Self-Care + Wellbeing

The Freedom to Feel

I'm Katy

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We’ve entered week 2 of homeschooling. Let me tell you, we’re feeling all the feels.

I think I talked about those adored text threads we all have in my last post (if you don’t have a thread that makes you laugh, cry, be empathetic to others, etc. please let me know…you can join mine); still true today. It’s amazing what you can learn from those three little dots waving.

People feel liberated to share their actual feelings when there isn’t a grimmace, an eye roll (I am the queen of eyerolling by the way) or snicker in their face. Emojis aren’t quite as involuntary as our body language.

It’s fascinating.

We bought the ticket and found our seats again on the Struggle Bus today, but for different reasons. We woke up on time, sort of, and signed on where we needed to; I say we because, again, I was again tethered to both kids for the entirety of the school day. But unlike last week we had some major technology issues.

Now, I consider myself sort of a Jack of All Trades, Master of None, but technology is sort of my jam. I can troubleshoot just about anything if it lends itself to common sense:

  • Glitching? Turn off the wi-fi feature on your phone, iPad, laptop and smart TVs.

  • Audio Issues? Unplug your headset.

  • Zoom link not working? Try a different browser.

  • Poor Zoom connection? Use your iPhone, iPad or MacBook instead of the Chromebook. (Which I’d love to kick, with my boot, across our flower field. #appleproductsforever)

  • Seesaw sucks? See above.

Now, most of these things work(ed).

Until today.

I won’t go in to the hairy details of the day, you can probably deduce what happened from the bullet points, but something interesting came out of our frustrations.

While we keep pretty low expectations of our kids/family, not in the way of we don’t want the best for them, the opposite actually; we want them to know that there is a whole world of things for them outside of school and sports and pleasing other people. But, we also need to fit within the societal norms because this Mama just can’t embrace a homesteading commune just yet. I mean, I could provide the flowers, yoga and wine? Nah…not yet.

In any case, within the aforementioned text thread I had an epiphany.

School life, which in my case, teachers can attest, was equivalent to social life in it’s entirety, is different on screens. No one knows what it “might” be like because we’ve never been here. There’s no doubt that adults are struggling to grasp the concepts, learn a new style, parent and teach, and then parent some more. And you just don’t know what you don’t know.

And when we don’t know and we can’t find the answer in the moment of frustration, we freak the fuck out. All of us, in our own little ways, freak out. And while I’m totally ok with that, because it’s my norm, it’s quite an uncomfortable place to find yourself in.

Eleven years old is tough. I remember being eleven. I remember my mother’s 40th surprise birthday party (I might be the only one ) and now I’m staring down the barrel of 42, but I still remember with great clarity when tween appearances became important, those tumultuous friendships were everything and while I still wanted to be around my parents, I also started pulling away, testing my independence.

What I noticed today was that when “a friend’s” kid was annoyed with technology, embarrassed he came in and out of the wrong class and wanted to cry because he couldn’t get on the right meeting, he did.

He let his frustrations escape in the form of tears. No video, no audio, no classroom, no bullies, no attention, no need to please.

Just the freedom to feel.

He let them flow because it’s always been safe to do that here. But more importantly, he didn’t stuff them down, lower than a daughter’s acceptable stuffing place, mind you. He let them out. And, after “my friend” let him do that, he was free to “shake it off”, troubleshoot and persevere.

Which he absolutely did.

If you know me at all, I’m absolutely NOT a fan of homeschool/online learning, but I am a fan of a good silver lining and if this allows our eleven (tween) boys…scratch that…if this allows ALL OF US to feel our feelings in a safe space surrounded by people we love and those that love us…

I’m in.

And, by the by, if you don’t have that space, it’s right here.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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In a world that continually celebrates the achievements of women breaking through glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, and excelling in their chosen fields, it's easy to assume that these high-achieving women have it all together.  Read more.

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