You’re Actually Doing Good!

Have you felt distracted and unable to focus more than usual in the last two weeks/months? Check.

Have you felt down or sadder that usual in the last two weeks/months? Check.

Have you had difficulty focusing or concentrating in the last two weeks/months? Check.

Have you found yourself eating more or less than normal, drinking to excess and/or participating in activities like these more than usual in last two weeks/months? Double check.

Have you found yourself having either difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual in the last two weeks/months? Check.

How about you?

These were some of the new screening questions I completed prior to my annual doctor well-check yesterday. Honestly, I was thankful for the inquiry. While driving to my appointment, I was thinking about how to raise the topic with my doctor –  about how I have been feeling “off” and wondering if maybe I needed a little help with the difficulty I have been having concentrating – my more than normal fatigue and exhaustion at times and this overall feeling of anxiety that seems to be a constant companion lately. I am usually a pretty positive person with a lot of energy and stamina, but, not lately.

My doctor came in and I could tell she had read my intake and said, “so, what’s going on?” She listened as I shared my experiences with Covid, raising teenage daughters, anxiety over the state of our country and upcoming elections, cancelled plans & trips, uncertainty for future, isolation from friends and family, going through menopause, homeschooling our children, inability to travel…

After listening, she asked, “do you still find joy in anything?” What a great question! Do I still find joy in anything?

I said, yes! I still enjoy my morning walks, journaling, happy hour sunset booze canoe cruises with my man, fall leaves/light and although I rarely watch T.V. our family has discovered a series called Schitt’s Creek and we are loving it.

She smiled and said, “you’re actually doing good!”

I’m actually doing good? Do go on…

She went on to say nothing about right now is “normal” and that if she had to guess 95% of her patients that have come in over the last few months feel exactly the same way.

To NOT feel distracted, overwhelmed, tired, fatigued, unfocused and maybe down is the exception. It’s ok – you’re actually doing good. This provided me with some context, validation, and peace of mind to know I wasn’t alone. These are extraordinary times. So many people are dealing with all the normal stressors of life – marriage, kids, money, jobs, deaths, births, and change ON TOP of a world gone up-side-down and we are all doing ok.

We know that whatever this looks like on the other side, we will learn, grow, evolve, and change. We will mourn some of the losses and embrace what works better for us as a society. So, for now, ask yourself “what still brings me joy?”  And, do that.

If you feel nothing brings you joy. If you feel so down and dark that you see no joy, light, hope or future – seek support. There are professionals, friends, family and support groups to partner and support you through these times.

You’re not alone. We are in this together, friends. We are doing good.

Until next time, RockonLIVING,

Vickie

Have A Plan

Regardless of the November election outcome, there is going to be a huge group of people feeling angry, hurt and perhaps depressed. This is assuming the results are considered legitimate and one of the candidates acquiesces to the other. We know this could go on for weeks, weeks…

The phrase “have a plan” has been circulating around this election cycle in regard to having a plan to vote – it may be time to “have a plan” for the results. Be proactive. Time to start thinking through things you will do after the election to best cope with whomever our country decides to put in office.

This post comes inspired after a family discussion at dinner the other night about “having a plan” if our party should “lose” – how we can be proactive in handling the results.

I, and many others, found ourselves ill-equipped to handle the feelings we experienced following the 2016 election. In addition, this election is also having an impact on my three teenage daughters and many of their friends. They are engaged, paying attention, have strong opinions and wishes for this election. Although few of them can vote, they are invested.

Even in “good times” election cycles can feel noisy, divisive, loud.

2020 has been unlike any other year, right?

Many of us would not describe our country in “good” times – maybe more like transformative times.  Transformative into what? This is a question mark. We know and can feel we are “in” it – but time will tell where we land.

Each family/person has coping strategies unique to what fill them up and now is the time to get your creative juices flowing!

To help get you started,  here are some things we came up with to help us move forward “win” or “lose” in just a couple weeks:

Social Media & Network News Pause

Win or lose, our family has decided to:

Take a social media break for two weeks following the election to give our nation’s and personal collective emotions time to cool a bit.

To hold space and grace for others and how they will be processing their experience. Respect it – it is personal.

