We start every year thinking this year is going to better than the last and writing this on January 1st, 2021, the bar is so low for this year. The year when we learnt words like pandemic, isolation, social distancing, and bubbles and tiers meant scary things. The year we said goodbye to hugs, jeans, make up and heels and embraced home office, sweat pants, Netflix. There was anxiety and worry, tears for lost loved ones, claps for our frontline heroes: doctors nurses, medical staff, police, emergency services and let’s not forget the unsung heroes delivery drivers, bin men, supermarket staff, teachers. It will be a year we will talk about for many years but how we look at it might differ.
It was a tough year no sugarcoating that, but I don’t want to lose the gems we got from it. As I think about the year past, the main thing I learnt is we don’t have control on everything and that’s not a bad thing. So much happens that we don’t anticipate- we started the year cursing ourselves for losing the green card, getting ready to move to America. I tried to sell my business and it fell through last minute and I was disappointed. But then covid happened, and we didn’t move. Work had stalled but I had to decide on whether I wanted to buyout or let it go and I took the leap. And it has paid off in it’s crazy way. I am glad the site sale fell through so I could end the year as a small business owner that found new ways to be relevant. We didn’t move and my daughter has joined a fantastic school that is a nurturing environment for her.
You have to be positive: when there is so much gloom and doom around, adding to it is no help. I tried hard to rally my troops: food is an easy way to bring up the mood, I came to realise! So samosa Fridays, cake sundays and whatever else floats your boat! We spoke to grandparents to keep their spirits up, we chatted with friends and zoom became our daily ritual. There were days when I was too tired to be chipper but that’s when YouTube comes in handy!
I always thought having my husband around 24/7 would be exhausting. Adjusting to it was hard but now I can’t believe how easy it is. With no commute to tackle, the kids see daddy as soon as his last meeting ends. He surprises them at breaks, we had all our meals together. Our kids loved the comfort of knowing daddy is in the other room and get so excited when they hear his room door open.
Spending so much time with kids also introduces you to your inner child: to spend hours entertained with bubbles or be excited to go on a walk adventure, as long as it sounds exciting they are in! They adjusted to losing their routine and not seeing their friends, sure we had bad days but they tackled the change far better than me! And we tried many new things: french lessons, PE with Joe, cycling. We are such skeptics with the questions and constraints that it’s fun to just say yea and jump on the puddle or hide and say boo!
A big issue in such times is mum burnout: working, cooking, cleaning, entertaining kids.. the load is too much. Doing little self care rituals is important and we need to do it without guilt. Whether it’s a walk, chatting with old friends or a hair mask, whatever you can do to give yourself a moment to relax.
I would end this by saying I hope take away the good and forget the bad- to remember to be calm and not worry, to be positive and try new things, to find a moment for yourself amid the chaos and above all, always look for the rainbow in the clouds!