It’s been 408 days since the pandemic began. 408 days of craziness, laughter, joy, fights, tears, frustration, and a whole lot of love. As things begin to open up, I can’t help but reflect on how much joy this past year has brought me. The strength and patience I have found within me. The love that my family has cultivated and how close we all are now.
Look at what truly matters
This past year has forced so many of us, myself included, to look at what is truly important, what actually matters, and to enjoy the present moment. I have realized time is truly the biggest gift we can give someone and it is precious.
As the world begins to open back up and pick up speed, I can’t help but think how so much of what was “normal” I never want to go back to again. I look back on the time leading up to the pandemic and realize just how unhappy I was rushing my kids out of the house every morning to get them to school, inevitably losing my patience along the way, hours a day spent in the car dropping off and picking up, rushing home to put dinner on the table and then bedtime routine. Only to do the entire thing over again the next day without a moment to slow down.
Weekends were always jam-packed with parties, soccer games, and events. The fast-paced, go, go, go was relentless. It was a near-constant shuffling from one place to the next, yelling along the way to get dressed or eat or whatever. That was normal. It was all hustle, hustle, hustle.
If I’m being honest, I NEVER want to go back to that again. The pace of this past year has allowed me to connect with my kids, to make them breakfast on weekdays, to notice their faces when something was off, and to actually slow down enough to truly know them, to listen to them, and to enjoy them.
Sure, pre-pandemic, my house wasn’t a cyclone, there wasn’t a near-daily fight over some lego they built and I could actually find a silent moment in my home. I have instead traded that in for a house that is well lived in, where there is joy, laughter, and endless hours of play.
Ultimately, this slower pace has allowed us time to breathe. Weekends with no plans. Small intimate visits with family. Time and space to actually enjoy each other’s company.
The new normal
As the world returns to this new normal, I’m not ready or willing to go back to that “normal” pace. For me, it was unhealthy. While I was going through the motions, at my core, I didn’t truly feel like I was living life or enjoying my kids. I was always in this rush to get the next thing done or go to the next place.
Over the past year, I have found joy in so many unexpected places, in so many unexpected moments and none of it would have happened if I hadn’t slowed down. If my family hadn’t all been together. I am so beyond grateful for the pace and space I have been given this past year.
I don’t intend to go back to “normal” as normal wasn’t working for me or my family. I don’t want to fill my calendar with things to do or spend hours in the car being a shuttle bus driver. That simply doesn’t work for us. I plan to be intentional about what we as a family say yes and no to. Time is a gift and I plan to spend it wisely while being in alignment with our core values.
My hope in sharing this is that as life begins to open back up, you spend some time being intentional about what works and what doesn’t. What from the old normal, you want to carry into the new normal. That instead of just rushing back into all the things you actually take a moment to decide what you want to bring forth from this past year and the old normal as we step back into “normal life.”
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