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Unfiltered Reflections: Volume II

Welcome to the second week of our Unfiltered Reflections series. If it would be nourishing or cathartic for you to share your thoughts, we warmly invite you to journal alongside us, here. We’ll continue to update this blog post with more unfiltered responses. Take a look at last week’s journal prompt here.

What does building community look and feel like for you during these uncertain times? Share your thoughts with us here. 


April 2, 2020 at 1:12 p.m.

What a thought provoking question!

Honestly my life hasnt changed so much since my daughter was born 21 months ago (I mean it changed since she was born but not since from when she was born to Covid), although I was JUST starting to get out more, starting to see more friends without kids more. I just struggled with getting out with these friends as much since my baby was born as most of my friends are people I mountain bike with and most of my rides now are stuck in random times and mostly alone. So I had made a few great mom friends and unfortunately neglected my non-mom friends. Right before Covid hit I was making more of an effort at these friendships and it felt so great. Obviously that has taken a back burner once again. My three good new mom friends are also all moving in the next 3-6 months as well so……here I am ha!

I laugh because I know life is constantly changing and I have leaned now to roll with it. When I was younger I moved to three different cities completely alone and then moved to be with my now husband so I know how to build a community for myself. It’s HARD and takes lots of time but it is always worth it.

During Covid, Honestly not that much has changed for me except for not seeing my mom friends and getting that respite from playing with a toddler for 12 hours straight. I am an introvert and even I will say it’s getting challenging.

My husband and I are taking social distancing seriously especially now that he has to start going into work. It was SOOO nice having him home for two weeks.

We zoom more and text, call people more, other than that I really have no ideas and just keep telling myself this IS temporary and it WILL get better.

I have noticed though that even though when we’re out walking and biking that even though we have to stay far from people, that at least now we all hand something to connect with, people say hi, I crack a joke and we smile. Before I feel like people just go their way and don’t acknowledge others.

I can’t wait to hear your ideas though, I may have to try some!!

Courtney
@cleecowan


April 2, 2020 at 1:12 p.m.

We collectively all need to be APART of society by distancing.

We’ve been following the rules in Puerto Rico except for the my occasional solo sneak in the sand at the beach, but I’ve even stopped doing that.  I realize I’m in a rural beach town where I know I will never see a soul but when I’m trying to make a positive impact on my community virus or not, me not taking every single guideline of the quarantine seriously is a disrespect to everyone in my town.

Allowing this to flow into the journal prompt of community I feel more connected to all of my communities/people oddly more than ever.

There are so many emotions we all go through on any given day and sometimes those emotions make us feel alone.  But there’s not many times you can be so connected to everyone all over the world by sharing the same fear and experiencing the same crisis.

We’ve never been more together as a collective even though we’re all social distancing.  I love what AMI is doing and taking advantage of letting people speak freely and connect during this challenging time- it’s beautiful.  My favorite yoga teacher is even offering online classes via zoom which is a great reminder if we focus more on what we can offer from the comfort of our homes to better the world, it makes this experience more positive.  Even if bettering the world means while we’re all stuck at home, taking the opportunity to educate our children more about different countries and cultures, which then can connect us even more globally.

I’ve still been enjoying lots of FaceTime, gardening and making massive messes with my children 🙂 Our next door neighbor continues to come over to help with my kids as my husband is gratefully working.  Even with all of my other neighbors, I feel more connected through our distance.  We’re all in this together.

My attitude is still more or less “it is what it is” and I’m just taking moment my moment and embracing the slow down.  I’ve even challenged myself to walk slower, cook slower and virtually all of my movement has slowed down.  Even my yoga has been slow lately.  There’s no need to be in a hurry, just enjoy life and every moment, even the shitty ones.

Sending love to you all, keep doing your best,

Brooke
@mountain2seas


April 2, 2020 at 8:40 a.m.

Community building looks like Zoom calls and Marco Polo messages. In many ways, I am in GREATER contact with friends and family than I have been in YEARS because the busyness of Mom Life and Work Life and School LIfe and Sporting LIfe (and Travel/Adventure Life!) has been stripped away from us all. I had a 2+ HOURS long FaceTime call with my older brother over the weekend, and it was fucking awesome! I haven’t gotten more than a short text or two here or there from him in MONTHS. I got to see my niece and nephew and sister-in-law and it felt like a visit. It was great.

As a natural introvert that finds much satisfaction in a quiet home life, this experience has not altered my life a crazy amount other than making everything feel the same, but different. There is a heaviness infused into the day because of the news, the effects on our communities and loved ones, and the feeling of captivity veiling our days. Many people are distancing themselves from social media because of the anxiety it produces; however, that too is pushing us to connect directly with the people that give us the most joy, understanding, and hope for our days.