In addition to a social media pause, we will turn off network news, be sad/happy, cry/laugh, talk, be angry – feel all the feels.  We will process in private. The processing may be similar in some ways when a family suffers a loss– you grieve – in private – with the people you love and trust. We will hold space for one another.

Focus on Home and Comfort

I have committed to having good food, meals and snacks ready – comfort food – we will bake –  we will put up our Christmas Tree – listen to Christmas music – we will make Christmas gifts – fill out Christmas Cards – we will start watching Christmas movies.

We will enjoy hot chocolate.

We will sit by our fireplace and play games.

We will write our Senators and House of Representatives and share our thoughts, feelings and wishes for our country moving forward.

We will request family members whom voted for the other party refrain from engaging us in conversation, for now. Give us space.

We will create art.

We will sleep more, rest more.

We have invited friends that are life-giving over to our home already, now, to be together for dinner.

We have made a two-week calendar and scheduled activities centered around home – bonfires, outdoor movies, binge watching old movies (Harry Potter, Star Wars, High School Musical), revisiting some of our favorite childhood Pixar and Disney movies, spend time outdoors, learn how to make homemade soy candles and ride bikes at our art museum.

We will daily give thanks for all we are grateful for.

We will journal.

We will light candles of hope.

We will host a gathering of hope at our home with friends/family grieving or celebrating to show love and light and support for our country’s future.

We will commit to volunteering in organizations or in ways that reflect our hopes and wishes for our country.

We will continue to explore the idea of leaving the United States to live abroad. This is a tough one for our family. I have a hard time even typing it, but in the spirit of transparency and honesty this is a conversation in our home with our teenagers lately.

We will read the words of Martin Luther King Jr and explore ideas of nonviolent activism and how that will look in our home.

We will choose love.

The election is around the corner. Being ahead of the outcome, may be one way to help us move forward.

Be proactive. Brainstorm and make your plans now. Talk to the people you love and come up with your plan on how you want to handle this November’s election.

Gather all supplies NOW so they are ready to roll the day after election.

Being ready is a key step – don’t wait until you are in it – have everything ready to roll!

Even if your party “wins” or the election is not having as much of an impact on you, many of these activities are awesome and something to enjoy during the cooler months and isolation of the pandemic and the end of year holidays you may celebrate.

Much love and light to you all.

Here is a song my beautiful brother-in-law sent to me – a most hopeful anthem called “Love Will Find A Way” by Mike Love & artists.

Until next time, RockonLIVING friends!

Vickie

The Promise

“The Promise” by Tracy Chapman

If you wait for me
Then I’ll come for you
Although I’ve traveled far
I always hold a place for you in my heart

If you think of me
If you miss me once in awhile
Then I’ll return to you
I’ll return and fill that space in your heart

Remembering
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I’ll find my way back to you
If you’ll be waiting

If you dream of me
Like I dream of you
In a place that’s warm and dark
In a place where I can feel the beating of your heart

Remembering
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I’ll find my way back to you
If you’ll be waiting

I’ve longed for you
And I have desired
To see your face your smile
To be with you wherever you are

Remembering
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I’ll find my way back to you
Please say you’ll be waiting

Together again
It would feel so good to be in your arms
Where all my journeys end
If you can make a promise
If it’s one that you can keep
I vow to come for you
If you wait for me

And say you’ll hold
A place for me in your heart.

A place for me in your heart. 

Until we meet again mom, Happy Mother’s Day.

Miss you every single day.

Vickie

The Unprecedented Reset

It has taken me three days to finally stop. Stop and focus on writing down my reflections regarding Rockonliving’s March Money Reset. I am guessing many of you can relate? Focus has been elusive. The arrival of COVID19 into the lives of everyone across the globe has impacted, disrupted and changed every single person’s life on the planet.

Not one system or routine we depend on to keep us moving forward hasn’t been stealthily invaded by this virus – and at lightening speed – morphing and changing life as we knew it. We have changed EVERYTHING we do and more significantly, how we do it. We are discovering a ‘new normal’ daily and navigating uncharted territory, together. We are living in something unprecedented (how many times a day do we hear that word now?) – we are living during a pandemic. Sound dramatic? It’s not. This is huge.

