There have certainly been some devastating consequences of life during Covid-19 and many people have had their worlds turned upside down. Like everything that is experienced in life however, we can usually find a silver lining if we look hard enough or wait for the initial shockwaves to subside.
One of the positive outcomes that was bandied around in my own circles and via social media feeds, was the relief that many families felt in being able to slow down. To be able to have commitment free weekends, to spend time doing different things, spur of the moment games or movies or baking or creating. And whilst many kids missed their friends, their sporting and extra curricula activities, there were many that also relished the days of unstructured play and idle hours.
It is certainly true that our lives have, in recent years, become a whole lot of “busy”. It was always the catch cry when someone asks you how you are. “Busy”. Busy with work, with kids, with sporting commitments, with training, with managing and running households, seeing friends and socialising. Because the world began to take away a lot of the natural boundaries that once prevented us from being always switched on and “doing stuff”. We have smart phones that mean we can organise, connect and respond instantaneously. We can generally get anywhere pretty quickly. We can work anywhere at any time and even answer emails mid conversation. We have the ability for our kids to engage in all sorts of sports, activities and pursuits, which whilst healthy and helpful, can also leave us spending our days flitting from one pick up and drop off to the next with little breathing space in between.
So the days of forced “homelife” provided a poignant reminder of the ways our lives had left us little time to stop, be idle, daydream, chill out, really bond and connect. Maybe we should take heed of this life lesson, and realise the importance of slowing down a little…..for all of us.
I’m not sure exactly how we do this. Maybe it is changing our daily timetable. Maybe it is putting greater boundaries around our access to work and devices. Maybe it is limiting some of the formal activities. Maybe it is blocking out days or weekends where nothing gets scheduled. Maybe it is just making a switch in our mindset, to consciously pay greater attention to those things that we should prioritise. What we will likely find, is the most important thing we have to focus on is our human connections. And then we can ask ourselves, “how did we make that a priority today…..and how we will do that again tomorrow?”