Here we are. Mandated quiet time. That is, if we can settle down.
Haven’t we been asking for this, even begging for this? At least in some way. We have complained about how busy we are, how tired and torn we are. How distracted by activity we are. We have asked for time to be less frenetic, less frantic. We have yearned for family time, dinner time, quiet time, time for ourselves.
Well here we are. And let’s be honest. Home is not always home sweet home.
Some of us are confined with the noise and energetic chaos of children. I have been there, and it is very hard. During the first Gulf War I lived in Israel and we were under threat of chemical warfare. I was with Talia and Shiri, and pregnant with Ilan, alone, confined to a small apartment so I could quickly usher the two children into a sealed room when the siren sounded. It’s not the same, I know, but I’m thinking a lot about that time. I can relate with being home, confined with small children, and being frightened for their safety and health.
Some of us have children with special needs and rely on the expertise of others. We are without our team, we have no respite. We feel out of our league, even out of our mind. It’s hard to provide for what our child needs. We are scared. Afraid for them. Afraid for ourselves. We feel guilty for our lack of patience, and overwhelmed with what needs to be done.
Some of us are alone, with no human interaction at all. The walls are closing in, the reality of our loneliness is inescapable. The TV is on, just for noise, so it’s not too quiet. But television adds to our anxiety. And the isolation amplifies our fears. Our minds are playing tricks on us. We feel sorry for ourselves, there has been so much so loss. We hate that we feel sorry for ourselves.
Some of us have difficult or dysfunctional relationships and usually compensate for hard interactions by being away from one another, and now we are confined with that person, feeling imprisoned. This is scary.
We all need help. We can help each other. Let’s pick up the phone and check in.
And let’s put ourselves on the list of people we need to help. We have been given an invitation to settle in, settle down, reflect, rest, read, sleep, dream, imagine. We can become better acquainted with ourselves, if we carve out the emotional and spiritual space to do so.
This is not easy. This will not be easy. But it is temporary. And when we look back, how will we have spent our time? Did we take the time to become better?