The 20-21 pandemic has brought a great degree of discomfort to many. The illness itself has had catastrophic effects on some. The “quarantine” has had an effect on us all. The length of this has increased its volume. The volume, combined with the change in routine has, worn and stressed many.
The positives, tend to be overlooked. The limits of the current time, however, has slowed us up. For many, the fast pace, we had priorly been traveling, had become, almost addictive, without our recognition. A way to escape. We have fooled ourselves into feeling productive. But, instead, could we be leaving some very important work undone? We tend to notice the discomfort of this change. We hold a magnifying glass up to the “feeling”, the “discomfort” and label it as bad, limiting life, or regressive.
Could the “feeling” be seen as an opportunity for growth or health? Health opportunities, more needed rest, more independently creative opportunities, or more opportunities to play? A healthy person, at any age, needs a balance of both work and play. Maybe this is an opportunity. This may be the moment to take a good close look. Have we been running away from, and masking, by being “productive?”
This pandemic has given parents, several jobs (probable jobs without monetary compensation). Some families have had to exchange a paying job for a non-paying job. Compensatable work outside the home is now non-compensatable work inside the home. There are no weekends off or weekend breaks. Parents are now responsible for all income, all bills, all child-rearing, AND schooling, AND entertainment. Oh, and one must not forget, meals, 3 times a day, 7 days a week for almost a year now. We have had to alter the focus from what we need to do outside our home, to inside our home. This is a lot of change and a lot of responsibility. Duties now include both educating children, and working from home. Again, a lot of change and responsibility.
Everyone in the house has their own sources of and responses to the stress. There is no escaping now. We are feeling and responding now, to our own stress and the stress of those in our households.
There are family members, who have difficulty dealing with strong emotions. Living in a smaller space for this long has been difficult. The difficulty is not only for the family member but also for everyone else in the household.
Maybe, we need yet to let go of more unnecessary time consumers? Do we need to prioritize, what we need now and what can wait for later? Perhaps prioritize or limit, in order to have a more peaceful existence? It is possibly a very good time to get better at finding and defining our own boundaries? This all is uncomfortable. How can we look at this differently, so we don’t feel so poorly?
We may possibly look at the opportunity. Begining is rarely a comfortable experience. Let’s look at the clues, we ourselves and our family members, are giving us:
What are the conditions that perpetuate the struggle?
Let’s get beyond the surface, please. What else is behind the loss of routine?
What are the conditions for the discomfort that we see?
How does the discomfort display itself and what conditions, within our control appear to help ease this?
What exactly, is really in our control now?
Is it feasible that either parents or children have been busy pacifying an issue? Instead, do we fly from activity to activity? Maybe, instead of regression, there are clues in the behavior that can help us help them. Maybe we can slow down and stop wearing ourselves out. Is it possible the answers could help us have a more peaceful, purposeful existence after this pandemic? We need to be mindful. What we don’t take care of now, will need greater attention later.
For those who have not physically or economically been devastated by pandemic conditions, we have time. We have time to look, contemplate and take action. We have time to look at what we are doing, how what we do complicates or eases the family. How else could our children be learning or developing? Maybe more interactive family play may be more beneficial (not easy)to overall or social-emotional development?
Maybe we can derail the stress a bit. We can say “Kids, go outside and play in the snow.” (We are assuming the safest environment possible). Could this possibly develop longer-lasting problem-solving skills than any math equation on a screen could ever touch? Wouldnt that be soo much easier? Besides, it appears we could use a few good problem solvers these days.
Maybe our kid’s or family members’ discomfort is the undone work we ran away from in the first place. Unfortunately, we have to alter the way we find support for ourselves. This is not to say that any of this is easy, but growth rarely is. Maybe our kids are not regressing, they are just uncomfortable. That would be normal, don’t you think? Under the circumstances?
Sometimes, just the way we see or think can make a big difference in the way we feel or act. What we see, affects how we, positively or negatively treat others. I will reference last week’s blog “…Part of the Growth, Part of the Process”
Maybe we should try on a new perspective, and just see if it helps? …..I’m not saying, it will be easy. However, long term, it may provide us more ease.
BMMT, The Heyward Rooms.
Thank you, George!