It’s only been a dozen days since my family made the decision to do all we can to help flatten the curve. It started with keeping our almost two year old home from tumble and music class. It felt overly cautious to me because I couldn’t imagine or process the reality of what an overloaded medical system actually looks like.

I proceeded with social distancing but denial had a firm hold on me.

In many ways I’m still in denial. It feels like armor against all the uncertainty. I understand why high school and college students flooded the beaches for spring break—they wanted to surround themselves with normalcy. It’s the same reason why color coded home schooling schedules are circulating the internet (looking for order!), followed by memes making fun and criticizing them (looking for a laugh!).

It recently occurred to me that it’s time to shift into flow mode. It’s way less comfortable than denial, but I think it’ll help me get to a better place once this storm is over.

For me, so far flow mode has included making a mental health TO DO list (you know I love my lists).

Flow mode means letting go of the two trips I was really, really, really looking forward to this month and finding an alternative “thing” to be excited about and grateful for. It means accepting that we may not have milk in the house for the next month and trusting that our toddler will be okay. In some ways flow mode is easier with a young one, because it just means practicing being 100% present with them and adjusting to their pace. Flow mode forces me to focus on all the things I still have rather than 401K savings I don’t.

Flow mode reminds me that my partner in life and I may have very different ways of processing things, like, oh say, a PANDEMIC, yet we are still in this together.

Flow mode requires I name WTAF is going on in the world. Even though it’s a scary, complex, overwhelming THING. Denying the existence of WTAF is going on in the world right now makes it 100 times more likely to destroy me.

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