It’s hard to come up with words at this moment that are calm, soothing, and optimistic. I’m not going to lie. As a mother, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done—choosing to work outside my home in what is arguably a very unstable environment.
I’ve covered hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms, and many other natural disasters, putting myself on the front lines in potentially dangerous situations. I’ve driven down long dirt roads and knocked on doors in the middle of nowhere trying to interview someone accused of murder. I’ve covered hostage situations, public shootings, and out-of-control fires. I worked around the clock in the days following 9/11 when no one knew from one minute to the next if our country was safe.
But now, battling this unseen enemy, has brought me to my knees as I must choose between working in the community to do what I’ve been passionate about for 30 years, and taking care of my family at home. I know it’s a difficult choice many of you are having to make. Every time you leave your house to work, you could potentially be bringing the disease home to your family. Let’s face it, no matter how careful we are as individuals, we are only as safe as the people we need to interact with on our jobs.
For those of you lucky to work from home, this is one layer of anxiety during this chaotic time that you don’t have to deal with. I know you are bored. You have cabin fever. It’s tough working from home and having your kids doing school online. But when I read these posts, I can’t sympathize too much—because I long to trade places with you.
It’s this anxiety that keeps me up at night, this anxiety that finds me looking for words for the first time in my life, words that have always flowed so easily from my brain, to my fingertips, to the keyboard.
Here’s all I have to offer:
Take everything day-by-day, the landscape is shifting by the hour, by the second.
Take a break from reading the dire headlines. Spend quality time with your family. Read a book. Play a game. Cook. Make something—art, music, writing.
Get outside. Move your body. Give yourself permission to meander, to wander, to not have the pressure of our normally frenetic world in this unique moment in time.
Stop and listen to the silence. Can you hear it? The slowing down, the stopping brings with it a peculiar silence.
Yesterday, as I lie on the grass on a towel in the sun reading with my daughter napping by my side, I heard the silence for the first time. And it was good.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.