Turning 101.

“You go through life wondering what is it all about but at the end of the day it’s all about family.”

Rod Stewart

Dear Friends,

Lately I have been getting migraines every week. On Fridays. Until Sunday. Every week.

I think I know why… I mean, I do know why. Lack of sleep. Constant stress. Anxiety. Parenting. Over-working. Eating pure junk.

The illusion of time but in reality, no time.

Have you heard the Interrupting Cow joke? It’s one of my daughter’s favorite, but this week my friend Lizzy brought it up because it represented her experience while dancing. I think many of us can relate:

Person 1: Knock Knock.

Person 2: Who’s there?

Person 1: Interrupting Cow.

Person 2: Interrupting C… (“MOOOOOO,” interjects Person 1)

I hope you got it. I realize as I type that it’s a little hard to emphasize the punchline in writing, but I think you get the point.

10 weeks in and I don’t know why I feel so unproductive. My house is a disaster of post its and toys and papers and clutter, and the only real housework that gets done is laundry these days. I spend a part of each day just putting out fires between my easily irritated kids and trying to get them to finish their work. I am forcing myself into working too much and I’m exhausted.

Here’s a Tiktok video I made describing a week in my life if I did NOT nag my kids all the time:

But all joking aside, there’s no other feeling at this exact moment except, “I am sad.”

Yesterday was my grandmother’s 101th birthday and my heart is longing to see my family. You know, really see them and have our sleepovers like we used to do once a month. I want to give my grandmother a hug. I want my girls to give her a hug. I want to celebrate together, in person, not over a Zoom call.

As the tears roll down my face as I write this, I know it’s a combination of it being late at night and being exhausted, plus hating my migraines that have haunted me all my life, plus the reality that we have no answers as to when’s the next time I CAN see and hug my family.

Today, I am allowing myself to just share my hurt with all of you. Because it really does hurt. My heart, physically aches.

And I know you understand that ache too.

This past week, we raised $676 for such a great cause, Family Reach, a non-profit that helps cancer patients financially, and we danced to celebrate Laura Holmes Haddad’s Golden Anniversary and her 5th year of remission from Stage IV breast cancer. Thank you so much to all that attended and donated!

This week, please join me again on Wednesday at 4:30pm PST for another donation class to raise money for The Hivery In SF and Marin, started by Grace Kraaijvanger, which is a collaborative, creative, and inclusive coworking space elevating the voices of women.

Thank you in advance for your community spirit and support!

I am accepting the things that are out of my control and embracing the things that are in my control.

I am reminding myself that health and safety is what is priority right now, and I am grateful that my parents are healthy and able to take care of my grandmother. In the big picture, I know we are so fortunate, in so many big and little ways.

Everyday I ask my girls to give me 4 hugs. It’s from a song by Charlotte Diamond called, “Four Hugs a Day” that I used to sing as an elementary school teacher. My girls always forget. Sometimes I do. But I think it’s super important.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

Family Therapist, Virginia Satir

As we enter into week 11 and the end of May, if you are doing shelter-in-place with someone else, will you join me and try to give and receive four hugs each day? I think that sounds like a good plan. Accept what is out of our control, and embrace what is in our control.

Hugs are definitely in our control.

Love,

Grace

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