Reflecting on My Why While Staying at Home

By Barbara Bray

Join Barbara Bray in conversations with awesome educators, leaders, and influencers as they talk about their passion and purpose for planting seeds for change. Each podcast has a link to a related blog post with more information and resources.

I’ve been staying at home for over a month. I have experienced being alone and working from home for some time — actually years. I have been able to do this because I have the Internet. I’m privileged to have the resources and fortunate to have connections to family, friends, and people around the world. I’m finding the most important things in our lives are the relationships we have.
I published my book, Define Your WHY, mid-February. I was excited about all the events and book signings scheduled. Then COVID-19. Everything was postponed or canceled. It wasn’t long before I was feeling sorry for me.
Then I looked at myself and my feelings. I am luckier than most. It is okay to have those feelings. All of us will go through grief, feel fearful, and uncomfortable because everything is uncertain. I realized it’s not just about me and that I’m not alone. The world is in crisis. This is bigger than any one of us.
“Separation is painful, but it is the right thing to do.”
Queen Elizabeth message on the BBC 4/5/20
I am privileged to have access to what is happening around the world. I can connect to family members through videoconferencing, FaceTime, and other tools. I’m playing Mahjong with my sisters and friends, talking to my children regularly, having the greatest FaceTime sessions with my granddaughter. I even had a virtual birthday celebration. This is no time for me to feel sorry for myself. Andrew’s girlfriend, Melissa is making masks. Andrew helped her create a video for her students at Pacific University so they could make masks for those that need them. All we have to do is wear them if we have to go out. A mask is more about protecting others who are vulnerable.
I’m fortunate to be able to stay at home and be safe. We need to stay home so we can protect people like our doctors, nurses, and first responders so they stay healthy and are safe. I’m grateful for the grocery clerks and people stocking the shelves. I’m grateful for the people delivering packages and mail. I’m grateful for electricity, water, and waste management. That means people are working for us.
I’m grateful for our teachers who are trying the best they can to connect to their students. My heroes! Yet, I feel they are asked to do much more than is needed now. I applaud the states that are waiving standardized tests.  I wish we could PAUSE teaching content. Teachers and families are struggling. Maybe teaching can be different during this crisis. Teachers can be there to listen, to calm anxieties, and to help families be there for their children. Many parents still have to work at home.
Okay, I’m ranting. I just feel like this crisis is so big that we need to rethink everything.
If we have to stay inside, keep a physical distance, wash your hands often, and wear a mask. We can do that!
Who are you grateful for? What are you grateful for?
I have a house and my husband, Tom, is making sure I am okay and shops for me. He also is there for his 99-year-old mom who I love. I am so grateful for my husband during this time. We play games. We’ve been working on puzzles. I’m reading more. I’m exercising by dancing around the house while I vacuum. I’m cleaning out closets. I’m writing more.
What are you doing now that you have put off when you were busy?
I have a garden with beautiful flowers and even found some caterpillars from Monarch butterflies on the Milkweed plants. Life goes on. My flowers are just starting to bloom. We planted vegetables. I’m privileged to have a garden. One of my sisters, Janet, started an aero garden to grow herbs and vegetables. Another sister, Sandy,