Tuesday 26 May 2020

Reflections from the last 8 weeks

The kids are safely back at school, and mums all across Australia are breathing in the quiet.

When my friends start waxing poetic on the things they have done to fill their time since Easter, I'm reminded that some people think I'm a little crazy.

The only down time I've had was the first week of school holidays, the week before Easter.

That week was blissfully, peacefully quiet.

No phone calls.

No mad buzzing from my FitBit.

No questions to answer, no decisions to make.


But every other week since than has stretched me.

Phone calls several times a day, sometimes for an hour or more as people needed to unload and my ear was willing.

Text chats as different teams needed to discuss options, make decisions.

Chats with friends and family as we forged new connections in the wake uncertainty

Zoom meetings with all the people.

Now that I've got some breathing space as we step into newness, I've been reflecting on how I've really felt and the things that I've learnt over the last few weeks.

I'm more organised when I'm busy.

Lots have people have commented that I have a big work load, but seem to keep track of it all. That's because I'm using my bullet journal to write everything down, and refer to it often. When I've made mistakes, it's because I either didn't write it down, or forgot to look at my journal.

I don't say yes to me often enough.

One of the things I know I have problems with is keeping my boundaries firm. When I'm asked to do something last minute, I always say yes. When I offer to do something for someone else, they always accept. And it's usually to the detriment of something for me.

I am always early.

Whether it's attending a zoom meeting with workmates or friends, or picking up a coffee order, or just going to work for the day, I am always early. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing, but the expectation that I might be growing in others has me wary.

Zoom meetings have their place.

I have really quite enjoyed using zoom to communicate with people. For me, zoom takes away the angst of "catching up" that I was constantly feeling with our group chats. And it's much easier to infer people's feelings when you can see them.

Zoom meetings need a purpose.

While calling my mum for a chat is fun, I found that the rambling meetings often stretched my heart. If we had a purpose for chatting, and stuck to it, it was much more productive. Even playing games online for 2 hours via zoom was more productive when we needed the structure for our day.

Learning@home was an experience.

Chalk it up to our resilience quotient, but learning@home started out unsteady for most people I know, and ended up being an OK experience. Our year 2 teachers have decided to continue to use the online platform for homework going forward, which is great news for my little learner who is struggling.

I still hate housework.

I mentally told myself that I would use my time wisely, but housework is still at the bottom of my list. When I finally started to feel proactive, instead of reactive, we were getting ready to send the kids back to school.

The hardest thing about kids is the noise.

For years I have struggled with school holidays. Evenings are ok, weekends can be a strain, but school holidays have been my idea of hell for a long time. I realised last summer that it was because of the sheer increase in noise in the house. From televisions to Xbox consoles, to endless bickering, the noise drives me batty.

Ask for what you need.

No one is a mind reader, especially our partners and children. I ended up putting a sign on the door, and telling everyone how long the door would be shut. This worked most of the time, but some meetings went unexpectedly long, and a little head occasionally appeared.

Toilet paper is gold.

I think we can all agree that toilet paper holds more weight in the world right now than any of us expected. I had just bought our regular 42 pack the week before the madness started, and made it through until supplies righted themselves again.

Shopping for a large family can be hard at times.

When supermarkets introduced limits thanks to all the hoarders, I  literally had to shop every other day to buy enough food for our family. 2 packets of 500g beef mince is one meal for our house. I was super excited when levels returned to normal; now I can't wait for staff to be allowed to pack my bags again!

We are all more resilient than we thought.

We have survived patchy internet when working and learning from home; no toilet paper or dog food at the supermarket; all our favourite coffee shops and restaurants pivoting to stay open; and having all our people home 24 hours a day.

I'd say that deserves a big pat on the back, and a slice of cheesecake, wouldn't you?!

What have you learnt about yourself during this period of time?


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