Finding a bit of space during lockdown, whether physical or mental, is having a profound effect.
The euphoria of the kids staying home and the commute to work done with, the time spent with family members, 24/7 is wearing.
What do you talk about at the end of the working day?
How do you keep the kids motivated with their studies, whether it’s homeschooling or remote learning, it is a tough gig?
As parents, we are managing several jobs on two fronts.
Working and maintaining some level of discipline and professionalism while juggling household chores.
Who would have thought we would be good at multitasking?
Before the lockdown, weren’t we doing this anyway?
Yes, we were, but it feels different.
The biggest challenge is finding personal fulfilment and letting go of expectations.
We have expectations they are a natural part of the human psyche.
We worry how well our kids perform in exams or how we perform in a review meeting with HR.
And we have preconceived expectations about what we want and what we actually end up with.
When we have these expectations, they help give us security and goals to work for.
The lockdown has, to some extent, removed that.
Our expectations are changing.
My plans this year have been swept aside.
My eldest was studying in Berlin and returned home in time and my youngest who was due to sit GCSEs were cancelled.
Any planning is awry but letting go of it and excepting that we can’t control what is uncontrollable is not easy.
Our plans are based on how we want the future to be, and when those expectations are removed, it is difficult to make sense of what the new future might look like.
Instead of making the most of the new circumstances, we find ourselves pessimistic, worried about how the future will evolve.
We have little choice but to ‘go with the flow’ but we fear the outcome because it isn’t the plan we designed.
Life looks very different and frightening, but by letting go of those expectations, life can really take on new meaning.
Yes, it is different to how our lives were ten weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean it is terrible.
Letting go of what we thought was going to be and embracing the new order, we can open our hearts and minds to greater possibilities.
We are all at the mercy of life’s flow, and we can’t control everything that comes our way.
And although we are unable to follow our own objectives, those personal plans we had so carefully mapped because of the circumstances, we can embrace where we are.
But by greeting new surprises and challenges head-on we have a sense of renewed purpose and well being that we may never have taken advantage of before the lockdown.
Swimming against the tide is hard work, sometimes we need to lay on our back and flow with the tide.
And as the weeks pass, we are receptive to a different way of working, accepting of the new way of life – social distancing, queues to get into food shops and the slow easing down of restrictions.
These unexpected and unforeseen circumstances make us flexible and receptive to change.
Letting go of all our planning and expectations enables us to respond to change positively.
We find ourselves caught up in a situation that was not of our making and out of our control.
Then ask yourself how you can make the most of the present situation and do your utmost to adapt.
The coming weeks will provide more twists and turns and our expectations will change again.
But by letting go of our preconceived expectations, we can accept life’s unpredictability and go with it.