Time. What a strange thing that four-letter word is. Sometimes it passes way too quickly and other times it stands completely still.
In these last four months of quarantine, I feel I have experienced both.
Between three meals a day, trying to run ‘Camp Mom’ for my two littles, trying to pivot my company which was hit hard by these closures and also trying to keep up with friends and family online, I find that most days pass by quickly. Other days, however, seem to drag on slowly and feel so incredibly the same as the last that the clock seems to just stand still; ticking by so slowly that I feel I am going to burst.
If you are anything like me, when the quarantine first began and the world shut down, you embraced the pause. You welcomed the quiet, the days of not rushing, staying in your pyjamas, cleaning out closets, baking loaves and cookies and dusting off the puzzles.
We had time to do things that we didn’t do before. Sure, we were filled with anxiety and fear of the unknown, but we were home, we were safe and all we had was time for the people we loved most.
As many of you might share, especially in these last few weeks, I feel that this has gone on long enough and I’m eager to jump back into the way things were, but I’m also completely terrified. We play it safe. We wear masks. We social distance. We only hug grandma.
Where I live, things are opening up more and more, and there’s a part of me that feels like I should be jumping at the bit to throw a party, inviting everyone we know and embracing them all in hugs that linger just a little too long. I will hug tighter and longer forevermore. But it’s funny because I can’t even muster up the nerve to head to a patio yet.
It’s my birthday this week, but rather than throw that epic party I have been dreaming about for the last 4 months I’m still going to take it easy.
My 3-year-old hides behind my legs when we see people. After months of me reminding them not to get too close, I think it will take time for her to be okay with getting close again.
My 8-year-old has missed her friends so much but has been so used to being home that it might be a challenge to actually play together again. Sure, we have had paint nights, themed dinners and zoom dance parties, but let’s face it, adults don’t ‘play’ the way kids do. It will be an adjustment. It will take time.
My husband is not eager to put on his daddy taxi suit again, shuffling the girls all over town for this event and that. And myself, as eager as I am to get back to normal, I am having a hard time deciding what that ‘normal’ will be.
I have enjoyed the time and the quiet. I have enjoyed baking. (Who knew?) I have enjoyed watching my children slow down and learn to appreciate the small things. And did I mention I have enjoyed the time?
This pause button that has been hit, was just that: a brief pause. Before we know it the world will open up again and even though different, it will return. This time that we’ve had we might never have again.
So as we continue to wear our masks, venture out into the world, support local businesses and restaurants again, let’s not forget about all of the bonus time we did get to slow down and look at life a little differently. My ‘normal’ will be different now because I have realized that I want that time for what really matters.
In the end, time has taught me that if all we have is our health, our home and each other, that is enough.