There is no secret this pandemic has placed many limitations on our lives. As I view pictures and notes on social media honoring graduates., the births of babies, anniversaries, etc, I realize how this shutdown has impacted our ability to celebrate the “good times” that creeps upon us annually. The celebrations that brings family and friends together reminds us of why we are here on earth. I am not the first to say that I wished things were back to normal, but creating a new normal without fully understanding the perimeters of where this Corona pandemic will fall has us all uncertain about when a celebration will begin.

There were some things within the first two weeks of this lockdown that created concerns about the relationships within my home. The biggest thing that stood out was our relationship with time. A normal day for the Polk family consists of my husband leaving the house before 5:00am, hitting the road to make it to his destination, and giving himself enough time to make it home for dinner. I follow his act by waking up at 5:30am doing my morning ritual, waking up sleepy kids, making breakfast, and getting them to two destinations only to turn around and drive myself to a scheduled consulting site for the day. Our end of day contains these actions in reverse with the addition of homework help, dog walking, more client sessions and follow-ups, and preparing for the next day. With all of this, who has time for the small stuff…right?

We often take time for granted while rushing over the small stuff. Like a tight hugs from my growing babies, a kiss daily from my husband, or simply noticing the subtle change in someones behavior or appearance. For myself, utilizing every minute of the day to execute a task that is on my checklist, or planning to fill a space in order to stay productive can easily take over my ability to note the small stuff. But these current days are different. This slower pace to life has allowed me to sit and reflect on the things that have been overlooked. Things that resemble late night conversations in bed, dance battles with the kids, prayer, and most importantly reading and writing about the things that makes my heart smile.

My husband’s birthday was first on my agenda to give significant notice to. I always plan something that usually includes everybody, and ends with me never fully being able to enjoy the celebration and feeling exhausted while being ready for it all to end. Again, this year was different. Instead, I planned for just him, just us, at home. The “Polks Romantic Stay Away” was the theme. A candle light dinner, two bottles of wine, and just us. Ty and I. No surprises, no added members, but just the two of us having dinner making beautiful memories in our home. This experience lifted my soul in the most simple way. Our conversation went on forever about forgotten memories. Reminiscing on the beginning when we were so young and so dumb, ha ha! Or how our innocence lead us to believe we would spend a lifetime together easily. Visibly noticing the gains (weights), and humbly reflecting on the losses that we have shared, I jokingly laughed about him being my senior and myself being his young gal with year age gap. We have been together for almost 18 years and we have had tons of conversations alone in our home. But there was something very different about celebrating with each other in the middle of a pandemic and our ability turn this crisis into a calm.

Unfortunately for my husband, his birthday celebrations are short lived due to him being a Mother’s Day baby. This is always evident when I awake the next day to gifts crafts from the kids and something special from him. Mother’s Day was a simple celebration as well. Grilled food, a couple of my favorite sides, and a lot of love from my little people and fur babies. My sister even stopped through to sipped a little wine to celebrate this day of honoring mothers. I even tried to have an impromptu photo shoot with the kids and dogs. Well, that part was not simple (insert crazy face).

For me this is LOVE and this is LIFE. The simple stuff. My goal is to get back to this place or at least tackle the difficult stuff in life with simple measures. Moving at my own pace, storing the small memories in order to help me get over the bigger hurdles. For sure, without a doubt, this pandemic has taught me to keep my loved ones in the front and center of my heart, while offering up a memory a day for myself to restore the value in my shared experiences. Yeah, that is it; daily restoring by focusing on the simple things. My hopes are to come out of this pandemic with a slower groove to life, and to remember the fragility of making times for love ones.

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