Day 100 of social distancing has come and gone, with no real end in sight. Things have changed, we know Covid19 is going to be with us for a long while. We know masks and distancing lower the risk. We know people are crazy. We know it affects people very differently. We know that we still don’t know a whole lot.
Overall, we have had an easier experience than many. I feel like I’ve gotten the rest I’ve needed for a decade. Switching to video messaging from texts, I’ve done better keeping up with friends (who are willing to use Marco Polo) than I have in years. Not having to spend an hour or two in the car every day, has been a huge win. Not having to hurry Zoya to dress, eat, or get out the door has been a game changer. Basically, all my life I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and since my husband died, the goal has been to work from home while homeschooling Zoya, and quite frankly, I basically enjoy it as much as I imagined. It generally is easier to enjoy things you expect to enjoy.
Perspective and expectations really are just about everything. In what was normal life, I enjoy my job, I enjoy driving in the car alone, I enjoy adult conversations and uninterrupted; but I want to be with my child as much as possible while I still can. I’m glad I love my job and career, but I never wanted either.
I think sometimes it can be hard to appreciate what we get, when we don’t get what we want. It can be hard to enjoy what does not meet our expectations. If you have been long
I didn’t get what I wanted all my life (a husband and a child), except for a little over a year; so you would think I’d would be a master at appreciating what I never desired. I spent my life wanting to be married with children. I never spent a moment dreaming about a career of any sort. Basically, I went to school (thinking I’d get an engineering degree) and then law school, because I didn’t get married at age 17 as I wanted and expected to do. And yet, I’ve loved most of my jobs, and apparently have a great career that I certainly enjoy. However, I’ve had to be intentional about noticing that I’ve enjoyed my career over the years, because naturally, we only expect to be happy when our expectations are met.
I remember walking back from the courtroom one day, and realizing I was an attorney, and that I liked it. I graduated law school telling people I was never going to practice law and definitely never going into the courtroom. I’d been a prosecutor for a year before it sank in that I actually was a lawyer and loved what I was doing, because my focus was on the dreams I wasn’t seeing fulfilled.
Certainly, when my husband was killed I had to learn to see the good. in a life that no one wants, and one where I would always be able to feel pain and loss.
When Covid hit, I saw many people slowly accept that while social distancing wasn’t the life they envisioned, that they could actually, for a time, enjoy the benefits of something they would have never requested. It didn’t take a minute for the out of home working moms, who wanted to be home; but many who always wanted a job outside the home, took a while to realize the good in staying home. Things can be great, even if they are not what you expected or desired. There is more than one path that can be full of life.
Now, many of us are gearing up for another change, whether it is returning to an office, sending children for school, or just a change in mindset, realizing this is going to last a lot longer than we anticipate. Now it’s my turn to be the one who remembers the good in something I never spent a moment wanting. It shouldn’t be hard to remember the good of a few hours without a five year old. It shouldn’t be hard to remember that I love listening to podcasts in the car. It shouldn’t be hard to remember I’ll be more present with her when I am home, if I’m not here 24-7. It’s not the life I dreamed I’d have, but I can still be grateful for what it is.