For starters, we are all feeling bloody emotional. Our level of calm and collected differs from breezy and bolshy to hysterical while still putting one foot in front of the other. There are great societal shifts towards proactivity and positivity and then there are despairing dementors sucking the life out of us all. And none of us in our quest for normality are bad or should be hit with the kindness shaming stick when we all inevitably have our Corona meltdowns.
This week I have witnessed the most phenomenal resilience from our early years sector and an intense passion to be out "there" defeating the many challenges and obstacles that come our way. The thing that blows my mind and it shouldn't because it has always been the heart of the early years is that the child's physical and emotional needs are being discussed in tandem. It isn't enough for us to just keep them physically safe and alive, we need to protect where we can their hearts and souls (and our own). After a zoom meeting with #EYMatters yesterday, I went off for a cry to process the magnitude of the situation and to acknowledge my sorrow and unease at the deepening vulnerabilities. But I also cried because the early years sector still speaks with such optimism and a "what next?" attitude. For anyone who knows us in the early years, we have to put up with a lot of shit (I am swearing my way through corona because it is exceptional circumstances) and this feels no different. But...something else has played on my mind this week...
We need to be allowed to have the occasional blow out and we need to forgiven. We are going through a lot and we are managing our own fragility and vulnerability. And when we have our moments, we need to feel safe in the knowledge that our sector will look out for each other, we will help contain each others emotions and we won't add to each other's emotional burden by making each other feel worse than we already do.
We need to stop, tune-in and recognise that other people's actions are an expression of a very complex feeling/thought process (starting with WTF). I have certainly seen sides of myself this last few weeks that I do not recognise and I have judged others who have never really stood out to me before. Just today I had a burning rage because someone sent me a horrid email and I drafted an equally horrible response before realising - this is not us. We are saturated with stress already and so I suppose this little rant is to say that kindness isn't about emotional and behavioural perfection, the trait painfully curated and pushed by social media. It is about taking a moment to realise that we are all deep down giant toddlers who are a bit scared, a lot confused and desperately seeking to be understood. We can choose to react with contempt at each other failings or we see that our loss of proximity and safety is compromised and we just need an unfiltered moment.
Just to finish, I am sorry if this triggers anyone and my opinion is one of many. But thats what it is...an opinion. It is my corona meltdown...And now I am off to shave my head and eat lots of vegan cheese burgers a la Britney.