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Home by Noreen Heffernan

Home by Noreen Heffernan, Bergen County Moms

We can learn a million lessons in our life. We can hear a thousand different affirmations

and confidence boosters. We can listen to our teachers, our parents, our children, our spouses.

We can try to figure it all out when it is unclear. We can listen to the fearful words of those

misinformed. We can find ourselves taking on those feelings and feeling lost ourselves. We can

decide that this is IT, we need to rebuild and renew. Or, we can panic. We can lose it. But, if

we are lucky, we can live. Life’s true lessons are those that are lived. I can try to warn my

children about things that I went through. But it doesn’t matter, I realized. They need to learn

from their own experiences. And so do we…

So now, in the land of the living, how do we proceed? I can very easily go into things like,

homeschooling, decisions about when to go and when to not, isolation, grocery wiping, hand

sanitizing, dirty looks, breaking up fights, binge watching Netflix, ZOOM, fear mongering,

cooking cooking and more cooking at home. But, I won’t. Because we all have lived it. These

weights have strung us all along as we have waited and waited for the unclear, foggy mirror to

clear up. Maybe we have a while to wait. Maybe we shouldn’t be waiting at all. Who knows? I

don’t. What I do know, is that during the pandemic waiting, I have learned valuable and livable

life lessons.

Time is precious, that is one thing that is clear. I learned that with my precious time, I would

like to spend it with those who build me up, my light givers. I have spent far too much time

inviting trouble into my life. And by trouble, it can mean a million different things. It can mean

surrounding myself with people who don’t truly care about me, don’t care to know. Or, it can

mean wasting time on things that don’t build up my soul. Or, it can simply mean “overbooking”

my time, and then not enjoying any of it. So, I decided that my precious time is valuable. And I

want to spend it with people who reciprocate my love and do things that bring me endless joy.

I want to make a plan and have time to enjoy it. I want to see and feel while I’m in it, even if it

is cooking with my husband on a Sunday. I don’t want to be looking at my watch and asking

myself, “when will this end?” or, “what’s next.” Things and people that are easy and

relationships that are fluid and two way streets. Time is our greatest gift. And, it is always right

when it begins and ends with the F word, family.

Blinders. My second lesson. My mom has always said, “comparisons are odious.” But yet, I still

see people trying and trying to come out on top. And I see others, comparing themselves to

the neat little world of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok. I see it myself. I’ve lived it.

So, what I have learned is to see without seeing. To appreciate without taking it in. To decide

that if I am living the best version of myself in real life, then I have nothing to feel slighted

about on social media. To look less, to share less, and to understand that what matters is not

the image someone portrays but, in the actions, that person reveals about themselves. I got

blinders, a case of tunnel vision, and it leads me home.

Misinformation. If we dip our toe in the water, will there be a shark? Everyone can think that

and then never take the plunge. This new world of misinformation is scary as hell. Baby, there

is a shark in the water. Everyone knows everything, or so they think. I learned that I cannot

take on other people’s fears. I can’t decide how I feel because someone else feels a certain

way. I also cannot believe everything I see and everything I hear. I don’t hail to the quiet

people who turn up the volume on social media trying to make themselves look like scientists

and infectious disease doctors. We need to think through what we read and what we see.

Everything is out of control, but one thing we can control is what we choose to read, how we

choose to think, and what we decide to take on as true. Be skeptical before you decide the

written word you just read on Facebook will change the world or change your mind. That is

what I have learned through it all. Nobody knows what the hell is going on.

Finally, my most valuable lesson of all, is being ok in the static hold. Because, the static hold is

the place where you dig the deepest. The static hold is the place where you learn resilience. It

is where you grow the most. Sometimes you move the furthest, when you aren’t moving at all.

Sometimes, you learn life lessons, when you find yourself having time to think, breath, and soul

search. The static hold makes you come out clearer than before, more intertwined with those

who stay there with you, and shake with you and link arms and say, we are in this together.

Because we are. We are all in this together.

Just know you are not alone. One day, it will all become clear.

Stay safe.



Noreen Heffernan, Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR , Writer, Growing Ladies and Beautycounter Consultant,