Successfully staying at home with the ones we most love, without losing our minds
Self-quarantine. Shelter in place. Hunker in. 15 days to slow the spread. Working from home. School distance learning. However you call it, just #StayHome, folks. This too shall pass, one day we will indeed be able to leave the house for absolutely no reason. And also to meet friends and extended family at a dine-in restaurant.
In the meantime, we are all cooped up for extended time together — spouses, partners, children, parents, maybe even friends are temporarily combining households. With no known end date, how do we navigate our extended close-quartered time without biting each others’ heads off?
First off, I’d say retired couples have a lot to teach us by example. Who do you consider successful at their relationship in retirement? Have a conversation with them about it. In the meantime, here is a secret to thriving together in the lifestyle of being at home in close quarters:
Very likely, YOU have greater capacity than those around you. To respond rather than react. To choose kindness rather than equality. To surrender to the moment and move through it, rather than fight to control and overcome it.
I’m not gonna lie — you’re right; it IS unfair. And that’s okay. Because the tone of your household is set — and maintained — by YOU. And, you’ve got this.
This is bigger than tolerance (although that is not a bad place to begin). The other person’s behavior is not okay; it’s just that you’re not biting on the lure that they are (possibly unknowingly, in their reactivity) bouncing off of your nose.
Absolutely make sure that you get what you need for yourself. But, give it to yourself rather than expecting and needing it from others, first. The kindness. The compassion. The understanding. The love. This is self-care, baby.
Consider it moment by moment:
Seems like our spouse is acting like an asshat? It’s because they are! (Perhaps to them, we are as well, and we’re just not seeing it.)
Does it feel like our kids are acting overly like, well, children? They are! (What if we are, too?)
We are all doing the best that we can. And that self-care that you are attending to? It rubs off on others. Soon you will see it from them as well. When we are not demanded to give, we find we have more to share — and we then want to.
Let’s make an elevated choice that goes beyond tolerance. Let’s choose compassion. I promise you, those around you will respond.
MAD piano skills! And an awesome musical group!