So at the minute were in the middle of a global pandemic known as Covid 19 (Corona virus), just writing that I don’t actually know, I suppose no-one does… if were in the middle, at the start, near the end…
We’re just in this pandemic.
We are at the end of week 7, although me and the kids have been home (social distancing we now call it) for 8 weeks because I took them out of school a week early when it was starting to spread a bit closer to home and life is now already looking a bit different to what it did 8 weeks ago.
This time 7-8 weeks ago a week for us would be Monday to Friday get up, dressed, morning school run, work, shopping, afternoon school run, tea for the kids, after school clubs, teach classes/clients 3 nights a week, our tea at 8:30-9pm, a bit of TV, fall asleep on the couch then bed.
Saturdays would be getting up at 8am with Jack and Michael going to Jacks footy while me and George took Em to gymnastics. I’d go and see my mum while we wait then meet the boys and do some shopping, have something to eat somewhere.
Sunday mornings would be us all getting up about 8am and going to watch Jack run in the weekly Park Run in Stanley Park (Sounds nice that doesn’t it? but I’m lying it was more like… jump up at the last second then screaming round the house at everyone to get up and get ready then racing down Queens Drive with Michael putting his foot down and me shouting that him to not crash then Michael and Jack running from the van to the race while me and Emily throw George in the pram and run to quickly just make the start of the race… every week!)
We would meet Mikes mum and dad at Kemps (the cafe there) and enjoy our brecky and a catch up after the race (We’ve been dreaming about Kemps veggie sausages for weeks now!) and then either shopping in town afterwards or doing something that involved a distraction, until we could get away camping when the weather got nicer, or George got older or some other reason…
When I say a distraction, I mean that in the nicest way possible because we all love our lifestyle and what we’ve got but I can’t help but think, now that I’ve got some time to look back, that most days have literally been taken up with things to distract us… The longer we’re in this time, the more I’m starting to think differently about things…
I don’t know if its just us, but I’m pretty sure its not from everyone that I speak to, but these last few years have been so full on (I honestly have loved them and I know that we are very lucky to have what we have and to be able to do what we do) actually its not just these last few years if I’m honest… I was going to say that since we’ve had the kids we’ve always had something to do, something to plan for, something that needs doing but when I think about it, I’ve always had things to do or I’ve always found things to be doing.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a time where I didn’t have to do anything. Actually nothing. Or have a long time to do nothing too. We’ve had to learn at school, study, get a job, buy a house… We’ve had kids and everything that comes with them and right now there’s always something to do.
I suppose the only time I actually did have the time to do nothing was when I had to stay home for 3 weeks, twice when I had 2 miscarriages but even then, when Michael was in work and the kids were in school I definitely distracted myself with the TV and magazines that didn’t have anything in worth reading… I actually remember saying to michael that I understood why people bought them as they were a welcome mind numb at the time and a distraction from what was really happening…
And right now, while we have to stay home and we have time to think, even though obviously I’m busy with the kids (but again I think I make myself busy a lot of the time, again to distract myself from whats happening around the world…) I’m starting to realise that I don’t want to keep up this usual, fast pace way of life, with these distractions, because life is racing by.
If I’m lucky enough to be at retirement age when I’m older, then I don’t want to look back at my life and not know what to do or keep working because I’m scared that I wont have anything to do if I stop. I don’t want to get to a stage where I won’t know what to do if I’m not running round looking after someone, or won’t know what I like or who I am.
I want to enjoy the NOW everyday.
I know some distractions are needed (and welcomed) to help you keep sane when things are happening that we can’t control but I don’t want to get caught up in the distractions that aren’t necessary anymore.
I’ve always thought that we really enjoyed our time with the kids but we were always doing things that we didn’t really need to do… lately the nicest times have been the little chats we’ve had with the kids while stopping on our bike rides or playing games in the garden or creating new things… all things that are usually what we do on holidays when we’ve ‘got more time’.
Its nice to strip away all the routine, the things we felt like we had to do or got caught up with doing and just be here, now and enjoy it.
Times of change…
I don’t want to look back and regret anything and I want to know that I did what I wanted to do with this one life that I’ve got and I enjoyed every minute that I had here… the good and the bad times.
I’m not saying to try to enjoy the bad times, I know some people are going though some awful times at the minute but when I’ve looked back at the bad times that I’ve had (some of them took me a long, long time to see it but) they have always been a lesson.
I’ve always changed as a person during them times and the times that took longer for me to see that, were the times that I was just not willing to let go of but as soon as I started to let them go, I always seen that they were a lesson that I needed to go through to change me and maybe for me to help other people to see that too with their lives and their lessons.
Over the last few weeks, at certain times when I’m worried about what might happen, I have found myself wishing this time away, thinking ‘ok when this is all done’ or ‘just look forward to this time next year’ but I’ve never done that before and its an awful way to look at life… yes, there is uncertainty but there is also a lot of good coming out of these times… there is so much less waste now with food and without excess buying of stuff we never really needed, we are cooking better than we ever have and finding new recipes, we are baking, growing vegetables, gardening, spending quality time with the kids, having family film night with our quilts and pillows, talking more, even exercising with the kids and enjoying weekday bike rides!
We’ve been calling and Face-timing our family a lot more than we ever had and even been having much more meaningful conversations with them and having weekly family Zoom quizzes with family we wouldn’t normally see every week.
We know our neighbours a lot more and genuinely want to make sure that they’re ok. We even wave to neighbours right down the road and smile at strangers in the street and in the shops.
Its definitely not a time to be wishing away.
These last few weeks are definitely a time for reflection for me. To stop and think about what I want out of my time here in this life and how I want spend my days and how I can spend my time with the people I want to be with, the important people in my life and mostly, how to enjoy it with them and on my own too, finding what it is that makes me happy too.
I was always saying there isn’t enough time but I think that was because I was filling it with things that I didn’t actually need to be doing. I think when we have more quality time as a family, we will then feel less guilty having quality time for ourselves.
We feel guilty for thinking about what we want when we’re parents and think that things now have to revolve around what our kids want and put ourselves last but I’m sure we can have it all and be better, happier people for it. Which can only be a good thing for us all.
I think this time is teaching us to actually stop and enjoy the now, this time right now and see if you are on the path that you want to be on in your life? If you are doing the things that you want to be doing in your life each day? And if you’re going in the direction you want to be going in your life?
I also think that you don’t need to know how your going to get off one path and on to the path you want, I think you just need to start with knowing what it is you really want out of this life and take it each day at a time from there.
I hope that when it comes to my time being up, whenever that might be, that I’ll be ok with going to wherever I’m going next and I won’t have fear because I hope, I’ll have filled this life with precious times and precious people and enjoyed them all.
I hope I will have had many lessons and learn from them all and found that the little things in life are what make a life worth living.
Heres one of my favourite quotes by Mary Oliver:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?