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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.

 


 

Same Storm, Different Boats

By Cristina Stanger, Self-Advocacy Liaison, WRFN
*This article was originally published in the Family Pulse Newsletter August 2021*

 

Along with pandemic catch-phrases like ‘pivot’ and ‘seven day rolling average’, we often hear the phrase “we are all in this together” - which I agree with, it is an important, community-minded sentiment. But I also felt that it never quite captured the whole picture. Yes, we are all navigating pandemic life, together, as a society, as a community, and many of these strange pandemic experiences are shared. But we navigate the pandemic as individuals as well, the lived experience of the pandemic, as a whole, will be quite different from person to person. Various factors will significantly impact our overall experience: introvert or extrovert; empty nesters, or family with young children; frontline worker, laid off, or working from home; living alone, living with others, or living in a congregate setting; family member with exceptional needs, or living with high risk health conditions. So many different aspects are at play, and throughout the pandemic you have had to make decisions about what you need, what you are comfortable with, and what makes the most sense for you and those you love, in the context of important public health guidelines.
 
This spring, I saw some messaging from the famed Ottawa Public Health social media outreach: “We may be in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat. It’s okay not to be okay, help is available.” {Twitter, Mar 5, 2021} Same storm, different boats: for me, this finally encapsulated what I had been unable to explain before. Together, as a community, we weather this pandemic storm; each of us riding out the storm in our own unique boats. And, I find this especially helpful to remember as we edge our way back toward life as-it-once-was, because lately I find myself drawn toward comparison: So-and-so is doing this now, should I be doing that too? It is easy to get caught up in what others are doing, when we are unsure of what we want our own approach to be. But I am in my boat, and I have to make my own decisions about how to sail it.
 
So sail your boat as best you can, ask for help when needed, and we will see each other again on the other side of the storm.

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