Diary of a New Normal – Day 20 in the Age of Coronavirus

April 3, 2020 – Observations and Thoughts…

The sun will rise again. Funny what a difference two days makes. In my Diary of a New Normal – Day 18 post, I wrote about not being able to do any work on my blog. I was avoiding writing, wasn’t able to sleep, and generally felt hopeless. I think probably half the people on the planet have felt the same way sometime during the past two days.

For me, much of this sadness and gloom was due to the ongoing issues we have encountered with remote schooling. I was feeling helpless and hopeless with the workload and the stress it causes our children, despite advocating for change and providing what I hoped was respectful and constructive feedback. I had been struggling with understanding why so much work is necessary or appropriate given the current state of the world and the enormous amount of change every person is sustaining.

However, as I wrote a couple days ago, I felt strongly that God was telling me to “Be still…” (Psalm 46:10). Over the last few days, through prayer, I have worked to let go of my frustration. I have asked for strength to trust God and to stop worrying about how schooling could be less demanding or stressful and tried my best to just focus on the present. And God always proves to be faithful. A number of amazing things happened:

1. Two teachers for our oldest daughter reached out to us and offered some very timely assistance and accommodations

2. I was able to do my scheduled counseling session, which we conducted by phone call. My counselor helped me to reset and gave really good advice. He suggested the following:

  • Try to maintain a calm demeanor and avoid going into crisis mode, especially around the kids. Remember that we WILL get through this and everything is going to be okay.
  • Communicate to children that while school is important, it’s not the most important thing right now. And remember this ourselves.
  • Remember that everyone–students, parents, educators– is learning how to work and learn, while also learning to care for themselves in this new normal.
  • Take things one day at a time and don’t give too much importance to any one hour, day, or situation.

3. We found out that our school district will complete the rest of the school year online. Initially this was very upsetting, especially when we realize all the rites-of-passage our kids will be missing. However, having a sense of “closure” on that question helped us settle in and know what to do next. It’s weirdly comforting knowing we’ll be doing this for the next seven-eight weeks.

4. An impressively strong message of leadership from our school district’s superintendent accompanied the announcement of the prolonged remote learning. His message was something you might expect to hear from a great leader during war time. I was calmed and my frustration was quelled by his message, for it contained:

  • Acknowledgement that there are still many unanswered questions
  • Clear direction for what comes next, communicating confidence and hope
  • A call to stand together
  • A direct request for feedback from students and parents in the form of a survey
  • Resources for community members; be it where to get assistance with food or access to mental health professionals, and the like

I don’t know why it continues to surprise me when God answers my prayers and addresses my concerns. And it still surprises me that this often seems to come when I feel He is “ignoring” my pleas for what seems like an eternity. Then, when I am “still and know that [He] is God,” my answer comes.

#hopeinsuffering #alonetogether #thisiscoronalife #bestill

About mdesmarteau

Leader. Collaborator. Creator. Problem Solver. Encourager. Advocate. Writer. Wife. Mother. Friend.
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