Sunday, May 24, 2020
Connect with Calhoun counselors and explore curated resources you can access at home. Hear what our counselors had to say and see the resources they recommend to guide us during these times.
Choose Your Reading
by Francesca Canin, US Counselor
A few weeks ago, when this all started, my son’s elementary school sent all their students a video of their teachers enacting the much loved children’s book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen. We watched, laughed and it was a heartwarming moment that made us feel connected even though we were distant. It had been years since I had read that book to him (even more so since I read to his brother before him), but it made me pause and think about the big life lesson that book tries to pass it on. A message that is serving me well, just about now:
“We can't go over it, We can't go under it. Oh no! We've got to go through it!”
Many times, e-learning feels like we we're all thrown in this “bear hunt” — passed the initial shock, we banded together, we all had goals (sometimes big ones), we said to ourselves we were not afraid to tackle anything that got in our way. At every step, when encountering obstacles, we wouldn’t give up and had to remind ourselves that the only way is to go through it. Here we are, 7 weeks in, and as the “novelty” of e-learning fades away, after overcoming the “tall grass,” the “deep river,” “the oozy mud,” a “swirling snowstorm,” we entered the “gloomy cave” and finally realized we really don’t want to face that bear after all.
I think it is normal to feel that way, this was just a longer marathon that we had anticipated. Maybe we are feeling elated one moment, and really down the next one. Maybe, It takes a bit more effort to get excited about a Zoom meeting or a virtual birthday party, it is getting easier to go back to bad habits or to forget to complete your third 1000-piece puzzle. Maybe we are all thinking we need to just go back to bed, under the covers, and promise we are not going to go on a bear hunt again. I get it, I hear you, I have those moments (days?), too. When I feel this way, I just try to acknowledge how I feel (really feel those feelings), “ride that wave” without fighting it. Usually, those moments are the ones when we are harder on ourselves and tend to focus on the negative side of things.
Here is my invitation to all: re-shift your thinking. If you catch yourself on those moments, instead of looking back and thinking how you didn’t get to catch the bear at the end of the day, how you actually got scared and the adventure didn’t turn out to be the way you imagined, instead of focusing on how you failed, focus on all your accomplishments. Focus on how you didn’t choose to go on the bear hunt but you did it anyway; focus on how you faced every challenge with bravery and enthusiasm—focus on how at the end of the day, you banded together and didn’t give up. Yes, this adventure was not something we chose, but guess what? We can choose how you want to look at it, it's a very empowering feeling. Try it! The only way is through it!
Take care of yourself,