In a year with a pandemic, wildfires, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more, it can be easy to fall into despair, sadness, or anger. Even if you’re reading this years from now, things can go wrong—and they often do. People pass on, projects go under, businesses are forced to change. Part of the work of being human is reconciling with all that is beyond our control. Here’s a practical exercise to understand what’s within your control, and how to use it.
My first child was born on Mothers’ Day, 2016, the day before our anniversary. It blew me open, ripped my birth canal vagina more than I would have liked, and turned so much of my life upside down. So many of you are about to become mothers for the first, second, third time. You’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the midst of changing rules and ideas, amidst a sea of changing information. Motherhood, in many ways, feels like a pandemic. The strange thing about the last four months is this eerie sense I have that this already feels familiar. I’ve been here before. We’ve been here before.
Feeling like we can’t control the outcomes can often leave us stranded, without motivation or, not surprisingly, angry. How can we reframe those goals to reflect the things we can control? And make peace with the fact that we did everything we could, even if it doesn’t work out?