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Thinking outside the box while inside the box

by:  Catherine - GritClub member

I have five grandchildren and four of them are in school, ranging from a junior in high school down to a first grader. I decided during this shut down for Covid-19 to go back to school as well. Colleges around the world are offering free classes, and I am taking a class from Yale titled: The Science of Well-Being. It is a 10 week course taught by Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos. It is a course on “happiness” and how to rewire your brain to a happier life. Dr. Santos developed the course after being “shocked at the kind of mental health issues” she was seeing at the Yale campus. It became the most popular class at Yale’s more than 300 year history.  I am just beginning the course (in week 1), and I am looking forward to seeing if my happiness level changes and discovering what really makes us happy. There are hundreds of other classes available through the website Coursera, and it might be a good thing for all of us to do if you find some extra time on your hands.

My daughter and daughter-in-law are both trying to navigate being a mom/teacher and are having to help the kids stay on track with their assigned school work.  I’m not sure which is more challenging to be home at with -- teenagers in high school or elementary school kids, but regardless, not only do I have renewed appreciation for all the parents with a new career of “teaching” their children, but also the teachers around this country that have devoted their lives to loving and caring for their students. It was amazing to see the parade of teachers in their cars going through their local school districts welcoming their students back to virtual teaching. Well done teachers!  We appreciate you more than ever!   

I am also fortunate enough to live in walking distance to a small beach town were there are many restaurants. Our town is really pulling together to support the restaurants that are trying to stay open by having take-out. Call ahead and they have your food bagged and ready to eat and I can just walk to the water front to watch the sunset. With all the chaos at grocery stores, maybe order take-out once a week (if you can) in order to help the local restaurants stay open after this crisis is over.

I also suggest getting an audible book (they are free right now) for the whole family to listen to together, have each child prepare and help you cook their favorite meal and serve the family, hide Easter eggs, paint rocks to hide around your neighborhood for others to find. My daughter that lives in Dallas, Texas had a great “girls night in” last night. They used FaceTime, and apparently you can do large groups. They enjoyed adult beverages and played a game and had a lot of laughs and connected together for some “Mom” time. My 17 year old grandson sat in a parking lot with other teenagers in their cars with the windows down to talk.  Social distancing takes creative ideas, but I encourage you to take the time to think outside your “box” and make memories that your family will never forget. We all need to be patient, kind, and understanding of each other in these trying times.  None of us have lived through anything like this before (and I pray we never do it again), but here we are so make the best of your time together.  It just might end up being the best times of your life. Lastly, my brother Mike just turned 60 this week, and my son reached out to President Trump to have him send a message to Mike for his birthday.  Another fun creative way to make people smile in times like these.  Here is the video message from President Trump:

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