Life during the pandemic has been slow-paced, relaxing and slightly nerve-racking. Suvi told me it hasn’t been that bad. She’s been able to do lots of crafts, play outside more and not feel rushed. I didn’t know a 10 year old felt pressure from being rushed. I know she stresses out at times, but not to the level that she needed to mention it.
Her comment made me reflect on how to I want things to return as our quarantine is coming to an end. Do I want to rush off anywhere? Do I want to heap on the pressures and commitments we had before? The answer was a loud and clear no. I don’t want it. I don’t want any of it.
I didn’t know I had so much going on in my life until it came to a stand still. After a couple days of no outside commitments or responsibilities, I realized how tired and worn down I felt. Once Covid-19 cogged up the rat race of life, it’s like I started living. (In between bouts of anxiety and stress over what is happening to our world and how will it look once we’re past it.)
I’ve made my sleep a priority and feel rested most days, which I haven’t done in years. I read books on the patio in the sunshine while my kids play around me. I haven’t yelled at them to “hurry up” or “we’re gonna be late” in over a month. I’ve pulled out that dusty, always nagging at me “to do” list and working my way through it at a leisurely pace.
I’m re-evaluating what really needs to happen in our lives. My kids miss their friends and would love to play at park, but they’ve not mentioned the organizations or groups I thought they needed. No one is crying over cancelled tennis lessons or art classes.
Niko ran around barefoot outside all day while playing games, drawing with his sister and jumping on the trampoline. It was beautiful to see him enjoy his day, and I know he adored it, too. I watched him use his imagination to create games and run wild around the backyard. I’m listening to laughter and screams of delight right now from my kids outside.
While that level of spirited play might not last, it made me realize I need to stop subscribing to what society tells me I should be doing with my kids. To stop comparing my life and family activities to what I see on social media. Focus on what works for our kids and our family.
For us, that involves less. Less group sports, organizations and “we must do this for school” trips. And more free play, using our imaginations and spending time just being. Being outside, being happy, being creative, being wild, being quiet, and being a family.
Life won’t be the same after this virus runs its course. We’ll navigate the “new normal” like everyone else. But I know life within these four walls won’t go back to “pre-Covid life,” and I couldn’t be happier.