• Fast Track News, Nov. 27

    Hello Wonderful Families,

    Well, we’re here. The last month of the memorable 2020. We’re officially in the holiday season of our Covid adventures. Navigating the next few weeks means different things to different people, but all of us will no doubt encounter yet more changes in a year laden with change. Guest homeschool writer Liz Bolton shares an essay on the beauty and the cost of change in the life of a parent.

     

    (Tips of the Week included at the end.) 

     

    From Liz Bolton:

    This month I wanted to write something about change—about how Covid has changed us, but change can be good. I thought about all the things I’d point to, like how sometimes change means we’re cranky with the people we love, but we come through it and we’re stronger. I’d end with a happy note, and we’d all get to eat some leftover turkey.

     

    But the truth is every time I try to compare the experiences I’m having this year with things I’ve already experienced, I come up short. It doesn’t feel similar to the big moments of change in my life—moving across the world; switching careers; becoming a parent. Change is transformative. We know that it’s hard, but we also know, even in the midst of it, that we’ll come out the other side wiser; we know that the journey through change is an adventure, and that we’ll look back on it with a sense of pride, with a little smile of self-satisfaction. No, the year of Covid hasn’t primarily been about change for me. It’s been about grief. It feels most like those times when I’ve lost someone—but in this case, the person I’ve lost is myself. I couldn’t have said this a year ago, but I was still sort of pretending to be a grownup. Covid aged me. Covid has made adulting feel real, and almost impossible—not just sometimes, but most days. It’s not that homeschooling, or working, or chasing after a toddler aren’t challenging in their own right; they are. But they’re manageable. It’s the backdrop of isolation, of not knowing when I’ll see my parents again, of island fever times a thousand—that’s the part that makes this all so hard.

     

    And yet. On Thanksgiving we got a message that someone we know had died after a long illness. I thought about his wife, sitting alone in their house, and it occurred to me that it was not only the beginning of her grief—it was also a change. Sometimes, the two are linked: the mourning comes out of this transition, and perhaps sparks more change. Some days the grief will keep you in bed, but other days the current of change will pull you to your feet.

     

    So what if I start thinking about this year differently? Not only to remember that my family is fortunate to be healthy and employed, to be supported in our homeschooling and in our community, but to recognize that it’s okay to struggle in spite of all this relative good fortune? And what if I try harder to honor this strange Covid year? To give myself credit for waking up in the morning and feeding my children, for reading a book together when everything else feels too hard, for saying I’m sorry when I get frustrated and hurt their feelings, but not apologizing when they catch me with tears in my eyes? Accepting this year for what it is doesn’t deny the loss of what used to be, or the sadness about what might have been. It’s just the closest I can get to adulthood.                     Written by : Liz Bolton, Ketchikan

     

    TIPS OF THE WEEK:

    Today- One of our families alerted me to the Black Friday Sale on, “Reading Eggs Plus Math Seeds.” The subscription is only $45.00 for the year. Just go to the Reading Eggs website.

     

    Service Projects: Don’t forget that the Ketchikan Pioneer Home and our Long Term Care unit at the hospital welcome homemade entertainment videos from our students. Get creative, get silly, and send video postcards to the following program managers:

    Pioneer Home (Alma Parker) : alma.parker@alaska.gov

    New Horizons, Long-term Care, Ketchikan Peace Health (Marguerite Auger)  : mauger@peacehealth.org

    Youth  in Art  Exhibit -  a special community show which includes FastTrack student work, can be found online at www.ketchikanarts.org.  It opens this evening at 5 pm. 

    Be WELL. Don't hesitate to call us with any question. Sincerely, Ms. Lori and Fast Track staff