Take What You Need Now

I haven’t seen baby wipes or toilet paper at any local store in days. Never mind Clorox wipes. 

I’m starting to forget what it’s like to see people shopping with baskets, not just carts.

As the hoarding continues and as the unknown lingers, there’s the impulse to take everything we think we could ever possibly need.

I get it. It feels like there is so much to do, so much to account for, so much to worry over.

There’s advice, shouting, and shaming swirling around on the Internet. And through the speaker on my phone (hi, Mom!).

But the truth is we don’t know what we’ll need in the future. This isn’t the time to worry about having it all figured out.

Put your five-year plan away for today. Don’t let something 10 or 20 years on the horizon cause you additional stress. Know that you probably do have exactly enough toilet paper.

Instead, take what you need now.

Maybe it’s a break or a bath. Maybe it’s a breakdown.

Give yourself space. Practice social distancing, and don’t forget all the ways you can connect with family, friends, and neighbors.

Take a walk, take a nap. Take a page from my playbook and eat all of your school closure ice cream before schools are officially closed.

Give yourself grace.

Know that none of us have done exactly this ever before. Know that we’ll get through it together somehow. 

Take what you need now, even if it’s just time.

PS – I’ll be back this week with my regular blog posts. But I’m preparing to enter uncharted territory of e-learning for two weeks with 80 middle school students. Rather than put together a post that pretends otherwise, I’m going to be honest. The one thing I need right now is a little more time to do one thing at a time. Be well, friends!


  1. Penny! I’m so glad you were able to post today even though you had to create an entire online learning curriculum! I loved your attitude in today’s post. Yes. Let’s take what we need and be kind to each other. As Philip Larkin once said, “We should be careful of each other, we should be kind, while there is still time”.

    Good luck with the quarantine. And keep us posted!

  2. I walked away from my desk at work on Friday with this exact feeling! On Friday, I gave myself permission to just do the household chores that made me feel centered. On the weekend, we had to roll with some expensive and time-consuming house punches. Today, we had shutdowns to deal with.

    I’m going to do what I need to for now to get through each day of “homeschooling” and work and everything else we have to do without losing our grip on the most important things: making sure everyone is healthy in the long haul.

    • It really has been powerful to just let things be and focus on the next step. I’m definitely guilty of getting too caught up in all the “what ifs” of the future.

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