With so much out of our control, we should make the most of the opportunities we now have

For several weeks now, we’ve all been living in uncharted territory: isolation, homeschooling, birthday parties missed, and the grieving of lost loved ones done quietly at home.

But through it all we can find light. We’ve also been blessed with time to think, time to pivot and learn, quality time with our families, time to assess who we want to be when we reemerge from this world pandemic.

There has never been a better time to access incredible resources from the comforts of home. Just last week we did a tour of the Louvre in Paris, we tuned in to a virtual dance party with a DJ in our community, we’ve taken a painting class from a teacher at our school, and we’ve watched gardening shows. And the list goes on.

It’s been incredible to see how creative you can become when you aren’t running the roads. If you are running out of ideas to keep your family entertained, turn to First Bell on page 8. Olivia Malley has compiled an assortment of engaging online activities that will keep the pipeline full for weeks to come.

I know that this is not an easy time; we’ve all experienced our fair share of disappointments. But I also know we can rise above it. As an Olympian there was never certainty in my athletic career. I may have gotten sick or injured before a big race, my seat in the boat was never guaranteed, decisions about the direction of the team were beyond my control.

This is similar to what we are witnessing now. There are thousands of athletes that have been counting down the days for the Olympic torch to burn brightly in Japan, but now, just two months before the opening ceremonies, the 2020 Summer Olympics are postponed. These are circumstances beyond our control, but it is our reaction that will be what predicts our future success or failure. The great athletes will view this as an opportunity to become even faster and stronger, further honing their skills.

Parents play a huge role in helping children navigate through uncertain times. What I learned as a high performance athlete has helped me be a better mother by being a good model for them and to focus on the things we can control, like ensuring we have lots of nutritious food in the house, making sure we get outside to play every day, ensuring that we all get a good night sleep, and making sure we have planned activities to keep learning new things.

Kim Hart Macneill caught up with one of my Olympic teammates Karen Furneaux, who shares her story on page 12 about how goal setting and focus played a role in her success. This growth mindset is also very much a part of the Sanford family’s philosophy as well, as Olympic hopeful Wyatt (their youngest) has had to pivot in his preparation for Japan. Both are very positive stories about how our mindset can be so powerful in helping us shape our world.

From my family to yours: stay safe and enjoy this time together.

Read more from our Summer 2020 edition of Our Children.

Tracy Stuart

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