The Way It Is

“Experience school the way it is,” I say for the thousandth time. “Not the way you think it ought to be. Not the way you want it to be. The way it is.”

In our home, we are experiencing a lot of change. With thanksgiving and gratitude, we are not experiencing actual illness. But every aspect of life is in a strange flux, given that we are sheltering in a single place.

Husband is unexpectedly looking for a job and unexpectedly hiding from an invisible predator that will impact him vastly more than the rest of us (probably). The already-virtual-student is unexpectedly finishing his school year early and rushed. The two students newly and unexpectedly studying by distance face a bizarre do-it-yourself school year push. And I am unexpectedly preparing to reenter the workforce in the middle of a pandemic and all that that implies.

And our mantra has become: Experience it the way it is. Not the way we think it ought to be. Not the way we want it to be. The way it is.

In the scheme of things, what we are experiencing is extraordinarily minor, especially when compared to the disease and death happening on all sides. We are privileged to have this home in this place and the ability to stay inside it, at least until we can’t.

If you are like us and you have the good fortune to be merely (and weirdly and anxiously) in flux, try to experience life the way it is right now. Experience work and school and togetherness the way they are. Because they are so much better than the current alternative.

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