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Damage Control

My friends and I joked, when this all started (this = COVID/Schools closing, etc.) that each morning we feel like the captain of a ship, waking with bloodshot eyes, sitting at the helm of the command bridge (for some reason my vessel is a spaceship, aka Captain Kirk) and taking a long, slow drag from a coffee cup before letting out a sigh, and asking deliberately and without emotion “damage control.”
In my case this is my Amazon device, whom I ask each morning to tell me the weather and top news for the day. I sip my coffee as my 5 year old runs in circles around me wearing his Captain America or Batman cape, a ball of energy as soon as he wakes, oblivious to his little boy giggles and little feet padding on the hardwood floor. I’m too busy trying to take it all in, plan my day, make my lists, and worry about the future.
A few weeks ago, things changed. I stopped asking dear Alexa, as we call her, for the top news. I stopped asking about the weather, and instead looking out the window. At first, this was a way to deflect from the bad news that just wouldn’t stop coming. But now, it’s because I don’t want to know. I want to greet my kids, plant a kiss on my daughter’s moppy head full of bedtime hair gone wild, take in the scent of her fruity pebbles, the only breakfast she’ll eat as of late, and try to catch the whirling devil that is my preschooler on his 3rd pass around the kitchen island and squeeze his wiggling and giggling body into a big mommy hug.
I’ve finally accepted that we need to slow down. And that I don’t need to know all the top news of the day immediately upon waking. In short, not knowing what tomorrow will bring has made me stop trying to know everything. There might be a new planet to explore on the horizon, or there might be a meteor shower. These are all unknowns. But what I do know is my son will be up and running as soon as the sun rises, my daughter will be sitting at her stool at the counter with tangled hair in her little nightgown, and my older son will be sleeping soundly and need a gentle reminder that he can’t sleep until noon. Or perhaps I will let him sleep, and enjoy my coffee on the front porch.
- by Maggie Palmer, AMR's Director of Communications

4 responses to “Damage Control

  1. I, too, had to stop reading, watching and listening to the news. When the pandemic first hit I found myself twirling into a ball of anxiety and, often, found myself crying out in the shower. For my sanity I HAD to quit it all. In the chaos of motherhood there is comfort in knowing that it’s something I can count on. I love this. Thank you for the great perspective!

  2. It took me until June 18 to slow down. Then the magic happened. We got a . Now my focus is on her and not the pandemic, politics, or basically all the news. I now am sipping coffee most of the morning and watching fun movies as I watch puppy roam around the house. My crazy workouts/runs have been put on a halt. I am enjoying walking in the woods and the neighborhoods. I am enjoying the afternoon cocktail while gardening or just sitting in the sun. I’m trying to just breathe in and out. As a teacher, next month will bring do much anxiety… so now I sit!

  3. No small people here, but I too am consciously taking a news break. Instead of reading through a few news digests I receive, I’m skipping them because really, the news hasn’t changed much over the past few months, and isn’t really getting any better. Coffee and my cats are time better spent. I do still ask Alexa for the forecast though. On a need-to-know basis. 🙂

  4. Love this It sounds so familiar, right down to the whirling dervish preschooler Thank you for sharing, Maggie!

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