Like so many others, I’ve felt rather powerless to do much of anything about this situation we all find ourselves in. That’s a different feeling for me. Throughout my life, and most certainly throughout my cancer journey, I’ve taken a problem solver approach. I’ve confidently navigated new and uncertain waters in numerous very challenging situations.
So, not liking this extremely unsettled feeling, I decided to work hard on solving this problem of feeling powerless. I’ve always lived by the “worry about the things you can do something about” and let go of the rest. I needed to figure out something. I decided to actively think about all the things I CAN do and what I’m going to do about them. It’s a short list. Hopefully I’ll add to it as we move forward.
- Stay Safely at Home. (This we’ve done since March 8.) I think this is THE most important thing I can do for others, by not putting others at risk, by not taking that much needed bed, by not causing worry to family.
- Stay Healthy. Stress and cancer are closely tied. A huge part of staying healthy for me is emotional well being. I can work on this. Exercise. Meditation. I can work on this. Finding joy in the everyday every day. (Being with Dan and our animal kids.) I will make sure to do this, it’s served me well. Interact with and check on others by phone, text, FaceTime, etc. I can do this. Art play, reading, handworks. I will try, as these are sources of joy. Staying healthy is not just for me. Much like staying home. A healthy me is good for everyone.
- Use resources wisely. No purchasing any nonessentials. (This isn’t the time for wants.) Use up that freezer food. Eat leftovers. Support local businesses when purchasing must be done. (Many have become very accommodating, offering curbside pick up or delivery. Then, Dan sanitizes everything.) We can do these things.
- Stay informed, but don’t overload. Process and evaluate before sharing with others. Listen to trusted experts. Whenever and however, I will try to advocate for those helpers Mr. Rogers’ mother told him to look for. Highlight signs of hope and strength in humanity. Remind people of safety measures. Remind myself it is okay to chuckle at those ridiculous memes and jokes. I am trying to do this.
- Count my blessings. We are fortunate to not have immediate financial concerns. My cancer is currently stable. So far our family members are safe. I am grateful. While I can’t help homeschool (a source of sadness for me), I can encourage parents to pour their love into their families generously. And a bonus blessing – before I entered the field of education, my first career was cosmetology. I can cut Dan’s and my hair!
- Stay hopeful. Pray for people to do the right thing to flatten the curve, to make supplies available. Pray for the caregivers and other essential workers to stay safe. Hope for our world. I do this.
Enough for now. A good start.
Stay home. Stay safe. I hope you can find a bit of joy in your everyday every day. Always have hope.