Lil Lemon Drop

Lil Lemon Drop
Happy Clothes for Happy Kids
posts in category kindness

Monday, April 27, 2020

Nice in the time of Coronavirus

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

What if, for a just a little while, we stopped the nastiness?
I know, I know, how idealistic of me.

When all this first started and items started to disappear from the shelves people began to worry. A local citizen started up a facebook group to spread information , help people locate necessary goods, and find out when their stores were operating. Everything was changing rapidly and this group did a fantastic job of providing community members with the information they needed.

After a couple of weeks, however, it started to get a little nasty. People started posting opinions and politics and eventually it became a place I didn't want to hang out anymore. As time has gone on, the supply of most items I want has balanced out anyway. I even managed to score a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer last week!

Life goes on, even during a pandemic, and it wasn't long before the memes started. They were funny and clever and at first, poked fun at this weird situation and all the ironies we were being faced with. But they slowly began to change. Suddenly all the friendship and comraderies started to disippate, and people began moving back to their corners. Instead of honest discussions about the repercussions real people were feeling, people started name calling. It didn't seem to matter which side you were on, you were wrong in someone else's eyes. 

Worried about getting your job back or paying your bills or not losing your business? Someone had something to say about that.

Scared of being forced to work as an essential worker. Someone was mad.

Scared of getting a disease that could be deadly? Geez. Obviously the left mainstream media had you fooled.

Worried about the government using this to limit your freedom (now or in the future)? Well, you are just a dumb trumper.

Boy, this will show those dumb anti-vaxxers!

Buy an extra bag or two of flour and rice because you are worried about your next paycheck? How selfish!

I think the very, very worst I have seen is people stating, "No medical care if you go to a rally. Let all the Trump-lovers get what they deserve." And believe me, I am no Trump lover. 

The truth is, many of us fall into more than one of those categories. Some people may put all their trust in the government and feel very secure with shutdowns. Others may remember governments of the past centuries and be very scared. The truth is, there can be unintended consequences and fallouts from ANYTHING, and we still don't have all the answers. 

And no matter which side you fall on and who you believe, your feelings are valid, and your thoughts  might be very real. We don't know how this will play out. We don't know know how long it will last, how severe it will be if it returns, if they will find a vaccine which works effectively. We don't know if governments and private corporations will take advantage of this to gather more control.

On top of all of these unknowns, everything in life has shifted. The smiling face at Walgreens is now behind a plastic partition and ugly blue mask. Every one in the store looks warily at everyone else, and people move away from others. I greeted a fellow teacher as we passed outside the school building a month ago, and while he smiled, he also moved a few steps away from me. It is hard not to take it personally when a person steps away as if you are diseased or dangerous. The Karen in me isn't used to this! I'll reach to grab a can of corn, and someone turns to look, and I think, "Oh my God, I am in their space." Yesterday, I witnessed one older gentleman reach out to another other man, knowing he was of the same political persuasion and say, "I am not afraid to shake your hand." As we stared in horror, the second gentleman smiled and said, "That's okay, I was just about to wash my hands, anyway."


This is not normal. None of this is normal. And to have every little aspect of life turned upside down and for how long, we don't know, is really hard. And to start splitting it into partisan ideals is just too distressing.

And I just wish, we could all listen a little harder. I wish we could listen to the scientists, consider the politicians, and accept our neighbor. I wish we didn't need to prove a point, by being gleeful at the thought of protesters getting sick, and I wish we would not reach out and shake a 74-year-old man's hand right now to prove a political point.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Inner Critic

Image result for shame




"Imagine having a friend who always made you feel bad about yourself because every time they came over they told you what was wrong with you." That loosely quoted quote came from my morning motivational series on discouragement.

I have been discouraged! Anxious. Stressed.

I realize a great deal of this comes from my own perfectionistic tendencies. I apply these to myself as well as others. I think part of me sometimes feels there is a positive proactivism in being perfectionistic and that in harshly holding myself in line, I will become the better person I want to be.

As we know, though, the inner critic, often backfires when it is too harsh, too unaccepting. Wisdom tells us we will let ourselves down. I will make a snarky comment without forethought, or a customer will be disappointed because they didn't read all the available information. My natural tendency is to jump harshly on myself. Rude comment? Welp. That's it. Noone will ever like me. Angry customer? Welp. I suck. Why on Earth would I think I could run a business? And I feel this shame over myself.

But Gosh darn! Enough already. The anxiety riding in my belly this week, requiring me to rely on Benadryl to relax into sleep and to wake up in a slight fog is just so absurd.

I made a snarky comment. Most people will know that snarky comment is a reflection on me and my insecurities. Other people make snarky comments all the time. That doesn't mean I should just not care what I say. But rather, the moment has passed, and I need to let it dissipate, and move on.

My unhappy customers? Well, on the one hand, it was spelled out clearly on the item page when shipment would come. Shipment has been slightly delayed due to issues with the supplier and a health scare, but not significantly so. However, as the seller, I have to realize people probably don't take the time to read all the information carefully. I have to either not presell, or make it very clear along with a follow-up email offering a timeline and a way out.
I have to LEARN from this, not throw in the towel in shame and discouragement.

I believe in the inner critic. I believe in holding ourselves accountable and pushing ourselves onto higher moral and professional grounds. However, the inner critic has to also be loving. The inner critic has to offer proactive help, not helpless disappointment. Working towards kinder thoughts and words is always a good thing, but allowing myself understanding and the ability to occasionally screw up is required. I don't know anything about running a business. I have so many things to be proud of including the signs showing that I am on the verge of beginning to figure how to make it profitable. That's a huge leap since we really started up last July. I am becoming more knowledgable and competent all the time.

I need to recognize and realize those accomplishments. I need to continue to work towards giving myself grace and mercy. I don't HAVE to punish myself, just as I don't have to punish others when they let me down (or make the occasional snarky comment-although, I wonder, if my quest to become the loving and sweet Melanie Wilkes, if I will make myself into the most boring person on the planet. Time will tell, I guess). I think that is the balance I struggle with. I spent years self-repressing and hiding because I didn't trust myself, and as I have struggled to break free from those self-imposed prisons, I tend to sway when I make mistakes and upset others. It's a process I suppose.

On a side note, we talked briefly of out-of-body experiences and life after death in the office yesterday, and I was so happy. I think of these things all the time, and it is so fun when other people join in!



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