I think the biggest challenge for me is maintaining or growing relationships that aren’t thriving or being picked up via virtual means. For example, I have a couple of local mom friends that I have not known for a long time (less than 2 years), and developing those relationships via texts or other virtual means is slow, much like what Heidi described in her experience. It’s like the reset button was hit for some of these relationships and there will be some work to do to recover once we are all released into the wild again. 😀

I know this, though, we are all doing our best with what we have during a very wonky and strange time for which none of us are prepared (well, maybe some of us have more toilet paper than others). I hope you all are giving yourselves plenty of grace as we figure out a new normal during this season.

This is temporary.
We can do hard things.
You all are doing a good job.

Peace, love, and consensual ass grabs,

Sarah
@sunbaked7


March 31, 2020 at 9:46 a.m.

Building community has, for a long time, been virtual for me anyway so these “stay-at-home” orders haven’t changed that too much. I wouldn’t know all of you, my AMI family, if it wasn’t for social media and Zoom conference calls ?. Especially since moving away from Colorado just a few short weeks ago (a week and a half to be exact), I’ve been texting and FaceTiming so many friends from there, which would be the same even if it wasn’t for this virus. But part of the benefits of moving closer to where I grew up, I was looking forward to rekindling friendships with a community I had LONG before kids or husbands or degrees or careers and all that has gone up in smoke for the forseeable future. And that has really saddened me. FaceTime and Skype and Zoom just isn’t quite the same as big bear hugs from a friend you’ve known for 30 years but haven’t seen in over a year.

I read a great article about how what I’m feeling right now is grief (you can see the article here) and I couldn’t agree more with it. I’m grieving for a community that looks different/has changed drastically than the one I had envisioned (and being a Type A personality, this has been a huge hit to my mental health!). But community for me, also looks like something I haven’t really seen yet. People who are able to sacrifice just a little bit of their own happiness to create a space that is as safe and healthy as possible for those who are most at risk for this virus. People who are willing to stay home (meaning, stay within walking distance of their home) and not interact with anyone outside of who they are living with. The 6′ “rule” that so many people are abiding by is just physical distancing (and when you’re in the grocery store or pharmacy, you should abide by this). But I see so many people using this as justification that they can still get together with their bestie that lives across town or their aunt that they haven’t seen in a few weeks because “don’t worry, we’re staying 6′ apart”. This 6′ rule isn’t social distancing. Social distancing means limiting your interactions to only essential interactions (like going to the grocery store or pharmacy and being around the clerks, etc.) and not meeting up with friends for a beer in your respective car trunks and staying 6′ apart.

I am someone who most definitely needs human interaction and the outdoors – I’d say it’s “essential” to my way of life. I’d give anything to be able to go for a hike with a friend of mine (but also stay 6′ apart) right now, but I’m also trying to think of my elderly parents and my friends with respiratory issues by not seeing anybody outside of who I’m currently living with. It infuriates me that people aren’t doing the same because they don’t understand the definition of social distancing. I’m putting everything on hold – outdoor adventures, house hunting, dates with my husband for our 11th wedding anniversary, job interviews and yet I STILL see so many people meeting up but staying 6′ apart.

So community, to me, feels broken. I know I’m supposed to say that community has helped me see the positivity in all of this and they’re the ones getting me through the days, but it’s not true. I’m frustrated with community. I’m frustrated seeing so many people blatantly putting my dad at risk who is elderly (although he’d say he has the heart of a toddler) and has underlying conditions – this virus would be a death sentence for him. So I’m not sure where to go from here and how the community will change. Will it take one of them getting sick? Will it take one of their loved ones dying from the virus? Will it take seeing the exponentially growing numbers of cases in the US for them to realize the best thing we can do is stay home and not interact with anyone we don’t absolutely HAVE to? I dunno… so I’m struggling to find community right now. I’m angry. I’m incredibly disheartened and disappointed. I guess that only puts me at the second stage of grief, right? I’m hoping I (and my family and friends) will get through this somewhat unscathed, but it’ll only happen if community comes together and does what’s right for everyone. Until then… I’ll keep hoping.

Sarah
@mtns2motherhood


March 31, 2020, 8:46 a.m.

This ones a hard one for me. I feel this illness has caused me to start over in building my community in a way. It’s like when you’re at the beginning of a relationship and you’re wondering if the other person likes you.

Successes:
– went for a 6 ft Mama walk with my neighbors. It was an intense power walk and I was without the kids for a bit.
– weekly Skype calls with my sisters who are across the country.
– playing games with the  hubs and two other couples via Zoom/Skype/Messenger
– kids made cute signs to hang in the window
– we’ve been saying hi and chatting to a lot of people walking in the neighborhood.

This is the time of year we usually start BBQing with our neighbors for family dinners and I’m really missing that. I need to find a way to get some of that feeling back.

I also have a goal to do a 6ft hike with some of my friends from in the city. Maybe hit up one of those urban trails. We’ve been discovering a lot of urban wild these past weeks

Hope you are all well. Peace!

Heidi
@walking.towards.less

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