Saturday, March 28, 2020

Panic Shopping

A relatively new term that's surfaced amongst this pandemic is panic shopping.  I can attest though that I recognize this process.  It was often seen before when a big snow storm was coming.  Many would rush out to the store and stock up and get ready to hunker down for a few days.  Things like bread, milk and other essentials would be cleared off the shelves in a hurry from anyone and everyone.  Having at one point 6 kids at home which to hunker down with I know I did this on occasion as well.  Not sure I'd say I was in a panic though, just went out cause I knew I needed to be prepared.  Having a cart entirely full of groceries was not unusual for me at all.  It was a normal reality or #bigfamilyproblems as it's referred to.  Sometimes I needed 2 carts.  That was normal every day shopping.

Two weeks ago when the beginning of this pandemic started to hit our nation even more I was needing to get groceries no matter what.  Just my normal routine of shopping.  It was a Thursday and reports of stores being out of toilet paper were going around like crazy.  I didn't really want to go to the store.  Time got away from me and it would've been easier to put it off until Friday.  However a little too much time on social media combined with some anxiety and gut retching feeling had me going to the store no matter what.  I did not want to be among the masses of people who waited too long to go to the store so I went out and got it done.

Some may call it panic shopping, some may call it getting ready to hunker down for awhile.  Either way I completely gave into this anxiety and uncertainly that was looming over me.  Again, I needed groceries no matter what.  Not only did I buy plenty of food, I bought 2-3 of each item.  When I saw that toilet paper and bottle water had a limited quantity one could purchase, I called my daughter and had her come and buy some too.  I definitely don't feel like I hoarded anything.  I took a respectable amount to be able to feed and provide for my family for quite some time and left plenty behind.

The next day came the first of many announcements that began to change how we are living our lives.  Social distancing.  Ok, I got this.  I am set with food so no worries and I was so thankful that I was not out battling the public at this point.  After a couple days of this though and I heard the first of many "I'm boooooored" and "there is NOTHING to do!".  So I ventured to the store again, just to grab a few would be nice activities.  Books, puzzles, games, etc.  No problem, I got this and certainly no harm in all this family fun and bonding I was envisioning us having.  Except panic crept in again and before I knew it I had a cart full.  Trust me I had a moment of what the heck am I doing?!?!  Anxiety, fear and uncertainty gave way though and I bought it all anyway.

A week later and with news of a shelter in place directive coming I panicked again.  Once again I headed to the store and bought even more food.  In case anyone was worried, it will be a long time before we starve.  I know and understand that I can still go to the stores during this time.  However I can be a worse case scenario thinker.  In my mind I played out the idea of while there's plenty of opportunity to go to the store now, what about down the road?!?!  What happens when a new directive comes into play and marshal law goes into effect.  Stores are on lock down and guarded by the military with special requirements needed before one can go in a buy things.  I know, I know!!  My mind is my own worse enemy. 

I'm being honest and just admitting that I panicked.  And yes, I gave in to panic shopping.  While I'm sure to many others I was seemingly fine, calm and going about business as usual.  However I know that deep down I was stressed and freaked out!!  I still don't feel like I've hoarded anything, but I am certainly very well stocked up.  To look at the positives of this situation I don't need to go to the store for a very long time.  In fact, it's now been over a week since I have set foot in any kind of store.  To help justify my craziness I did tell myself that I would NOT go out any more after these several trips of panic shopping.  I know I can if I need/have to, but I am trying my best to stay home & away from people.  I've also tried to use my abundance to help others when I've known they needed something.  I reached out to my community and neighbors and offered up anything they might need.  Helping others is definitely something I always strive to do.  My panic may have been unnecessary, but I'm determined to use it for the greater good and to help keep my family home and safe.

Did you do any panic shopping?  Buy anything in crazy amounts?

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Like many others in this nation I have been thrust into the world of homeschooling.  To begin with here's a great summary of what the 6PM (6PackMomma)School looks like:

For over 20 years I have chosen to send my 6pack through the public education system for their formal education.   For the most part I have been extremely satisfied with what has happened through that process.  It's not a perfect process or system and perhaps I just chose to see the good in most things, but really I think our school system (or really it's the people in our system) is pretty darn good.

