Well, it’s been a full year now since COVID appeared and I can’t help but reflect on it all. We have gotten used to distancing, wearing masks, spending more time at home. We have done virtual school, hybrid school, some in-person school. We have Zoomed and conquered Webex and jumped on more Microsoft Team meetings than we’d like to count. We have kept it all afloat but I’ll be honest, it has been hard. I don’t say that lightly because I know others have it so much worse. We are healthy and together, and employed and we are so grateful for that. But in the course of daily life, trying to manage a household full of competing priorities, this has been next level parenting/working stress.
Each Friday, I celebrate simply making it through another week. I often reflect on that sage advice that more experienced moms offer to new ones, “the days are long, but the years are short”. I know they are talking about mom life, but I feel like that is also a nod to living-through-a-pandemic life. The days are bonkers, at least around here, but somehow I look back on the last 12 months and they seem to have gone by in a flash. A crazy, demanding, difficult year.
For my mental health, the hardest part has been losing the “time between”. You know, those transitional points in your day when you move between segments of your life. When you get the kids ready and off to school, and then commute to work or settle into your home office. Or when you finish a full day of work and have a chance to wind down on your drive or train ride home by listening to music or an audiobook, or calling a friend to chat.
With all of our demands intersecting in the same environment, we have lost the time between that mentally prepares us for the next thing. The next people to see, place to go, action item to take on. Those moments we probably didn’t realize that we really needed to ready ourselves and show up prepared. The moments when we can partake in those little individual joys, or choose to simply value the silence. For me, that time between was when I was able to quiet my mind and organize my thoughts. To think about a future that was more than a day, week, or month away.
Yes, I have enjoyed some of the perks of working more remotely, and I have been around to enjoy moments with my kids I would have missed. So these last 12 months have had their own unique characteristics. And again, I am so, so grateful that we are healthy. But my goodness, do I miss the time between. I had no idea how much I needed it.
Sending love, hugs, and hope for brighter days,