Call it serendipity or divine intervention, but my original March Money Reset could not have began at a more perfect time. Who knew that in a matter of one month, families, ours included, would need to dramatically look and scrutinize all purchases while unemployment numbers skyrocket and businesses close. Just earlier today, my husband has made the difficult decision to close his practice for the time being….although he is choosing to reframe it as “opening his practice in a new way” or “taking a healthy pause” vs. “close” because of what this virus has done – it has reset everything, everywhere, overnight.

It was like we were living on a planet that had glitched and a major “reset” was hit.

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Time – Money – Reset

This girl is ready for a money mindset reset. If you have followed our family for any time, you know one thing we value is travel and adventure. Recently, I have noticed that my spending habits are well, how to put this…messy? lazy? sometimes unintentional. Any money I choose to spend on home decor, fast food or other ‘non-essentials’ is money not available for the experiences our family really loves and that is just not acceptable any longer! To travel (or whatever you love to do!) many times requires money, which requires precious time (life) spent earning it – so, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it!

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Connecting the Dots in Homeschool History

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Miko at The Tower of London Fall 2017 – (built in late 1070s) stories of knights, prison, palace, torture, crown jewels. Currently, Queen Elizabeth II is the ‘owner’

Right now we are enjoying an unplanned and completely welcome serendipitous coordination of learning with our history and geography curriculums. One of my favorite perks of home-education is our family learning together. I love when connections are made – where we kind of connect the dots between subjects as a family and create common familial context.

Case in point:

DOT: In language arts we are reading historical fiction novel, Georges, by Alexandre Dumas (France, 1800’s.) We are using the Bravewriter Boomerang Guide for literary analysis and copywork.

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Kira’s Copywork for Georges using the Bravewriter Boomerang Guide

DOT: In geography we are studying Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

DOT: In history we are reading the Story of the World (SOTW), Volume 2 – Middle Ages.

DOT: We are binge watching the Crown on Netflix.

 

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The girls love this show and have acquired such an understanding of who Elizabeth, Philip, the monarchy, Winston Churchill, historical events and much more. We are excited for Season 3!

 

DOT: We just returned from a field trip to France and England.

DOT:  Poetry Teatime Tuesday is a Bravewriter staple in our home. We have tea, hot chocolate, lemonade and treats on Tuesdays and read poetry or lyrics to songs. When we were in England we made sure to have high tea and brought home some special souvenirs to keep our holiday alive just a little longer.

 

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Poetry Teatime Tuesday special treat

 

DOT: My eldest daughter just finished reading Don Quixote and recently attended the  Carolina Ballet perform it as well. (Spain, 1600’s.)

DOT: In the story, Georges, the main character is confiding to Lord Murray that he intends to duel his nemesis to win Sara’s (his love) hand in marriage from Henri (to whom she is already engaged.) Henri is of no masculine threat to Georges. Lord Murray makes a comment to Georges that perhaps he not worry about Henri as he is like a “windmill and not a giant.” This subtle little reference could have been so easily glossed-over and missed if it were not for my eldest.

CONNECT THE DOTS: Kayah giggled and ‘got it’ straight away! She explained to us that in Don Quixote he is preparing to fight a “giant” that turns out to be nothing but a mere windmill. Thus, the author was implying Henri maybe should be of little concern to Georges…nothing but a mere windmill.

 

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Kayah sharing the passage from Don Quixote during our read aloud this week.

 

All of these dots connect to create an image of connected context (that is some serious alliteration!) I may be a total dork, but I love when that happens.

These are the AH-HA moments that can never be planned – learning that occurs across curriculum.  THAT is exciting! Subjects never seem independent of one another, but connected.

One of my favorite questions to ask the girls when we are exploring a new topic is “what was going on in the United States at this time…” I love this question because sometimes the USA was not even an idea and other times they can connect the global dots of what was occurring during the many phases of the United State’s maturity – a layering of history.

If you are looking for some ideas to study this time period, here are some links to product we enjoyed! You can just click on the image for links or more information or select the links in the text above.

(All  amazon links are affiliate links.)