Creating a Gap Plan

I looked at the case numbers today and my state is ranked 10th in per capita Covid cases in the U.S.  Not a place where anyone wants to make the top ten. The county next door has the third highest rate for counties in Kansas and I can only assume that my county is headed on a similar upward trend. 

Starting Monday we begin the third stretch of remote schooling since the pandemic started. And it’s stressful to think of trying to work full-time and teach full-time while staying sane. Gratefully I have a partner who will share the responsibility of virtual school, but the truth is, our family functions better when there is in-person school. It’s good for all our mental health.

What to do now?  I keep thinking back to an episode from Brene’ Brown on her podcast Unlocking Us {found here} that introduced to me the concept of creating a Family Gap Plan.  Basically she outlines creating a plan for handling situations when we’re feeling stressed and run ragged and can’t show up in a relationship with 50% of the needed energy for the relationship.  I love that she says “strong, lasting relationships are rarely 50/50 because life does not work that way.”  Sometimes I have 20 and my partner picks up the 80 and vice versa.  But the pandemic has made it so there are days where each of us shows up with only 20 and we have a gap of 60 and that’s where the Family Gap Plan comes in.

Brene’ talks about sleep and movement, how to apologize, and puns and knock knock jokes as part of her Family Gap Plan.  My Family Gap Plan includes sleep, walks, saying “no,” letting go of perfectionism, and movie nights with frozen pizza.  The plan is still a work in progress but in the last few months I have taken myself off several volunteer boards, reduced my work hours and prioritized sleep and exercise.  And today I will be stocking up on frozen pizza because next week when I am trying to work full time, educate my kids at home, and show up as a therapist/business owner/wife/mom/daughter/sister/friend I know I will need to access my gap plan.

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