I purposely stressed the word formal education because I believe education happens in many different ways at many different times from the moment someone is born.  I have always been my children's educator.  I kind of thought that's what everyone was supposed to do.  Granted we live in a flawed world and no, not everyone does do that and even then despite anyone's best efforts no one is going to do it perfectly.  However I chose to focus on and hold myself responsible for my own thoughts, beliefs and choices.  So yes, that is what I have done since the day my child(ren) have been born.  I've been homeschooling all along.  Even though most of my kids are adults, if/when given the opportunity I will continue to teach them in any way that I can.  In a twist of things, sometimes the student also becomes the teacher and vice versa.  Life is an never ending process of learning.  (Remember my favorite quote).

Everyone learns differently and I would be the first to claim that I am not smart.  Book smart that is.  Wait, wait, wait!  I did not say I was dumb or stupid.  Although to be honest this is an area of low self confidence I do struggle with.  However, aside from any joking or silliness, I stand firm that I am not dumb or stupid.  In fact, I am very smart in many different aspects.  Perhaps genius from time to time, just not very often in my case.  And really, that is ok!  I don't need to be perfectly smart and genius all the time.  I'm just over here trying to be me, embracing who I am and the strengths God has given me.

The public school system seems to thrive and be based on being book smart.  I'm not claiming that to neither be good or bad.  I'm certainly not wanting to debate anything about this topic either.  Just my perspective.  So a system that is based on lots of formal benchmarks of reading, writing, math, science, etc. that mostly involve BOOK WORK is not really my jam.  While there has not been any mandated e-learning put into place yet many teachers and putting forth an effort to get some school work and activities out there to the students.  Bravo and thank you for those efforts.  Unfortunately I'm failing miserably at even enforcing such work. (I am trying though!!)  I've seen many claims that the ages of my children should only need 2-3 hours of school/book work every day anyway.  TWO to THREE HOURS?!!??!!?  Sheesh, even I'm the first to jump in and protest and say whaaaaat that is just too much.  Tell me I have to spend that much time cooking in the kitchen, doing P.E., cleaning out and organizing something....OK!  No problem, I've got this.

Interestingly, for anyone who doesn't know this about me, I work full time for the public school system.  I fully recognize and conform to this system mentality and formality every day all the time for my employment.  And honestly I LOVE it!  It's not what I personally prefer, but I roll with it and enjoy it so much.  My 6pack, for the most part, have always enjoyed and thrived in this environment as well.  However without this formality in place it goes to the wayside, but really for the most part though we are still learning a lot every day and all the time.

Right now I'm really rocking my version of school which is pictured above with a few minor book academia sprinkled in.  Honestly though it's probably less than 1 hour a day right now.  Depending on what happens with this quarantine and pandemic we are all trying to survive, it might change.  If the school system implements some formal e-learning I will oblige.  In the mean time it's time to wake the natives (yes, I know it's 11 a.m.) for a day of life and learning at 6PM School.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Must. Not. Complain.

Oh the great roller coaster of this shelter in place directive.  Trust me, I'm all supportive of it.  However as an extrovert this is really REALLY hard for me.   But I get it, let's do this and kick COVID-19 out of here.  I am completely enjoying this time home as it's left me with plenty of opportunities to participate in more of what I wish I had more time to do.  More time to run ✔  More time to clean ✔  More time to organize ✔ More time to sleep ✔  More time with my kids ✔ (unfortunately some of them don't live at home any more).  My list can go on, but I'm seeing the positives here.  So me?  I'm not complaining.

For the most part I'm just taking it well and in stride.  Or I thought I was.  Until I just had a complete toddler meltdown.  I was already on edge because they just made the big announcement about the Olympics being postponed.  Which I understand, but it's tough for me to digest and think about.  Sports are a huge part of my life.  Especially running.  They already had the marathon trials and knew who was going to represent in that event.  Pushing it back another year changes so much.  The realistic effects of this are just mind boggling.   It's easy to roll with the punches until the effects of it start to trickle down and change so much.

Within a short time frame of hearing this official Olympic news I saw an update about Les Miserables.  My FAVORITE musical of all time.  I had been planning to see it in July in Toronto.  That is months away.  In a different country.  I know a lot of things in the here and now, maybe even for the next month or two are going to be postponed or cancelled.  But July?  Toronto?  Surely we'll all be over this quarantine and readjusting to life outside of home by then.  Well, they just announced that the entire North America tour is cancelled until the END OF JULY.

And insert some screaming yelling, thrashing around and throwing a fit like a toddler.  Fortunately my kids were outside playing and the house was empty.  But to be honest it wasn't my finest moment.  We're all guilty of them.  Complete meltdown over something semi (or completely) trivial.  It's not like I'll never get to see the show again.  My life isn't over.  But I had a moment, several of them in a row.  And then was like Wow!  Where did that come from?!?!?  I'll get over it.  Move on.  See it somewhere else at another time.  But it was still emotionally crushing even if just a little bit.

