Keep Me In Isolation, Please!
I remember sitting around the table a few months ago as we discussed with my husband how our lives were going to look during our corona virus isolation.
The kids were about to start online learning and our usual routine of family and friend catch ups was about to be put on hold, indefinitely. I remember the slight panic that took over my body at that moment and just like Santa’s Little Helper in the Simpsons all the words being thrown around started to dissolve into a confusing language I could no longer understand!
We were in the grip of a pandemic and we had no idea how our numbers would be in comparison to the rest of the world’s. Italy was reporting shocking numbers every day and the death toll was increasing at a rate that had us all panicked.
Australia needed to take note and proceed with caution. Borders were closed, schools were shut down and only essential workers were required to go to work. Everyone else was asked to work from home.
So our little household consisted of two work from home adults and two online schooling kids.
We slowly fell into our new routines.
Early morning walks.
Family dinner and movie nights.
Changes were happening and I for one was really digging them! Days became safe and comfortable. Tracksuits , who were always my friend had now become my besties. Make up free days ruled and hair went unwashed for days.
I gave all three boys hair cuts and dyed my own roots…apologies to all the hairdressers out there…but a girl’s gotta to what a girl’s gotta do! And I must say, if you don’t look too closely I think I did a pretty mediocre job!
Social catch ups were replaced with zoom calls and family dinners gave way to FaceTime. Was it the same? Hell no! But it became a new kind of normal that we all adjusted to. Plus we all learned new skills…like me realising I don’t have to yell while on a video call and my mum figuring out her most flattering camera angles.
Dining out on the weekends was replaced with home cooked dinners and I became my own little master chef in the kitchen. I made dishes I hadn’t cooked in years and even attempted baking…which I usually avoid due to all those ‘numbers’ involved!
Kids gushed at how yummy everything was and we all felt nurtured and satisfied, No-one missed eating out and if anything the process of cooking and sharing a meal became one of our favourite daily things we looked forward to.
Now we find ourselves on the precipice of returning to our old lives and I’m not sure I want to. Apart from the obvious things I’m yearning for- such as time with family and friends – there are also lots of things I’m more than happy to leave behind.
The main one being the over committing of social activities that often leave me with a social hang-over the day after. Our days are so tightly scheduled with school, work and after school activities that we often feel we need to balance that out with socialising and catching up with everyone on the weekends, And while this is very much needed, these two months without it has made us appreciate our home so much more, How much we love being in it. How much we love our garden. How much fun it is to sit around the kitchen table in our pyjamas building Lego. How great it is to know we have nowhere to go. Nowhere to be. No-one is expecting us and we in turn aren’t expecting anyone either.
We’ve always been a family who enjoyed spending time together but it’s often been while travelling and on holidays. This snippet of time we’ve been forced to spend together has truly been a gift. A moment in time that we may never get to experience again. I mean, let’s be honest, how many pandemics does one person experience in a life time, right?
I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. Because even though our politicians are saying it’s okay to step out and resume some of our normal activities a lot of us aren’t ready to. Many of my friends feel the same. We love knowing our kids are safe at home with us. We love not having the rush of early school mornings and the stress of after school activities. We love our little family bubble, And while we always knew it would have to come to an end we didn’t expect to feel so conflicted.
Isolation has given us a time to reflect and take stock of what’s important. To really see what makes us happy. To choose each other over anyone or anything else. A time to declutter our lives- physically and emotionally. The experience is all about what we’ve gained, not what we’ve lost. The gift is what we’ve been left with after this time spent together and alone.
What’s been the gift for you?