For me, May is typically a full month of family birthdays and celebrations. It’s joyful, with a side helping of both expectations (aka disappointment — click here for more on that) and also, complicated relationships. This is normal. For we humans, life is full of these sorts of bittersweet complexities. This is naturally compounded by the current state of affairs and how our movement, time together, celebrations, etc. are all restricted. We aren’t gonna be at big family get-togethers, say for example, for graduations or birthdays or Mother’s Day.
We’ll do some of it by Zoom, or on whatever is your preferred video chat platform, of course. At least there’s that, of course. And it stinks. This is how I felt in April about “hosting” Passover for 35 in my Zoom room. Psyched that I could do it, I was happy to bring that particular crowd together. This was a group that would likely never all be together for that holiday in one physical room. Afterwards, I thought of ways that I would improve it for next time, AND that I hope I never ever ever have to do Passover by video again.
Same is true for my brother’s and my step-dad’s milestone birthdays this month. (Yes, they have the same exact birthday). Grateful for Zoom and the virtual birthday we’ll enjoy together. But still, I really miss toasting and roasting them both in person. Blerg. These two things, they are true for me at the same time.
Two things being true at once, the inherent bittersweet nature of some aspects of life — this is something I must learn to deal with again and again. I have to keep reminding myself to just sit with things as they are, and not try to change, cajole, or coax them to be different. I have to keep reminding myself to be gentle, and to resist shaming myself for not
just feeling #gratitude, for crying out loud! So I’m sending love to you across the miles, with a suggestion to hold some space for all of us — you included — coping with this challenge. Because stuff is complicated. Especially relationships!
To top it all off, we’re smack between Mother’s and Father’s Day, and these made-up holidays can bring up a lot of conflicting feelings in the best of times, and, at the same time, the ways we might typically distract or care for ourselves may not be available to us just now. If you have complicated feelings about these holidays, please know that you can love your parent or child, AND ALSO be going through a challenge with that relationship simultaneously.
And also please know that you are not alone. ❤️
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