Limited Mobility – Finding Alternatives

During the first few months of sheltering in place from COVID-19, I went on long, solo walks. They engaged my mind and body and helped to replace the workouts at the gym I was accustomed to doing three times a week. I saw parts of my downtown I had never had the time or inclination to explore before, and even with a mask on, the air was fresh and clean. The occasional back alley or full dumpster just added texture to the experience! 🙂

My knees had been giving me some pain for a while before COVID, but after doing these walks I realized that they were getting worse, and the right one was radiating pain all up and down my leg that was not relieved with stretching or anything else I did.

I got to the point that I had to lift my right leg into the car and into bed! Continue reading

Mentoring and Covid-19

I received a certificate from Seedling Mentoring last week, celebrating 7 years of mentoring children who deal with parental incarceration. I have worked with Seedling since its inception (Board Member, etc.) and for the last few years, I have been active on its Advisory Council and doing weekly mentoring in Austin’s public schools.

I am paired with my second mentee now, and we have been together for Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade and we have become good friends. I don’t take that lightly. Children of trauma let you into their lives in various ways and layers of depth and it took me a year to earn a hug from this little one.

Continue reading

In the Meanwhile – Life in the Time of Covid19

Cedar Door Restaurant Mural

Cedar Door Restaurant Mural, Downtown Austin, TX

I have no huge or dramatic Covid story to tell. At least, not yet. My experience has been a fairly placid one, filled with privilege (A place to live, my husband is still employed and working remotely, my children are healthy, also employed, and sheltering in place with their families and pups.), and with blessings both big and small. As they say, “Nothing to see here, move along.”

Meanwhile…

A preacher once said, “In the Bible, God is always working in the ‘meanwhile’,” and although I thought I understood what he was saying at the time, I think I understand it better now.

In the meanwhile, my husband and I have discovered deeper ways in which we are compatible and we have improved our communication.

In the meanwhile, weekly Zoom conferences with my mother and with our daughters and their families have provided love and laughter across the distance between us.

In the meanwhile, I have been able to participate in funding grants to our hard-hit local nonprofits, through distance meeting technology that was only used if “you really had to” just a short time ago. Continue reading

One Week Down

If you are wise, you are self-quarantining, sheltering at home, social distancing…let’s face it, Covid-19 has given us a whole new pandemic related vocabulary. It boils down to limiting your contact with other people and for those of us who can afford to do it, it seems a rational way to help reduce the risk for those who cannot.

Who cannot?

Your medical professionals, pharmacists, grocery store clerks, are just a few who are on the front lines and behind them is an army of people cleaning up and supporting their efforts. Our younger daughter is a nurse and she will work shifts in the pediatric ICU. Our older daughter is a lawyer and a prosecutor and there are some legal proceedings that just can’t happen virtually by law. She will go in and do her job.

Will they take every precaution? Of course, but this is a very sneaky bug that stays on surfaces and is spread by the most casual of contact. It would be easy to give in to fear and paranoia, but we can’t afford to do that either.

My husband is working remotely and thankful to be in an industry that lends itself to that. I am a volunteer, and although there are many things I can do remotely, mentoring a 2nd-grade girl is not one of them. That level of mentoring requires the face to face, the hand to hand, and the hug to hug. We will have to go without and it is not looking good that I will be able to do the closure at the end of this school year that I normally would do. I am sad and my prayer is that she does not perceive this as a permanent goodbye or another abandonment in a young life that has seen too many already. I trust Seedling Mentoring to come up with little ways we can stay in touch and say goodbye, but I am also cognizant that it won’t be the same. Continue reading

The First Pregnancy

A lovely young friend of mine is pregnant with her first child. I rejoice in her happiness and she and her husband are eagerly waiting for the arrival while experiencing all that pregnancy has to offer. Heartburn, nausea, drowsiness during the day, difficulty sleeping through the night, and the ever-present full bladder! She is dealing with all of it with humor and wit and it is a joy talking with her.

When you talk with a woman experiencing her first pregnancy, it can be tempting to share all of the wisdom you have accumulated over your years of motherhood, but I try to keep it to a bare minimum. Remember how overwhelmed you may have felt when people told you their birth stories, gave you advice that you couldn’t even picture incorporating into your personal plans, or gave you a book’s worth of tips in one conversation. Forgive yourself if you have done that, but go forward and try not to ever do it again!

Instead, after thinking hard about things I really would have loved to hear when I was pregnant the first time, I made a list of things I could share. Never all of them at the same time, of course, but these seemed constructive to me. Continue reading