When the coronavirus outbreak started, I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t anticipate its far-reaching effects, and I figured that after a month or so (max), life would resume its normal operations without any real lingering effects. Yet, here we are, two-plus months into Washington’s “Stay home, stay healthy” order, and while certain things are returning to some semblance of normalcy, I’d be lying if I said I even knew what normal is anymore. Our daycare has been closed to most for over two months. It’s up in the air whether Kindergarten will truly start for Spencer this fall. The line to the commissary still averages 30 minutes to an hour. Honestly, I don’t know what normal is anymore, but learning to slow down amidst coronavirus continues.
Ryan is set to leave for another TDY this coming week, and military life seems to returning to a new normal of sorts. Our countdowns resume, as do the countdowns of so many other military families. And yet, learning to slow down remains hard for me – and I’m sure plenty of others. I have depressive tendencies, and between losing my job, balancing two amazing freelance positions, never really seeing any “me” time anymore, and more, I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Yet, I saw an article that posed the following question…
“What does this slow down make possible?”
It’s easy to see the plethora of overwhelming stressors, and while I’m grateful for having had so much time together as a family, I’ve felt pretty buried lately. So, yesterday, I took the time to write a few thoughts out, trying to focus on the good, instead.
We got to see Mieke to take off walking.
Mieke started walking about a month ago on and off, but we could tell she wasn’t confident in doing so. This past Sunday, however, she decided she was completely ready. I shared on my Instagram that we now have another walker in this house, and that overwhelming frustration she’s had seems to have dissipated somewhat, thankfully!
We’ve had a lot of family dinners.
In fact, I think we’ve had more family dinners in the past two months than we had all last year. Yes, Ryan was deployed, but we’re so used to him being gone, that the luxury of being able to sit down together as a family for a meal definitely wasn’t lost on us.
I’ve been able to branch out professionally.
For almost eight years, I’ve been comfortable in my career. For the first time in a long time, I’ve been uncomfortable, which has forced me to challenge myself and branch out professionally. I’m writing for new industries, learning to take on new brand voices as a copywriter, and adapt, which has been a blessing, even though it’s definitely been stressful.
For the first time in years, I’ve been consistently reading.
It’s funny because I used to have a book blog for almost five years. I used to average six books a week, but since having kids, I’ve averaged maybe one a month. In the past two months of this coronavirus slow-down, I’ve read five books, and I’m proud and refreshed by it.
The things we took for granted are luxuries now.
How is this a plus, you ask? I used to jump in the car without a second thought, heading off to Target, or the commissary, or picking up dinner, meeting for brunch, etc. These days, those little things are luxuries. When we do takeout from local restaurants, it’s special. When we go to Target, it’s like Christmas for the kids. These things are special, and there’s a bit of joy in that.
Honestly, learning to slow down has been hard in so many respects, and I’ve struggled a lot personally with these many changes. But I also realize that through adversity, we grow stronger and more resilient. I’ve had a rough couple of weeks emotionally, but I’m doing my best to train myself to see the slivers of good versus the overwhelming feelings of sadness I’ve felt a lot during this time.
I know that others, too, have struggled emotionally and personally through this COVID-19 pandemic, and I invite you to join me in trying to find that good that’s happened in all of this.
So, tell me – what has this slow down made possible for you?