Sandy Klein

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. – Harvey Mackay

How much courage does it take to say those three words. Weekend anxiety because a teacher hurriedly entered 00% instead of 100% and suddenly your failing a class. You spend the weekend completely stressed out. Emailing a teacher who isn’t working the weekend. Then the phone rings on Monday afternoon and it’s the kindest most gracious and apologetic teacher ever. Because that teacher made a mistake. It’s so hard to admit when your wrong.

This situation gives us so much to think about. How much anxiety built up focusing on imaginary mistakes and what if’s. How much anxiety do we put kids through by assuming poor intentions or not listening. How often do we fail them by failing to admit why we are wrong when the are right?

We assume we know what is right for them. We assume that our vision for their lives are the right ones. Parents we are wrong. We should not be making assumptions about our kids. Instead we must listen to them and help them in forging their future and when necessary admitting their mistakes.

I’m thankful for a teacher today who picks up the phone to apologize to a 15 year old and admit grownups get in a hurry and mess up to. I am not the keeper of my kids destiny. I’m simply a guardian to guide them into independence. My greatest measurement of success as a parent will be when my children are grown, living happy lives, being content and happy I their careers, loving whoever God leads them to love, and understanding they are worthy of great things.

I believe Covid has won. Covid has won because we have given up. We have waived the white flag. We don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’ve lost our empathy.

Americans say it’s ok to take the weak. Americans say it’s ok if my neighbor dies. Americans say I’m ok if my kid gets sick. Americans say we accept the risk. JUST DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!

Covid has beaten 427,635 Americans. Today Covid stole the last breath of 3,895 Americans.

In 2019…

78 children died of Covid. That leaves 156 grieving parents and countless grieving siblings and extended family. Plus young children who have lost a friend or classmate. Those 78 dead children will never have kids of their own. 78 children whose parents can’t kiss goodnight. I ask you, if it’s your child that dies would you regret team sports and kids clubs? Most will say it’s only 78. If it’s your kid it’s your whole world.

510 teens and young adults died. Those are 510 people that maybe never graduated from high school or college. 1020 grieving parents and countless grieving siblings and extended family. Maybe they even left young children without their parent. 510 dreams extinguished. Who would they have been? Doctors, Rockstars, maybe investors or the person who would have cured cancer. I ask you if your kid dies will you regret demanding maskless sports, in person learning, and a teens right to party?

62,326 Americans age 24-64 died. Parents, spouses, siblings, teachers, coaches, coworkers. 62,326 lost paychecks supporting their family. 62,326 empty seats at the kitchen table. I ask you if you can’t pay your bills because your spouse has died or your raising your kids through the death of their parent, will you regret demanding the right never to wear a mask?

266,647 Americans over age 65 died. Our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. The leaders of our families. The holders of our history. I ask you if it’s your elderly beloved family member, would you still be ok with saying Covid only kills old people?

I ask you how you would feel if you were caught in the middle. If you or your loved one is one of the 50% of people who have lingering symptoms of covid for months after your sick. 12.5 million people who didn’t die, but who aren’t healthy. If your husband didn’t die but lays in a bed in a coma. The teenager who got covid from the football team and who now can’t pass the cardiac exam to make the basketball team. If your walking around your house now with an oxygen tank unable to work or support your family.

Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tell me to wear a mask. You can’t make me get a vaccine. I’m not going to tell you where Ive been. Don’t tell the coach you’ve got covid. You can’t make me quarantine. I have rights.

Yes we all have rights. No I don’t believe the government should have to tell me to wear a mask. No I don’t believe the government should make vaccines a law.

However… If you won’t wear a mask, maybe you don’t have a right to a hospital bed. If you won’t wear a mask perhaps you don’t have rights to a ventilator. I mourn those that have died. I mourn the loss of life and the loss of quality of life. I mourn the loss of empathy and compassion.

