I find myself thinking lately about when my kids were toddlers, I would use a simple tool to calm myself down before I would respond or move forward. Every time I felt my anxiety, sadness or frustration with them starting to build; I would stop and drink a glass of water before answering questions or reacting to the situation at hand.

It was a way to invite a pause with an action that served me both in the short and long run. Lately, I’ve been reflecting how I’ve started to do this again on the daily. It’s funny how it seems to solve many of my concerns during these pandemic days:

Should I try to run around as fast as I can to get the most possible done in the 4 allotted hours I have to work? Just add water.

After that water, I was able to make a priority list, did my best, and caused no harm.

Lately, with the way things are going, it doesn’t feel sustainable for much longer. Will I be able to emotionally manage these high and lows? Will I eventually get used to it? Just add water.

After that water, I’m able to take a moment to appreciate the highs, and brainstorm new ways to manage the lows. Looking around me, the best word I have to describe the situation is ‘grateful’; I’m grateful for what I have and I am beyond thankful to live where I do.

Am I on my third cup of coffee already? Just add water – not to the coffee, but for every cup you drink; follow it up with a tall glass of water. We remind our kids of how healthy it is to drink water, we water our plants when they’re thirsty… so why do we often forget to fuel our bodies with something that we know and understand is so essential?

Honestly – it’s so easy to forget to take care of even the most essential of things when the world feels like such a mess. We’ve been forced to adapt, and it’s important to realize that change is hard. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed by it all.

Since mid-March, the Schoolhouse has been through a whirlwind of changes. We’ve pivoted our business to continue to serve you, our valued customers, in new and innovative ways. It feels a lot like it did during our first few years of business.

We were always chasing after it and trying to keep up, instead of actually managing things strategically. I cannot possibly fathom how many spreadsheets of scenarios and forecasts I’ve completed trying to predict where we should be focusing our energy and priorities over these past six months. Six months! How has it been six months?!

Phew. I have to remember, in moments like these… just add water.

Here at the Schoolhouse, it amazes us all how seamlessly our loyal customers moved to place orders in the online shop – we are beyond grateful for every single one of you who has shown up for us. We’re touched that you have decided to make us a part of your regular grocery budget. It floored us to see the your support and regular purchases continuing to come in.

Before, we only really saw them through our relationships with retail partners and direct customer connections at the Farmers’ Market.

We recently took our annual summer break during the first week of August. Hard to believe we actually made it! We managed operations from March 15 right up until our summer break. The vacation was awesome, but also… different from what you might expect. We had 3-day weekends at the beginning and at the end of our vacation time. Everything we hoped to get out of summer, happened on those days.

Laughter, sandy toes, sunshine, delicious
food, connection, reflection and an overall sense of gratefulness for everything that we have. However, in the middle, things were a bit bumpy. Mid-week during the vacation (Tuesday to Thursday), it felt like everyone in our house was screaming for summer to just be over. The need for routine started to feel desperate. Of course, it passed in the end.

I couldn’t help but notice that even on
vacation, with the pressure of work lifted, we still had to face extreme ups and downs. When it was all over, I asked myself: “Do I need to think differently about vacations now, that we are spending so much time together?”. I don’t quite know the answer, but it makes me think about the fact that, next time I plan a vacation – I should ask myself the same question. And, just add water.

Another hurdle we’re facing – the decision for our family of whether or not to put our kids back in school. It feels like a giant cloud that keeps following us around.

Again, we have no idea what the right answer will be for our family. As of today, we have decided to commit to being there on Tuesday. September 8. However, we cannot seem to get ourselves to commit to much more than to that day or perhaps just that week. We’ll see what that week brings; whether or not we all feel comfortable with this new reality.

The need to always have a back up plan is the thunder, and the idea of going back to school is the lightning in my cloud. It feels like I keep going back and forth on a decision. If I dwell too much on the ‘what ifs’, I feel overwhelmed. Anxious and exhausted by the idea. If I consider all the back-up plans that I need/want to have in place, I start to go a little crazy.

And then I remind myself to just add water.

September is going to be exhausting for every single member of our family. We need to talk more about how we can support one another, find time to listen to our concerns, to just be gentle and forgiving. No matter what happens, we’ll be okay. We’ll figure it out. We always do. We’ll remember to celebrate the little moments, and will… just add water.

If you are out there feeling all the feels about this fresh start, I hear you. Sometimes, you just need someone to say “It’s okay. I’m struggling, too. I’m right here with you”.

If you need someone to validate your grief, rage, sadness, pity, fear, panic, boredom,
depression or anger… I got you. It’s equally okay to be feeling a strong sense of hope and excitement, as well. All feelings are valid.

These are all the long-term side effects of the consistent ups and downs we’ve been experiencing over these past six months – with potentially no end in sight. Is this sustainable? Maybe not, but we’ll adapt.
Instead of dwelling on it too much, I’ll… just add water.

Onward and up,

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