Here in California, we are back in a semi-lock down. It’s not quite as intense as it was back in the spring, but our parks are closing and the overall message is STAY HOME! Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m 100% on board with this plan. Our ICU’s beds are filling fast and I want as many people to stay safe and healthy and I will do everything I can to ensure not just my family, but our entire country stays safe. This is truly a “We’re All in This Together” moment—thank you “High School Musical.”

But, that doesn’t change the fact that I am sad—sad about plans that won’t come to fruition, sad for plans I hadn’t yet had time to make, sad that I really can’t change anything about our current Groundhog Day situation.

I had a really great idea to do a bunch of outdoor socially distanced experiences for Chanukah this year. No gifts, just quality family time at the Oakland Zoo Glowfari and other really awesome outdoor exhibits! Well, that’s canceled. We also were hoping to go camping over the holiday break. (Yes, we live in California where you can camp in December). We love camping and we love going on outdoor adventures and under the current restrictions, that is not allowed (except in our back yard).

Back in the spring, I felt like every day I would wake up with a new thought about something that I won’t be able to do or that I can’t make happen for my family and it caused this constant low-level melancholy. So, this time around, I am trying something new. I am going to actively say goodbye to future planning and expectations. Yes, folks, I am going to journal!!!! Let me be clear, I am not a journal-er. It is not in my DNA to open a beautifully bound notebook and write out all of my thoughts. All the power in the world to those of you who do that daily. My hat goes off to you…but, it hasn’t been, until now, for me.

So, I think I am going to take a page from my kids. I will be drawing, doodling, painting my plans, and drawing my expectations in stick figures and cartoons with the sophisticated medium of crayons and magic markers. But, every day, instead of waking up to low-level melancholy, I am going to make a little piece of art that represents something I would like to be able to do, but can’t. I will use the time while I am creating to say goodbye and let go of looking ahead. By letting go of expectations, I’m hoping to remind myself of the beauty of right now and living in the moment. Anyone want to join me on the “goodbye and let go” journal project? Find me on insta @creativparenting for more information. This is a grand experiment. I would love to know if it works…for you and for me!