photo credit: Claudia Barbosa/Pexels
Last week, we saw politicians across the country lose their quests for state and federal positions. When they decided that their campaign season was over, they got to make a call: “I concede.”
When is your season over? And who do you call to concede defeat?
You win, pandemic! You win, 24 hour news cycle! You win, campaign ads!
You win, uncertainty.
I give up. I want to concede. Who do I call?
One of my favorite jobs before becoming a psychologist was as a computer consultant. I got invited into people’s homes to address their inflamed relationships with technology, accessing the “World Wide Web” and learning how to send an “E-Mail.” (This was the mid 90’s.)
I was basically a fireman. I would get the call, rush over, put out the fire, and leave.
I chose to upgrade to a career in psychology because I was ready to do more than put out fires. I was ready to become the person you call when you concede.
I was ready to shift to the role of companion and guide. I knew that the struggles in my own life would parallel my clients’ lives: how to raise healthy, happy kids; to keep marriages thriving; and to find balance.
I knew that I needed to be honest and authentic, and to take care of myself in order to continue showing up for others. I didn’t know then that a pandemic would test us all as much as it has.
For me, surviving the last few weeks felt like witnessing a slow-moving car crash with a soundtrack of collision and screeching tires.
Everything was off. I lost sleep. I fought to keep up the routines that I use to keep myself grounded like meditation, running, and eating well.
The families that rely on me also reached their breaking point.
In the last few weeks, they ran out of:
- to deescalate another child who is freaking out over homework
- to create structure when everyone is home ALL DAY every day
- to scrape another set of eyeballs off the screen when their child is only trying to connect with their friends
- to reassure their kids that this will all turn out OK
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If you thought the last few months were out of control, the last few weeks have sped us all toward the edge of the cliff.
In March, the pandemic added an extra demand on our lives, like it dropped off a toddler on our doorstep. We spent the last few months learning how to manage an occasionally cranky houseguest as we navigated this journey of uncertainty.
But, in the past few weeks, it feels like that houseguest turned into a five-year-old practicing violin 24/7. It became excruciating. Just brutal.
Parents tell me, “It’s too much” to hold it together for their kids. They are ready to give up.
When there is no end in sight, what other choice do you have but to concede?“
Fine,” they say to the pandemic or politics or their impossible-to-do-from-home job. “I give up. I concede. Who do I call?”
I am the person you can call.
I work with families to slow down, to create structure, to manage screen time, and to yell less. There is always a way. I can help you find it.
When you feel like you live inside an immersion blender, you don’t have any choice but to hang on, to survive.
I will stand by you and make sense of the whirlwind. We sort out what you can change and what you need to accept. Once we get that sorted out, we make a plan for your next step.
I’m not going to pep-talk you, even though it sounds like that is what a Positive Psychologist is supposed to do. I have the tools to help you slow down the dizzying pace of your life.
When you are ready to concede, you can call me.
I will help you find a way.
I can lend you some of my hope. Not sunshine-and-roses optimism. I can lend you hope because I believe in your mission. Your family needs you. And we need more families to provide the stability and positivity that kids need to thrive.
You’re not in this alone. We all need you to succeed.