The last day that our kids were in school. Who would have even known that March 13th would be the final day that our kids would see their friends, their teachers, their school facilities…their “normal” lives as we knew it. Thank goodness no one left their lunchbox filled with half-eaten food or heavens knows what it may have grown into by now. But seriously, this was the last day of what we knew as “normal” and it’s almost something of a memorialized holiday now in some ways.
There are definitely times that I pine to just go back, back to the way things were. Things were action-packed. We were active. Our home was often filled with friends and family. And then I look at our Google calendar compared to today and it is utterly mind-boggling. The number of colored squares denoting mine, my husband’s and each of my four kid’s stuff is unbelievable. We were doing a LOT of stuff, and a lot of good stuff to boot. But, even a lot of good things can get in the way of great or even the best things. I sure don’t miss…
- The overloaded schedules revolving around school, sports and church.
- Having to miss one child’s activity/sport while I shuttled, coached or spectated at another’s.
- Quickly downed meals on-the-go.
- Exhausted, emotional kids being dragged from place-to-place.
- The frenetic feeling that something was being missed or forgotten in the go-go-go race to the next thing.
But of course there is PLENTY that we all miss. In fact, the list of things we miss could probably fill hundreds of pages. The greatest misses are the people, the relationships. Whether they were casual out on the sports field or close-knit friends who were virtually family, we miss each and every unique person in our lives. We miss talking with them. We miss cheering alongside them. We miss hugging them. We miss being with our people.
All of this reflecting on what was lost on March 13th to simply say that we have many lessons to pull from this period of time. And now is a critical time to do so as life slowly but surely begins to re-open up. Here are just a few that come to mind and we are committed to:
- Carve out time to simply be. Literally, put it as a colored block in the Google calendar.
- Prioritize family meals…whether it be nightly, several times a week or weekend-only, sit around the dinner table with every person in your household. And remove any and all distractions at the dinner table. Sit, eat and converse face-to-face, eye-to-eye.
- Take care of others. This season has presented many unique opportunities to care for our neighbors, friends and family but that does not nor should it stop with the quarantine. Continue to find unique opportunities to show love for those we love.
- Lean into God. There have been plenty of questions that we simply don’t have the answer for, but we trust God to answer them. There have been plenty of prayer requests that felt unheard, but God has heard each and every one of them. He has been ever-present caring for and comforting us every step of the way.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of lessons we have learned in quarantine. Hope you too can look back on March 13th, 2020 (or whatever day that your kids last went to school in-person) and see how life “used to be”. Celebrate the wonderful things and recognize where things need to change. Do not take this quarantine time for granted whether you trudged or blossomed through it. Write down the lessons and commit to applying them as you reenter and recreate life for you family out in the world.