Kindness is Infectious

O.k. O.k. I know, it's been a hot minute since I shared any thoughts. With everything going on in the world right now I've had a hard time focusing on any specific thought. Mostly I spend my time trying to shut my brain off and check out of reality a little bit. Like most of you, I've really started feeling the strain of this lack of socialization. Being at home isn't necessarily a stress free place right now. It's almost impossible to turn the TV on or scroll through any type of online media without seeing something COVID related. It's a constant barrage of new information, new numbers, new crises, and only the occasional story of inspiration. After a few days at home I can not wait to go back to work just to be around people again. However, seeing as I'm an ER nurse work is also a stressful place to be right now.

I have to take a minute here to say thank you to all my coworkers. Given that I am currently pregnant they have all been exceptionally gracious and committed to keeping me out of the hot zones (at times more adamant about keeping me away than I am). It's both truly humbling and amazing to be around such dedicated, compassionate, KIND people and also a little unsettling. Of course I fully realize it's not just my health I have to worry about right now, I have to think of our little monkey in my belly, but I feel guilty that I can't do more to help during this unprecedented time. While I may be the only one in our department currently pregnant, we all have families to go home to, many have young children and older family members living with them. This infection poses a risk to all of us and their courage and steadfastness is nothing short of awe inducing. I feel so lucky to work under amazing leadership, with dedicated physicians, and side by side our radiology staff, phlebotomists, and EVS workers, all of which are working relentlessly to keep each other safe and the community safe.

No matter what you currently do for work, there's arguably never been a time when self care has been so important. Whether your a paramedic still responding to calls, teacher adjusting lesson plans to an online format, or a currently laid off waitress the stress weighing on all of us is almost suffocating. It is time to be KIND to ourselves. While I typically spend a big chunk of time outside, I find myself escaping and craving the escape a little more than usual. On my days off, I'm getting out two a days for a run and then a hike or walk a little later. Being inside the walls of my home is making me claustrophobic. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. The only way we are going to get through this is if we are taking care of ourselves. Might sound selfish, right? But let's think about it, you can't lift up others if you can't hold yourself up. How many times on a flight have we heard, "Please place your own mask on securely before attempting to help others". Thank God spring is in the air. Get outside and soak up the vitamin D.

In better news, non COVID related news, this week we found out what Monkey is. Turns out Monkey isn't a monkey, she's a little baby girl! Never in my life have I wanted to be a girl mom. I've always been adamant that I only wanted boys then magically when I found out I was pregnant I started wanting a girl more and more every day. I figured this was my body's way of preparing me and making me excited to have a girl. Turns out I was right. Females will be ruling this roost. Aaron was a little more hopeful that we'd have a boy. Throughout this pregnancy he's talked a big game about being a tough Dad. Let me tell you that tune changed real fast when we found out she's a girl. Gone is the no nonsense Dad, replaced with a pile of mush. At this point I'm a little concerned about how spoiled this little lady will be. She's already got her Dad wrapped around her little finger (while I might make fun of him a little for it, it is by far the sweetest thing to watch).

Knowing Monkey's sex makes her seem that much more real. I never understood when I'd hear parents talk about the dreams they have for their kids how they could paint this whole life in their mind, a life that doesn't even belong to them. In my mind that wasn't their job as a parent to dream for their kid. That part should belong to the kid; it's the parents' job to help pave the way towards that dream for their kid. Now I understand it a little better. I can picture the things we will do together, the comfort she'll need when her heart breaks the first time, the reassurance she'll need when she gets her first period (lucky girl), and the advice she might need when it comes time to pick a wedding dress, but still I hold on to the fact that she is the creator of her own dreams.

Whether our daughter chooses to go to a tech school to be a welder, or dreams of being a doctor, or chooses a more "dirtbag" lifestyle traveling around the country in a van rock climbing we'll be there to support her. To me it's not important which path she chooses to take in her life, what's more important is how she chooses to walk that path. The only dream I have for this little girl is that she be a strong, independent, honest, motivated individual. Most importantly, I dream this girl will be KIND. And that, is the thread of this post.

Kindness is such a basic concept. It sounds easy when thinking about in theory, so why does it seem to elude most people? Why in stressful times do some people lose all ability to be kind while others seems to have kindness radiating out of them? It is the latter that lights this world on fire. We all know it, but we've all struggled with it at times. The love in kindness is a stronger force than any virus, hatred, storm, or tragedy that plagues the world. If I teach Monkey only one thing, I hope it is this. I hope the path she chooses for herself leads her to the exact life she dreams of and I hope everybody she meets along this path stops and thinks of her as a kind soul. This is the dream I dream for her.

In this stressful time be kind. Choose to be kind to your kids who's energy is too big for your house, be kind to the elderly lady blocking the aisle in the grocery store just trying to find what she needs so she can get home to safety, be kind to the patient in the ER with an in grown hair that may not be an acute emergency, be kind to the friend who is quarantined at home with no loved ones around. We are all going through this pandemic together, but all walking our own way through it. Be KIND. Be kind today, be kind tomorrow, and be kind when this is all over because on any given day any of us could be battling our own internal pandemic. We all walk our own miles through life. Today, I'm going to strive to be kinder on my Miles to Motherhood.


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