What Minnows Have in Common with a Global Pandemic

“I was scared of the minnows.”

“You were scared of minnows?”

“Yes. They are scary when you don’t know what they are.”

On our last trip to the beach, I overheard the above conversation between my 11-year-old son and my 20-something-year-old daughter.

What Minnows Have in Common with a Global Pandemic

It occurred right as the word was spreading that we might be on the verge of a global pandemic. I found the conversation so profound that I wrote it down in my journal of notes.

Now an adult, my daughter has been to the beach many times and is not afraid of minnows. She knows what they are. She also has the experience to back up her belief that they are harmless.

Nick, on the other hand, is only 11 and has been to the beach maybe a handful of times. Maybe he has seen minnows before, but not enough to know immediately that there is nothing to fear.

In the following weeks, we learned that we were indeed experiencing a worldwide pandemic. The first in our lifetime– unless you are 100 years old– and it is very scary.

Things are always scary when we know nothing about the circumstances, and worse- when we have no experience, no frame of reference, and seemingly nowhere to go to get truly concrete answers – because all of the questions just simply cannot be answered right now.

All of us have had different reactions to what is going on right now. No matter what you believe, the only thing that can probably truly give us comfort is concrete answers, and we just have to wait for that.

Like many of you, I was in a kind of stupor over the last two months. Not quite frozen, but close. It is difficult to see tomorrow when you are so unsure of today. Some of us aren’t even showering regularly because we are in such a funk. I see your posts!

We do not have all the answers, but if you are reading this you are alive. And you are breathing. And you have just a little free time to work on you.

What have you always wanted to do? Maybe this is the time to do that.

There are lots of cool things going on right now. For example, Babble is currently free for all students. There is also has an opportunity to take your first lesson free if you are not a student. Have you ever wanted to learn a different language? What about writing that book you have been talking about? What is it that you have always wanted to do? Write it down. Put it on a sticky note. Hang it by your bed. Every day take a step towards making this happen. It doesn’t have to be a huge step, but you must take a step. This is actually the perfect time.

Nothing gives you hope like working towards a goal. Nothing gives you hope, like tomorrow.

Right now, right after you finish reading this, make a schedule, to-do list, or just make yourself a note. It does not have to be fancy.

Set one big goal and some small steps to start moving towards that goal. Every day does something to get closer to that goal. This will help you feel more connected to yourself and the world because it will give you normalcy.

Get up.

Get moving.

Make you a priority.

Plus, a good shower helps you feel better.

It is time alone.

It renews you.

It gives you time to think and helps you feel recharged.

Like there will be a tomorrow.

Because there will be a tomorrow.

Let’s learn something new. Let’s plan for not just tomorrow but for your book release next year or your trip abroad where you will be able to fluently ask where the nearest restroom is. This is the best we can do during a time of such great uncertainty. Focus on what you can do, not what you cannot. Develop your frame of reference. Become invincible. Whenever we all emerge from this cocoon together– you will be ready.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All ten of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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