I remember the moment well, on March 13, when I learned that school would be closed “for at least the next two weeks.” The kids were off of school that day for in-service and I was sitting at the dining room table and it sort of felt like the bottom fell out of, well, everything.
A week or so later, I got an email from an acquaintance that included something like “you’ve got a leg up on the rest of us since you’re used to working from home.” That phrase has stuck with me since that email – and probably not in the best way.
Yes, I am used to working from home – I’ve been doing this for a grateful and blessed 14 years. However, working from home while helping the kids keep track of their school work during a pandemic that limits the amount of outside activities.
This is not what I was used to.
Sure, we found a new rhythm, albeit one that involved a lot of nagging from me to keep the kids on track with their school work. (Did I mention that they have both been diagnosed with ADHD? Unstructured time is not the most helpful to them.)
When I would go outside, it felt weird – almost forbidden. I had to remind myself a lot in those early days that being outside was fine – good even, when we went on walks to get exercise and to get out of the house. But grocery stores and simple errands made me a little anxious.
And now, just when we’ve kind of sort of found a rhythm that requires less nagging, they are going to be done with school this week and then the vagueness of summer vacation kicks in.
I’m guessing that anything you’ve been doing in the last two months has not been what you expected, either.
In the beginning, I saw lots of ads and posts in groups encouraging people to use this time to accomplish their goals, to learn something new, to do something big. The lure was tempting.
But also – it’s okay not to do any of that. It’s okay to take it all one day at a time, it’s okay to be stressed, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. And it’s okay if you are able to accomplish big goals during this. It’s okay to do whatever you need to do to get your and your family through this as sanely as possible.
Can I tell you something else?
This is not the new normal. Not for the long-term anyway. I don’t know for sure what the new normal will be, but I’m confident that someday we will be able to enter the grocery store without apprehension, that we will be able to enjoy dinner at our favorite restaurants and drinks with friends at our favorite spots. The new normal will be different from the old normal, and hopefully in some very good ways. But if the current normal is stressing you out, please take heart that it will end – not sure when, but it will.
In the meantime, if you need a hug, know that I’m sending you one virtually.
If you want to talk through ways your business can adjust and evolve, book a call.