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Week 19: Make Lemonade

For those of you who're looking for a recipe for how to make the best lemonade, I'm very sorry to disappoint, but this is not the blog for you. This week's blog is focused on the ever popular saying, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I think we'd all agree that over the last few days, while the level may vary from person to person, life has most certainly handed each and everyone of us a big bag of lemons; the question is what are you going to do with it? Every where I look, I see friends and family losing jobs and watching businesses they've built crumbling before their very eyes. For those lucky enough to still have a job, they've been asked to not only adapt to a new way of working, but do so while also serving as chef, teacher, cleaner and nanny. Of course, neither of these compare to the most extreme scenario where families are grieving the loss of loved ones who've fallen victim to COVID-19. As a quick reminder, I quit HSBC last month, where after tendering my notice, I was told, "while we'll pay you for the duration of the notice period your services are no longer needed." In the financial industry, this situation is commonly referred to as "gardening leave," which simply means that for the past few weeks, including this week, I've been paid not to work. The good news is that I don’t have the pressure of being everything to everyone like many of you do, but the down side is I've never been, nor ever wanted to be, a stay at home Mom, especially one who also has the added responsibility of overseeing homeschooling. The first few days were definitely tough; it felt as if it was non-stop all day with no distraction and no down-time. I felt like I was constantly failing one of my boys. For those of you who do this on a daily basis, I applaud you; this is truly hard work and trying to keep up with all the engaging ideas on Pintrest requires not only patience and creativity, but a degree in just about every subject. Anyway, with everything going on outside the four walls of my house, I've decided rather than focus on what I'm not good at, or what I could be doing better, I've chosen to find the silver lining, which gets us back to the point of this week's blog. The way I see it, no matter how much I want to be sad and focus on all that's wrong in the world today, it just won’t change anything; schools will still be closed, activities will still be cancelled, and COVID-19 will still be wrecking havoc on the global economy. So, instead of focusing on all the negativity, I've chosen to celebrate this time with my family and be thankful for the opportunity to slow down and enjoy each moment as it comes. Some of the highlights from the week include family nature hikes, skipping rocks on a secluded pond, bike riding, board games, handball, baking, dance parties, implementing at-home educational projects (with mixed results), and of course hours and hours of family meals together. What I came to realize throughout the week is that this precious time with no sports, no school session, and no long hours in the office, is actually a rare gift and one that I plan to take full advantage of. Without the hustle and bustle of normal life, why not take a few extra minutes to savor the hot water falling on your back in the shower, or step outside each day with no shoes to simply feel the ground beneath your feet, or pause to take an extra deep breath to clear your mind, or perhaps most importantly, be present in the day and allow yourself to relax, have a little fun, and cast aside your worries about what other people are doing or how you could be doing more. For any of you who might doubt it, go ahead and search for "Yo Gabba Gabba" on YouTube and have yourself a quick impromptu dance party. Trust me, once you allow yourself to let go of the worry and look for the silver lining, you may even find yourself enjoying this time and realize it doesn't matter what you're missing out on or not doing. The only thing that actually matters is the here and now. What are you going to do with it? Whats the ingredients in your lemonade?

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