Lives lost in comparison:

  • 291,557 WWII
  • 214,938 Civil War
  • 53,402 WWI
  • 47,424 Vietnam War
  • 33,686 Korean War
  • 5,669 Iraq/Afghanistan

I have anxiety, and that is ok to talk about. I have talked about our families struggle with anxiety, but never my own. This has been a very hard week for me, and I think probably a lot of other people. So I wanted to talk a little bit about my own struggle with anxiety. It’s probably something I’ve had my entire life, as I always use to throw up on the first day of school, but it isn’t something that I really had an awareness for until later in my life.

I remember having a true anxiety attack the week I moved from South Dakota to Arizona. It felt like I was having a heart attack, and I was driving. I pulled over on the side of the road, reclined my chair, and just took some deep breaths and it passed. I reasoned with myself that a heart attack wouldn’t have just stopped, and once I felt better I went about my life. Looking back at the feelings and the situation, with all I’ve learned about anxiety through Brooklyn, I understand now that it was probably an anxiety attack. A lot was going on. I had lived in SD for a year and a half, my life was great in SD and so was my job, and I accepted a a transfer to Arizona. It was the second time in two years that I was moving multiple states by myself. I was taking a chance on myself and that is scary.

The second time I remember really struggling was when we were planning our wedding. September 11th happened and we were getting married November 24th. I became completely overwhelmed. We had people doubting our marriage because we were engaged 5 months after meeting (married 19 years this month so we showed them), and guests coming in from across the country. It was the first time I ever talked to a doctor about feeling anxious, and the doctor gave me an anxiety medication for the 30 days leading up to our wedding. I stopped the medication as soon as the wedding chaos was over, and I felt normal again.

Lexi Rose

When Lexi was born I had post partum depression. I think it’s probably the only time in my life I have experienced depression, and looking back now I’m glad I went through that. Glad because it helps me to better understand when the people around me are going through it. I remember so vividly just crying all the time. Crying in my room. Crying when Adam had to go to work. I just cried. I wasn’t sad. I had experienced tremendous sadness over the lost of our first child prior, and this was so different. It was a total hormonal emotional response. I never felt angry, or violent, or like hurting myself or anyone. I just simply cried and felt sad while at the same time I was so happy being a mom. For anyone going through post partum depression you aren’t crazy. You feel like your crazy being so sad but so happy all at the same time. Talk to your doctor, because they can help you. I did not go through that when I had Brooklyn. It was only with Lexi’s pregnancy.

I began taking a low dose medication a few years ago for anxiety when the girls health issues became overwhelming, and after I had to return to workout away from home full time. I was sitting in my doctor’s office for a yearly checkup, and she asked how my family was. I started talking, and suddenly I was crying and crying and you get the point. She recommended I take something, I argued that I didn’t need it, she told me to give it 30 days, and several years later I continue to take that same low does. I want to acknowledge that it’s ok to have help when life is hard. Over the years some times have been harder then others, but overall I’ve been able to manage pretty well. I think a large part of that is because I recognize when I begin to feel overwhelmed with life. I’ve learned to slow down and that I don’t have to always be there for everyone. It’s ok to put away the phone, even for a weekend, and just be present with the people in your house. It’s ok not to engage in the text conversation that your besties are having. You don’t have to put on a smile and perform for the world. It’s important to talk to your spouse and your friends so that you have someone to share with. I also acknowledge tough days to my kids, because they need to know that its ok to talk about their tough days.

The Journey

Life is hard right now for a lot of us. I will do separate blogs about the effects of COVID and politics on my mental health. I just wanted you to know that if you are struggling you are not alone. If sometimes you cry in your closet you are not alone. If sometimes you want to yell at the world for no reason you are not alone. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Acknowledge your hurt and talk to someone. Last night I turned my light out at 8pm, told my teenagers goodnight, and made sure I got a good nights sleep. This morning I woke up and realized that I needed the simple joy that friends bring to my live, and I invited our quarantine squad over to sit around the firepit. Surrounding myself with the people I love, dogs, and puppies are just want my heart needs to refuel. Find what refuels your heart, and then don’t be ashamed when you need to slow down and recharge.

Love yourself. Love God.

Sandy

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