “just in case” we needed to be out longer than our two-week spring break. We did. By Friday, students had “heard” we’d be out for a month or maybe the rest of the year. What the what? Say it ain’t so! (Yes, I’m a teacher, and I used ain’t….sometimes you just have to go for it….even if you tend to be the Grammar Police of social media.) I assured one of my students that no one had officially told me anything about being out longer than spring break, and I was confident that he would return to Room 302.
Around 3:20 pm on Friday, March 13, I learned that we would be out for three weeks, and that teaching staff would report to school for contract hours on April 1st and 2nd. Well, if that’s not the making of a Friday the 13th, I don’t know what is! I’m not sure how those contract days will go now that we’re not supposed to be in groups larger than 10….I’m sure they’ll figure something out.
That Saturday, my sisters and I had a decision to make, and I think we chose correctly. At that point, we were told not to gather in groups larger than 250, so my sisters and I decided to go ahead and have our surprise party for our dad. I mean, he turns 80 on March 24th. That deserves a party! We knew our numbers would be down, and our only hope was that more than just family would be at the church when the birthday boy was scheduled to stop by. We were thrilled when 33 people gathered to celebrate. However my #6-teacher personality thanked them for coming, told them we’d be serving food & drinks wearing gloves to eliminate the spread of germs, and asked guests just to wave at our parents….“Don’t touch them, please.”
For those of you who aren’t aware of the Enneagram, it’s a type of personality assessment. Basically, according to Enneagram, a number six person tends to be conflicted between fear and faith. Oh, how I’ve seen that daily over the past week…..
On Sunday, a small gathering assembled to worship together. As my usual lunch bunch left to eat together, one suggested a Chinese buffet. Umm, I SO didn’t want to go to a buffet where I can’t “believe” that germs have been carefully kept at bay. Yet, I told myself not to let fear dictate. [I admit, that’s the only choice in this past week that I disagree with. I should’ve opted to skip it and just eat leftover veggies and cheese. I had LOTS of those left from the party. Ha!] As I drove home, I guessed that it was our last time assembling together for worship for several weeks. Thankfully, the church is not a building but a body of believers. I look forward to our “new” method of worship this Sunday.
Monday, I had plans to go shopping and out for lunch with a retired teacher friend. We opted to visit at her house (with six feet separating us) and eating locally (one hour before Governor Holcomb closed all dining rooms).
Tuesday, we had a fundraiser scheduled for our MS Walk. We pondered whether we should do it. We opted to go ahead as the parking lot gave plenty of space for people to put social distance between them as they waited for their pretzels. Speaking of the MS Walk, it’s now a “virtual walk” due to Covid-19. If you’d be willing to make a donation to help me meet my goal, you can visit this link.
Wednesday, I picked up some groceries for my parents and my allergy medicine. As I sneeze and cough my way through seasonal allergies, I remind myself that the Coronavirus cough is said to be dry. I find myself thankful for my disgustingly-productive-allergy-cough.
As a teacher, I have tried to figure out how I can help people through this new journey. So far, I’ve posted two silly songswith “my voices”, written a short story with kindergarten Word Wall Words for a friend’s son, and am planning to start recording “Rock N Read” daily. That has been a favorite part of my class’ day for YEARS.
As a citizen of a small town, I decided to try to buy a carryout/delivery/curbside-pickup meal each day to support a local restaurant while their dining rooms are closed. I had my plan for tonight. I called. I tried to order a “dinner for one”, and the person on the phone said they only did the special for 2s and 4s. I quickly got off the phone….and cried. I kid you not. Tears fell because I couldn’t place a $10 meal order. Did I REALLY want that meal? No. I mean, I liked most of the items in the meal, but not all of them. My tears were because…I couldn’t help. I had a plan to help, and it failed.
One of my favorite quotes from Mr. Rogers is the one about looking for the helpers. I can’t do much to help fight Covid-19. I can’t test to see if you have the virus. I can’t create a vaccine to stop it or a medication to cure it. I can’t make it safe for my friend to visit her dad in the hospital or another friend to see her mom in the nursing home. I can’t make sure that my parents don’t get the virus from their trips to the grocery store (even though I try to get them not to go). I can’t put a bubble around my sister as she works in IT at the local hospital. I can’t make sure that no one brings the virus into my nephew’s apartment at school. There’s a lot I can’t do. So, when I couldn’t even give this local restaurant $10 for a dinner, I cried.
I prayed to the One who created me to give wisdom to those working to create vaccines and medications. I prayed to the One who pushed back the waters of the Red Sea to push back the waves of this pandemic. I prayed to the Prince of Peace to give me and other believers a peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of the chaotic, so we can minister to those who don’t know Him. I prayed for Him to allow me to be able to bring a bit of joy and humor into the sorrow and dreariness of this current path. I prayed to be a helper.
You see….I can’t do much, but I can be a helper. Whether it’s by singing silly songs, recording myself reading books, buying meals, writing encouragements, or praying….I can help.
You can too. How can you be a helper? Go do it…..But…..
Wash your hands, don’t get too close, and pray each step of your journey.
In case you were wondering, I helped a different restaurant and the tears have dried. Tears do that.