Over the past year and a half, I have practiced yoga with Coach Jim Stroker, a retired Ridgewood wellness teacher and truthfully, a local legend. When Jim’s children were young, two of his three children were in a car accident that resulted in life-long challenges for them both. Jim took this challenge and turned it into an opportunity to raise an amazing family and to share his spirit with our community.
This morning, I watched Jim’s video on Facebook (go follow him if you don’t already- James Stoker on FB) and it was just what I needed. He tells the story of the lists his family made after Jake and Ali’s accident. One list was full of all the things that Jake and Ali could no longer do. But the other list? It was the list of all the things that Jake and Ali could do. Today, Jim challenged us to make those lists too. So here goes.
The girls can not go to school. But they can continue to learn. They are both upstairs in their rooms, in class and I can hear them. They are talking and laughing and navigating through this crazy new world of on-line school. And they are learning.
Katherine can not go to dance class. But she can dance. Tonight she will connect with one of her favorite teachers and join with her fellow dancers in a Zoom class. This will be strange and I am sure it will take some adjusting but whatever it is, it will be movement and connection and she will dance.
Caroline can’t go to soccer practice but she can play soccer in the backyard and she can run and train and be faster and stronger when this all passes. And she can continue to connect with her teammates on text and Facetime and Snapchat and probably lots of other apps that I don’t even know about.
Caroline can’t go to DECA meetings or plan for their trip to Nationals. But she can help organize a food drive to help the kids at Oasis who she worked with for her DECA project this year. They are in need of food and cleaning supplies so this weekend we dropped off some things at a friend’s house and her mom will bring them to work with her today.
I can not run errands but I can get things done around the house (clean out closets, delete emails, organize pictures are the top three chores on my list). I can be productive.
I can not go to volunteer meetings which I enjoy- both the community they provide and the help I am able to offer will be missing. But I can connect with the people I work with on the phone or by text. I can continue to support the organizations I love by making plans for how I will help them when this is all over because they will need more help than ever.
I am sure this list could go on forever but I am going to leave it here and go for a walk. I’d love it if you wanted to create a list and share it! Let’s grow our ‘Can Do Lists’ and see how big they really are.