Thursday, May 28, 2020

Happiness is an Accomplishment

I thought I would have posted all of the COVID journals submitted by my students by now.  Nope. I've only posted work from 2 of my 5 classes.

 I know I will get this done, I have the feeling it could be today, but wow things have changed. 

Hours melt into days. 
April lasted forever but May just got here and is already racing off.   
I don't know when I will see my parents or my brother again.  
I don't know what Fall classes will look like. 
I don't know what to tell my teenagers about their college and high school classes and the big and small changes that could be coming.  Finances have changed and that will affect their education as well. It's not something I can easily explain to them and I'm in no hurry to discuss because maybe things will get better but no one knows when or exactly how. 

Add to that the sense of doom that hovers like a cloud; bad things are happening to good people and the only thing I can do to help is stay out of the way and maybe write a few things.  

People are scared, angry, lonely and suffering and there is no clear path or timeline on where we will go from here to what comes next.

The hardest part of this quarantine for me is practicing silence, practicing sitting still. This goes against my nature, against my strengths and so far it involves a great deal of two things: binge watching shows (*Upload, *The Great, *Never Have I Ever) then turning all my electronics off and feeding birds repeatedly.   

I have found ways to turn simple things like pouring a glass of iced tea into elaborate tea making rituals that involve watching the water boil, waiting for the tea to steep,  and then icing it.

If I do this right, it can take up 20 solid minutes of time where I feel like both did something awesome and also did nothing at the same time, a quantum accomplishment.  

Each tea bag has sayings, and I collect the best in a little tin that I keep on my desk.  

Today's tea bag said "Happiness is an Accomplishment" and I felt that deeply behind my belly button all the way to my toes. 

A moment later a question hit harder - is it even OK to find peace and happiness in a time of violence, death and general uncertainty?  Is the path to happiness helping others get through this messy time?

I don't know the answer yet. There might not be an answer.  Meanwhile I do know that my birds need feeding and my kids need me to make their lunches and sit with them for awhile and after that it's almost time to make another cup of twenty minute tea and pray for us all.