Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer
As soon as I hit the sign-up button for our kids to re-join the swim team this summer, I could feel my shoulders start to tense up. I stared blankly at the practice schedule and the empty field with the TBDs on Covid protocols for yet-to-be-scheduled in-person meets. My mind started jumping around with logistics for our three kids with different schedules for summer activities that they actually had to show up to in person.
During the pandemic, I got used to a slower pace of life and realized I like it. I spent a whole year not juggling multiple extracurricular schedules or driving people places. As we have slowly started taking our virtual activities back into the real world, it has become apparent that my brain has atrophied from time spent not having to worry about the extra overlapping child commitments.
“Stuff” has begun to creep back onto our calendar in the form of birthday parties, lessons, sports, and other social commitments we have deeply missed and at the same time saying “yes” to things again feels completely overwhelming. I am not even trying to manage 50% of what we did in the “before times,” but even a little right now feels like a lot when you are starting over at zero. It also feels like it is happening all at once. We have gone from nothing to every single organization we have been involved with trying to schedule events for 2021 at the same time and make up for what we lost in 2020.
After four days of trying to schedule specialized learning difference tutoring for our daughter this summer, I took my exasperations to the “venting place,” aka Facebook. I was comforted to learn that I am not alone in the realization that I now find routine scheduling challenges mentally exhausting. We all got a chance to stop everything for a while and now we are faced with the task of deciding what we actually do want to add back into our lives. Even more taxing is figuring out how exactly to do that.
The whole idea of Covid being “over” or getting “back to normal” is a myth. Things are not the same and they are never going to be. Our world has forever been changed and marked by what we collectively went through over the past 14 months. As I start to ease into post-vaccinated life, I do not want to leave all that we learned from this pandemic behind. It’s okay to say no to things. It is really good for us to have free days with nothing scheduled. Just because it is something we used to do, does not mean it is worth doing.
It became pretty clear which activities our family truly missed and which ones we were doing out of habit. We are seeking opportunities for the former and ditching the latter. We can also commit to things at our own pace and comfort level. It is okay to say, “I am not ready.” If I am being honest with myself, I think part of the reason I am feeling so lost when I look at my inbox is that I do not want to go back to our old lives and routines the way they were. The good news is, I don’t have to. When nothing is normal, anything you decide to do automatically is. Let’s remake our new normals in ways that keep us balanced. And please…less driving.
Main image: Adobe Stock/Africa Studio
Originally published on Mommy Nearest