Life Lessons During a Pandemic

I took most of my babies to school yesterday for the first time since March. We’ve nearly forgotten how to do a morning routine. Thankfully, it’s like riding a bike complete with scrapes and bruises.

I sit clicking away on my keyboard in a quiet house. Eerily quiet. The cats wander across my desk confused by the lack of humans and the dog comes in on occasion to make sure I’m still here.

All this quiet has me reflecting on the many lessons we’ve learned this year.

Life Lesson #1: The size of my pants doesn’t matter as much as I thought it did, but physical activity does.

For the first several months, I worked 100% from home. Then it became necessary to begin going in to the office of one of my clients once a week. I quickly discovered my pants weren’t fitting quite as well as they used to. So, determined to “lose the Rona 20” I set out to once again embark on an exercise routine.

Months later, my old pants still don’t fit, but I’ve remembered how important it is for my mental health. Plus, I gained a running buddy. My 15 year old motivates me to get out. Granted she’s a speed demon and her ma is a bit slow and creaky, but you’ll find us running the roads in our neighborhood regularly.

Life Lesson #2: Teenagers should have therapists.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but let’s just say that my kids’ therapists have heard me say more than once, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.” These kids dealing with this year need therapists too.

Life Lesson #3: It’s ok to need your spouse to work in another room.

I love my husband SO much, but after a year of working in the same office space together, he moved downstairs. At first, I wasn’t sure I like it, but a weekish in and it’s a good thing. Absence does in fact make the heart grow fonder.

Life Lesson #4: It’s ok to change your mind, then change it again because sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We were those parents whose kids started the school year back online. We thought it was the best option. Four days in, we were frantically calling all of the schools with an “OMG JUST KIDDING. WE CAN’T DO THIS!”

We only got the 4th grader back.

One of the biggest reasons our kids are back in the middle of a spiking pandemic is mental health. The toll it was taking was very, very real. So now we are the parents that sent them back.

There’s no good choice here and it feels very much like we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Thanks, pandemic.

Life Lesson #5: Most of us are just doing the best we can.

There were zero ways to prepare for this. I’m glad to be working from home, but also tired of it. I miss family gatherings. I miss regular life. And we are just over here doing the best we can and crossing our fingers that things get better soon.

Life Lesson #6: New hobbies in 2020 are real.

In an effort to entertain ourselves, I took up embroidery and gardening again and my husband has discovered his love of woodwork. Hobbies are the new night out on the town.

What’s your new hobby this year? I may need a new one soon.

Life Lesson #7: There are some things you just can’t plan.

Until this year, I only partially believed that you can’t have a plan for just about everything. Turns out, I was wrong. I’m a structured human and I’ve had to dig deep this year and embrace constant change and the unknown. It’s not a comfortable place for me to be, but I’m learning to be more flexible. Yay pandemic?

“Mom, what time are we going running?”

My running buddy hasn’t been able to return in person and has joined me in the den.

“After my 11 o’clock.”

“Ok. Let’s run the lake again.” I agree and she turns back to her math, headphones on. The dog checks in on me then circles the den and lays down with a big heavy sigh. Her people are all at school and she’s not a fan of the quiet.

The cats make their rounds across, over, and under our desks then scurry off to wherever they go all day.

I stare at the blinking cursor and realize this post may have a part II.

2020 isn’t over yet.

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