As the seasons shift, I have been reflecting on all the changes that our world has gone through over the last six months. I am sure all families have gone through major transitions since Coronavirus hit, whether working from home, job changes, adjusted school schedule, canceled vacations, rescheduled special events, or just remembering to wear a mask. Life is in the transitions.
When a new change comes my way, I do not want to wish away the growth process. At times, it is easier to hope that the old way will just come back instead of embracing the change.
This week while I was exercising, I listened to a podcast where the lady who was interviewed talked about the book Life is in the Transitions. My interest was piqued so I decided to pick up a copy of the book and read it while I was on vacation. The statistics and stories of people who overcame adversity, made a better life for their family, and used ingenuity to pave a different path were inspiring.
Reading others’ stories about major life changes helps put my life in perspective. Life is not just walking an easy, straight road but it is embracing the peaks and valleys. Learning to lean into obstacles will bear fruit in my life.
Recognizing the Silver Linings
Amidst all the change, I have seen many silver linings. The gift of time has been an overarching positive outcome of quarantine life in our home. When life shut down so suddenly, there were many benefits that I want to keep at the forefront of my mind as our time begins to have more demands on it. Some of the silver linings are:
- Time with Mike: Since Mike is working from home until at least January 2021, his workday is three hours shorter without his commute.
- Dinners together: Before Coronavirus we were able to have dinner together once a week, but now it is more consistent.
- Family projects: Using our time to create a deeper family connection through projects, games, puzzles, and outdoor activities has enriched our lives.
- Creativity to make our own fun: We planned and designed our own garden, expanded our baking skills, learned how to make imovies, researched how to use a table loom, and more.
- Home Improvement Projects: Our weekends were mostly free so the honey-do list was completed regularly and we were able to tackle bigger home projects.
Raising kids to embrace Transitions
Each one of my girls took the changes in schedule differently. In the first couple of weeks everyone was positive and pulled together to make the best of quarantine life. One of my daughters had a day where many of the plans she was looking forward to were all canceled. The reality that our summer was going to look different was undeniable and the tears started to flow. It was healthy for my girls to realize the summer we expected was no longer a reality but now we had to be flexible and do our best.
Our camping trips were the only vacations that were not canceled. We have always enjoyed camping and I plan at least two camping trips each summer. One of the girls’ biggest disappointments was canceling our trip to New York City and the east coast. Thankfully, the National Parks opened up and we were able to sneak in one last trip to Montana.
The summer definitely looked different than I expected but I did not anticipate that we would still be enduring so many changes into the school year. The girls are enrolled in a new homeschool enrichment program where they are making new friends and learning from new teachers all with new COVID guidelines. They look forward to this program each week and have embraced all the guidelines with grace. I am just grateful that they are able to participate in learning with others and be part of such a wonderful community.
Finding a new Routine
When it came to our weekly school rhythm and routine, the last four years all looked pretty similar. Our Monday-Friday was clockwork; I had my people and community figured out, so life was predictable. Every Thursday afternoon, the girls and I would meet up with another family at the pool. Every Friday, the girls attended a cooperative where I would teach a few classes.
This year we changed homeschool programs, my friend’s family moved away, and the groups we were a part of disbanded or downsized to the point that it feels like we are back to rebuilding community. These first few weeks back into the school year have taken a lot of effort. The girls and I are finding our new routine within so many transitions.
Life doesn’t stop while we figure out our new routine. I keep putting myself out there and connecting with new people. It has been encouraging to watch the homeschool community grow and warmly welcome new faces.
One homeschool group that we are part of broke everyone up into tribes based on location, ages of kids, and homeschool style. I am excited to get involved with more communities as we iron out our routine.
Life is in the transitions, so I am learning to be more flexible and embrace each moment. Not always knowing what each day will bring has taught me to hold plans loosely and find joy in the journey.
As I reflect on how I want the girls to remember 2020, I realize that the girls’ impressions are shaped by how they see Mike and I overcome challenges and changes. I hope they see that life can be even better than we thought when we are willing to grow.
What silver linings do you see in 2020?
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