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A Dose of Your Own Medicine

Have you ever heard the token phrases

“Practice what you preach”

“A dose of your own medicine”

“Don’t be hasty with your words”

Iler Woods taking time to tend to the garden

Well, I experienced this first hand this week. Since August, I have been writing blog after blog, and enjoying the small moments in our home. I have had time to recenter, reevaluate, realign our beliefs, what is important to our family, and how to simplify our lives.

Then, came the stark reality of our current professions

“On Feb. 15, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) announced that L.A. County has reached the threshold that allows elementary schools – TK-6 – to reopen for in-person instruction.”

One would think I would be jumping for joy. We are moving forward, life is going to go back to normal, everything is moving in a positive direction. However, I will be completely transparent with you. . . My stomach dropped when I read the email and I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness.

Iler Girls- 8 years ago

My brain didn’t want to think creatively again or how to yet again “Reimagine learning.” All I could think of was that my time with my family was quickly coming to an end. This might sound dramatic, because there have been highs and lows of distance learning. It has not been easy for these past 11 months.

However, there have been some incredible accomplishments and life lessons learned while I have been home with my family. I know which daughter can rise to the occasion to make meals for us when we are bustling to get onto zoom, I know which daughter can treat any medical emergency without fainting, I also know which family member can remain calm in the most uncertain of times. I have also seen incredible growth in both of my children with perseverance, flexibility, and empathy.

I have enjoyed my lunchtime walks and bike rides, the race to get to the Meadow when we are off of zoom, and the lookout to take out “Buddy” the squirrel so he doesn’t eat our vegetable garden.

So, moving forward, I took some time to read my own blog posts. Scott even jokingly said, “You really provide great advice for others. Maybe take some time to read and listen to your own posts.”

Reluctantly, I found a common thread in all of the pieces “embracing change, having multiple perspectives, avoiding complacency and moving forward.”

Ahh, that taboo word called CHANGE. There have been so many times that I have not wanted to change. I know we all can think about different times in our lives when we really wished we could freeze time. I like to tell the girls that “when the stars align” it is a special gift. Cherish it and store it in your heart. In some ways, the stars did align in the past year.

I was able to spend time with my husband, I was able to have lunch with my children, I was able to make breakfasts for my children. .. all of these small daily moments were unheard of when Scott and I bustled to work early every morning. I don’t even think I could recall what my girls were wearing to school, because we were always in such a rush to get out the door to early meetings and work responsibilities.

So, where do we go from here? I know that I have to move forward, but how do I hold onto those moments and realigned values that we were able to solidify in this pandemic?

I think this is the part where we truly have to think long and hard.

  1. Balance of work and home life

  2. Saying No doesn’t have to be negative

  3. Committing to personal and/or family time

Our country has historically not been a place that embraces rest and relaxation. Immediate results, immediate gratification, bigger is better, work life over personal life.

As we shift gears back into a “new normal,” I truly hope that society doesn’t quickly forget what we have lost and what we have gained in this pandemic.

Relationships, personal connection, self worth, valuing each other.

So, as I go back into the realm of a brick and mortar classroom, I have realigned values and goals. I know one year later what is truly important.

Hold on to the ones you love most. . .

Challenge yourself: Don’t slip back into what life used to be like. Use your new strengths and talents to move forward. The world will thank you for it.

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