Have you read The Middle Place or Tell Me More?

I loved those books by Kelly Corrigan. Corrigan is an author who captures the human experience with humor, relatability and reverence. She writes about losing a parent, a best friend, and being a mom in ways that are honest and funny and go straight to my heart.

Throughout Corona Quarantine, she’s been posting short videos on her Instagram that I’ve found helpful. You’ll find her @kellycorrigan. You’ll find me @carolbainadler. (I used to be on there as “your.next.chapter”, but I stopped hiding behind my business name this week.)

Back to Kelly Corrigan and experiencing Corona Quarantine.
In one of her videos, she shared a story of being in the Safeway checkout line. She was standing too close to the woman with the great haircut, the designer bag and the kale and yogurt and nuts. The woman’s credit card was declined. What’s beautiful about Corrigan’s piece is the reaction of the checkout worker, Alessandro. I’m not going to tell it like Kelly does, so I recommend you follow her on Instagram. I will tell you Alessandro’s words to the woman were, “Take your time. It’s not your fault. There’s no rush.”

These words apply to all of us in the Corona Quarantine.

“Take your time. It’s not your fault. There’s no rush.”

I found them comforting as this is the week that marks:
what would’ve been my mom’s 81st birthday
the one year anniversary of my mom’s death on April 14, 2019.

My tendency is to beat myself up about not being able to “get over it.” Get busy, be productive, be a helper.
It’s grounding to hear the words:
“Take your time. There’s no rush.”

These words might also be helpful tonight as the Adler clan gets together on Zoom. We’ll all be better served if we can have patience.

I strongly believe that when we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, to embrace the disappointment, the loss, the uncertainty–we actually move THROUGH it more easily than when we resist and force ourselves to move on.

I know that when I’m annoyed with my kids for their complaining about this quarantine, I’m best served by LISTENING again, validating how they feel, and then they move through it. They feel understood. Kelly Corrigan reminds me to say, “Tell me more,” to my kids.
It doesn’t mean they don’t complain again later. They do. And when I’m able to listen, reflect their feelings and not tell them to “Get over it – you’re not the only one affected!” things go better.

My husband and I have had some “episodes” during this quarantine too. We have very different ways of coping and cleaning. He takes ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING out of a cabinet at once. Puts every can of beans, every bag of quinoa, every jar of Rao’s all over the kitchen table and counter. Every surface gets covered with all the contents of a pantry. This causes my stomach to flip. (I’m a One Shelf At a Time gal.) I guess after 22 years of marriage, we’d never really talked about how this stuff affects us. Well, you can bet we have now.

AND I’m extremely grateful he’s cleaning/organizing.  He’s grateful there’s no more expired chutney or ants in the pantry.

In order to listen and be patient with the energy vampires living in my house these days, I need to make sure I’m taking care of my own needs.

1. Get enough sleep.
2. Schedule time to chat with friends and my sister in law.
3. Meet with my writing group on Zoom.
4. Go on walks and see what’s blooming these days.
5. Meditate with Deepak and Oprah.
6. Laugh with my husband. Share memes.
7. Read. Currently, Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. Next: American Dirt for book club.

Believe me, things get ugly and resentful when I don’t take care of myself.

Anything getting ugly in your house? I’d love to hear.
Or share what’s helping.

I’ll close with some simple words of another writer I appreciate: Glennon Doyle.
“We can do hard things.” 

Wishing you patience and strength and love and listening as we move through this hard thing.


PS Share what’s getting ugly or what you’re doing to move through this hard thing.
PPS Let’s connect on Instagram if you’re there. @carolbainadler