All posts by kellyrondeau

There are no words

Minneapolis is on fire.

I’ve hardly been able to stop watching the attached video. It’s a live stream of Minneapolis from the wee hours of May 30, 2020.

I have worked in that neighborhood for 17 years. I have walked on all of those streets. I have shopped at many of those stores. I’ve eaten at the restaurants. I’ve worked in that neighborhood longer than I’ve lived anywhere in my life.

In the video, I can see people trying to burn down the building that I have spent countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years. It looks like a war zone. It looks like a movie. It’s hard to comprehend the destruction while sitting miles away, in my home office. It’s breathtaking and heartbreaking.

I can’t seem to focus on anything else, just watching the familiar streets filled with glass, hearing the fires crackle and the alarms sounding. I’ve been trying to do homework for hours and I keep coming back to the video. I can’t stop thinking about the people who live and work in that neighborhood. There is a hospital two blocks away, full of patients with COVID.

I remember on 9/11, I was drawn to the TV in the same way that I am drawn to the internet today. I know that this will pass, that we will rebuild, and this will be relegated to a “where were you during the Minneapolis riots?” moment.

In the meantime, I think I will try to focus on the good in the community. It’s out there if you look for it.

Attitude of gratitude

We’ve heard it all so many times over the past few months… unprecedented times, never before, quarantine, stay home. As students, we’ve been impacted as we’ve seen all of our classes change to an online format. Everyone’s life has changed somehow since early March. For most people, change can be hard!

For me, I haven’t physically left my house/yard/street in a week. 3 months ago, I couldn’t have imagined that. I’m a busy mom with 3 kids, a full-time job, a college student, 3 dogs, a house, etc. It’s easy to feel bogged down by the negativity and fear of it all. Rather than feeling confined, I try to feel grateful for the positive things that I didn’t have before.

I took a Stress Management course last semester. One of the things that I learned is practicing gratitude is key to positive mental health. Have you been practicing gratitude during the pandemic? I’ve listed below a few things that I feel grateful for.

I have been working from home since March 16. Two solid months without setting foot in the office. I am an extrovert and I really miss seeing people. But, I sure appreciate my new commute of about 5 paces from my bedroom to my spare room, where I have my home office set up. I’ve gotten back 90 minutes of every day that I simply spent driving to work. I get to sleep in an extra hour. That means I can stay up a little later and spend some time connecting with my husband after the kids go to bed.

I have friends who have been furloughed and they are spending the time working on projects or sprucing up their house.

We’ve been connecting with our neighbors with a weekly, socially-distant backyard fire. We’ve built relationships with them that I don’t think would have occurred otherwise.

Finally, I love the way that life has slowed down. One my biggest stressors is trying to get from place to place in a day. I go to work and run around all day, I come home, I make sure the kids have done homework, and make dinner. Then, I take kids to sports or school activities, and ensure showers have occurred. There is laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, and chores. Sometimes I feel ragged just with normal life. Our pace has changed greatly since March. There are no places to have to race to. I feel like my kids are living a little more like I did at their age. They’re doing bike rides, scavenger hunts, and walking the dogs. I love it.

What are some ways that your life has changed for the better during social distancing? Have you been able to find gratitude?