With my red journal and pen in hand I trekked across our backyard to the structure. I nearly chickened out when I realized the neighbors were in their backyard, doing yard work. But, I decided this was about me and what I needed — not them.
I needed nature, stillness, quiet and peace. I needed pen and paper — not the click of a keyboard. I needed re-centering and reminding that all storms pass. Mostly, I needed simple.
I found it in the playset. Perched high, gazing down the slide and across the swingset. Looking out of the wooden railings into the hay field and at the mountains framing the horizon. The birds put on a private concert for me and an occasional bumble bee flew by, making his presence known.
There, in the playset I was simply me. Not mom-me, worker-me, wife-me, homemaker-me, or friend-me. I was just simply, wonderfully, refreshingly me.
In my kids’ favorite hangout spot I found the margin I was craving. It gave me space from the daily noise of life to recharge such that I’m ready to re-enter the ring and face off with our drastically different normal.
Adjusting to Covid-19 and what it has meant for our society and family has taken a lot of effort and energy. Maintaining a happy and healthy home, while social distancing, teaching, still working and keeping up with daily activity, requires tremendous effort.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all these distinct roles I am fortunate to have. My job is a dream, and I’m grateful I can still do it from the comfort and safety of my home. My kids are one of the biggest blessings I have, and I’m thankful for this unexpected season that provides extra time together. We are also blessed with a beautiful home that has a big yard for the kids to run around in, taking care of it is something I’m happy to do. But add all that up, and compound it with the stresses of a global pandemic, and it can be a lot. I know I’m not the only one feeling that weight.
Here’s what I do know. When we emerge on the other side of this global crisis and begin rebuilding as a community and my family establishes a revised normal, I want to look back on this season and know it was not lacking in love nor was it lacking in joy. If achieving that means stealing away to my kids’ playset to find margin, quiet and to be simply me, then so be it.
Life causes all of us to lose ourselves. Be it the stress, pressure and activities of everyday living or perhaps the impact of a global pandemic. From time-to-time, we must actively fight to return to our self — our true self. What may have looked like a grown woman climbing up into a playset was actually me fighting that battle back to my true self. Surely my neighbors will understand that these wild times beg for creative and unorthodox solutions, even if it is a little strange to see an adult sitting in a play-set, scratching away in a journal.
Fight your way back to yourself — to simply you. Step away, if only for a few precious moments, to enter a place where you are celebrated for nothing that you can do and everything that you are. Be simply, wonderfully, refreshingly you