What has effected you with this quarantine and shelter in place directive?  It can be big, it can be trivial.  I want to hear about it.

This is Me


Come on, you totally heard that title in your head & you probably sang it too!  Of course, some people who are not musically inclined have no clue what I'm talking about and that's ok.

I got started last week of my Great Revival and then promptly had my "normal" schedule changed up for a few days which left me days without sitting down and touching a computer.  Granted I was on my phone plenty, but I don't blog from my phone.  Something about sitting down to a computer is easier for me.  More official and stately, professional perhaps about being on a computer to do some blogging & writing.  But then again, I am sitting here in my jammies, hair pulled back into a messy bun and glasses on.  Yeah....official, stately, professional..... ok......

Before diving into my blogging mind I thought I'd start with a post about me!  Many of you may know me.  I'd venture to say many of you know me in a very superficial social media way.  That's neither good nor bad, just an honest truth.  If you stumble across this blog, you may not know me at all.  Either way, I would suggest that you go back through & read my blog from it's inception and get to know me that way.  Although I would throw the disclaimer that there is a lot about me that has changed.  Oh yes, I am still a mom with 6 kids, although most of them are grown now.  Still mom none the less.  Forever and always a mom.  Running is still a passion.  Albeit now in an older body.  Ugh, don't get me started on how my body has changed so much aka gotten older and falling apart.  Still a runner none the less.  Those are my 2 main identities that I had previously put forth on this blog.  Those while ever changing are yet still the same.  However me, so much of me has changed.  I am not the same person that I was even just a couple of years ago.  I have a completely different lense, filter, mind set than in previous years.   Everyone is ever changing, life has a way of doing that to us.  I get that.  I will certainly explore this topic more, but wanted to put a disclaimer out that I am not the same person at all!

I won't write a novel on this topic.  Trust me, I'm such a verbal processor, I could!  I thought I would start with some basics.  I'll list it is simple fashion.  Some I plan to write about and explore even more.  Others will just be or can maybe speak for themselves.  

1.  I am a 43 year old mom to 6 kids ranging in age from 24-12.

2.  Music & movement are ingrained in me to my core.  Has been for as long as I can remember.

3.  I am very spiritual.  I believe in God.

4.  Running is my jam!  Old falling apart body and all.  

5.  Life is a two way street.  I am entitled to my thoughts and beliefs, just as you are yours even if they are completely different.

6.  One of my favorite quotes, which is actually a song:  
The more I live - the more I learn.
The more I learn - the more I realize the less I know.
Each step I take.
Each page I turn.
Each mile I travel only means the more I have to go.
What's wrong with wanting more?
If you can fly - then soar!
With all there is - why settle for
Just a piece of sky?

Super bonus points if you know this song without Googling it.  Be honest now!

I'll start with this and leave it be.  With this stay at home directive I hope to write plenty and attempt to get back into a healthy balanced habit of writing.  Personally I plan to soar!!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Great Revival 2020

In light of our worlds completely & drastically changing within the last week, I thought this might be a great time to revive this blog!  When I look back I used to blog quite frequently.  When I entered the working world, even at first in a very limited part time fashion, I slowly but surely stopped blogging.  I tried to hang on for awhile, but eventually I started to work even more and then I just had to let it go.  

I wouldn't say it wasn't important to me.  Connecting has always been important to me and duh, of course running and my family has always been near and dear to me.  I was ill prepared for how to balance and do it all.  I mean do we ever really know how to "do it all" until we are knee deep into life or new situations?  Social media made it easier to connect with others, but it's a much limited version of what I wanted to say.

Fun fact about me:  I once dreamed of being a writer.  Specifically a journalist.  My Aunt Elaine worked for USA today and I wanted to grow up, go to college, get a degree in journalism and be  In jr. high and high school I wrote frequently.  I have a box full of stories and poems.  Granted those deeply reflect my teenage mind, but it's where I can trace my early and beginning days of wanting to be a writer.

So I took classes in high school, entered a few writing contest, etc., which sounds like the equivalent of I slept at a Holiday Inn last night.  Haha, so that sums up to me not exactly being trained or educated in being a writer and I won't claim to be the best at this.  However, I have thoughts.  I have ideas.  I have things I want to say.  I'm wired for connection, so many of us are.  So I thought in light of having "all the time in the world" right now I'd breathe some new life into this blog.

Welcome and thanks for joining me for the ride!