Living in Tulsa 'Tine: Grieving, Healing, and Connecting on Socially Distant Tulsa Time. Episode 6: Winding Down and Gearing Up

Living in Tulsa 'Tine: Grieving, Healing, and Connecting on Socially Distant Tulsa Time. Episode 6: Winding Down and Gearing Up

May 29, 2020

It looks like this is the last blog in this series, Quarantine is winding down here in the Tulsa area. Businesses are opening up again. You can go to a restaurant and eat at a table inside, and actually be served by staff! Had you forgotten what that was like? And our offices at The Grief Center will begin to open for face-to-face sessions beginning June 15. The process will be slow at first, and masks will be required in order to protect everyone. Many sessions will still be virtual, over the internet as we have been doing during this unique time. For now people will have choices between a face to face or a telehealth session.

There are a lot of things to consider. What is the safest way to proceed? What will minimize risk of infection? There is not only the question of what are the experts saying is safe, but equally important, what do YOU feel is safe? After all, your comfort level is extremely important! YOU are going to be making all sorts of decisions about what you feel comfortable with over the coming weeks. And for most of us, no matter what we believe about this whole experience, this will be a challenging time.

All sorts of emotions rise to the surface. You’ve probably already been juggling your emotions throughout these past 3 months, and now it may seem that there are still more questions than answers. And then there is this whole issue of “change." Whew! Change!

Again, I’m okay with change, but it is hard work. A friend told me that she is more tolerant of change than in the past. She attributes this to the possibility that she’s grown more flexible and less brittle. And maybe because she has learned to separate the effort/discomfort of changing states from the change itself. Sometimes we really like the change that’s coming. But even so, it is still stressful, because it IS change. This got me thinking...

As we talked about the stresses involved in this new phase of change I started thinking about what happens to a space capsule or shuttle when it re-enters the atmosphere. It experiences resistance, and it heats up. If the capsule or shuttle doesn’t have protection, or enters at the wrong angle, it will burn up.

So, I know that my resistance is inside me. And because it is inside of me I can do something about it, if I accept it and look for options. They prepare the capsule for reentry before they even launch it. So what do I do or have inside of me, what do you also have inside of you, that prepares us for re-entry into our world, our job, our society? Because I think you are already prepared, and may just don’t know it. Maybe it’s a good time to review what skills and preparations already exist.

For a start, what did you do when you entered quarantine that you can pull out for leaving quarantine? It wasn’t all that long ago when everyone was struggling to figure out how to manage sheltering in place. How do you shop? How do you work? What do you do if you get sick? So many questions! And we all watched it play out in the media. TV performers started doing their shows from home. One series produced an episode in animation to end their season. The Tonight Show continues to be broadcast from Jimmy Fallon’s home, with his daughters being seen every night, and his wife producing and filming the show, and even being on camera during a weekly question and answer session while they take a walk. Other performers are performing pop up concerts on Facebook for free. So many creative ideas for coping.

So, as I think about re-entry I realize that I have come to enjoy some of the things about self-quarantining. I like not having to drive to work, being able to get my lunch from my own fridge, and watching all of the fun shows on TV. Plus it’s nice to only have to get dressed fancy from the waist up. I’ll miss those things. So there is grief that goes along with leaving quarantine. I have to say goodbye to these things which have become familiar and comfortable.

And I find myself repeatedly feeling like I need to take a deep breath…. Because I do. My body is telling me to relax. Take it easy. Take my time.

So, I’m thinking ...

  • Mindfulness
  • Gentleness with myself
  • One moment at a time
  • Breathing
  • Pacing myself
  • Prioritizing
  • And acceptance...of the change, of my reaction, of my feelings.
  • And lots of self care!

I was thinking about the Law of Attraction. How we see things and move towards what we focus on. Like, when you buy a new car you start noticing all the cars just like yours on the street. Or when you are a new couple you start noticing all of the couples everywhere you go. And if you wear a mask, you notice all of the other people wearing masks.

So I’m thinking about this reentry, about going back into the office. It is easy for me to focus on the time I’ve been home and all the things I like about it. So now that I think about it I see that I too need to manage my focus. Focus on the positive things about returning to the office. My anxiety will go down and I will feel more enthusiastic.

So get ready, review your skills that you already have on board, go back and read the previous blogs for more ideas if you’ve forgotten or haven’t read them yet. Get yourself in the right position to manage the reentry without “burning up” by choosing your focus. Use that Law of Attraction to your advantage.

And remember: If you could figure out how to enter quarantine, you can manage to leave it.

The goal is a good one.

Change is always a stretch, so just go with it.

And tell yourself you can do it, because you CAN!