First, I want to say that January was rough around here. We had a real increase in tense days. I think it was the worst month since the pandemic started. Mostly, I think it is just the longevity of the situation. Over the past year, most days have been positive, but the overall picture is just draining and endless. My introverts want to be left completely alone and my extroverts want more and more attention from whoever can give it to them...which in this case is the introverts in the family. We as a family need a break from each other. However, that isn't possible for an extended period of time. I am trying a few things to reduce stress.
I encouraged Tim (who is suffering the most and is an introvert) to skip family time when he isn't interested or just needs a break. I also am encouraging him to join the Zoom classes with his day program for brain-injured adults. He was resistant before because he didn't want to deal with even more people, but I thought a change in personalities might help. The program said he could join them via Zoom whenever and for as long or short a period as he wished. He tried it this week for about 20 minutes and said he will do it a few times a week in the future.
I am changing family time activities around to include more car rides for a special drink and to see sunsets, more relaxed or junior games that will be easier for my brain-injured son and just remind us all of childhood unity, more themed family meals which always hold people at the table longer and are higher quality. Basically, I am trying to make the moments together higher quality so that people will be more filled up and there will hopefully be a more natural break during downtimes for the introverts.
We also are planning a few field trips. Some will be for all of us while others will give Tim the opportunity to stay home, so he will be able to have six to eight hours of alone time.
My hardest challenge is figuring out what to do for Elijah. He is my extreme extrovert. He is also my child that has always been most frightened of the world, the biggest homebody and has the least amount of friends. He doesn't want to leave the house and isn't adjusting well to all of the new platforms to interact with friends such as Zoom and outdoor meetups. He is so lonely. He is resistant to getting a job because of the pandemic, although recently he has become a little bit willing to look at possibilities. Basically, he has been "sitting on a shelf," waiting for this experience to be over, but it is evident that the pandemic has been taking too long and he will have to stretch way out of his comfort zone.
So we did have lots of positive moments this week, but we also had our fair share of hard moments. We don't take pictures of the tears, so I am sure to some it looks like everything is always great. It isn't, but we are working to make as much of our lives joyful as possible.
Chinese New Year ~ Themed dinner number one. I am so pleased with how the table came out. Everything was pulled together from around the house and the food was all from Trader Joe's. My themed dinner worked and everyone stayed at the table for an extra 20 minutes. We had really good conversation, too.
|My favorite picture|