I don’t know about you, but as the season changes, the school year – this awful, stressful school year – finally starts drawing to a close (31 days to go here in NYC), and life once again begins to return to something resembling normal, I feel my mood lift and my energy shift. While some things continue to weigh on my mind, I’m actually looking forward to activities in the months ahead, and this newfound balance has been such a welcome relief. I imagine you might be feeling similar. Here are some things I’m excited about, something I’m worried about, something I miss, and something I’m enjoying (and I’d love to hear yours!).
Something I’m excited about
This weekend I’m taking my first post-vax solo trip to reunite with friends I haven’t seen in way too long. I’m really looking forward to seeing them and to visiting Louisville, Kentucky for the first time. I heard they have some good bourbon there. 🙂
Something I’m worried about
It’s not a major worry, but there is some concern I have about how much of a setback (mostly socially and emotionally, but academically too) all of this time doing remote school will have had on my kids. By the time their new school year starts (in 107 days, but who’s counting), it will have been 18 months – almost to the day – since they’ve stepped foot in a school building. That’s a really, really long time! Joanie was four years old and halfway through pre-k when her school closed last spring. She’ll be a 6-year-old first-grader in September. Jackson will be starting his final year of elementary school. Both will be at a new school. I hope it’s a smooth transition and that they can both pick up where they left off 18 months earlier – maybe with some new coping skills and some new appreciation for actually being inside a classroom, among their peers, and learning in person, finally. Finally.
Something I miss
I really, really miss having time to myself and some distance from my kids. I miss my daily routine after the kids would be dropped off at school. I miss sitting at my favorite neighborhood cafe just down the block and setting up my laptop and getting a few hours of work/writing done, while catching up with friends. I miss occasional lunch dates with Drew on days he’d work from home and the still-new thrill of getting alone time together without having to pay a babysitter. I miss time in the day for doctor appointments, haircuts, and running errands. I can make the time now, but it’s a constant negotiating of the minutes, making sure Drew can cover for me, that I’m not gone longer than I should be, and that I’m back in time to deal with whatever new need arises in my absence before all hell breaks loose. Basically, I miss my regular life. Fourteen months and counting is a long time to put it on hold. Fourteen months is a long time to be solely dedicated to just one thing (in this case, parenting through a pandemic).
Something new (to me) I’m doing, learning, or enjoying
In an effort to broaden my horizon beyond just parenting and to prioritize self-care a bit, I’m doing two things I really enjoy. I’m exercising nearly every day. Specifically, I’ve joined the Peloton cult and really enjoy it. We don’t have the bike. What we have is the app membership ($13 a month) that gets us access to tons of classes (available on Apple TV) that we can do from the comfort and convenience of our own home. With various hand weights and a couple yoga mats, we’re able to do all sorts of strength, core, and stretching exercises, and after 13 weeks of consistently showing up, I am feeling a difference – mentally and physically.
The other thing I’m doing, which seems completely unrelated but isn’t really, is the daily Spelling Bee puzzle in the New York Times. I had a great aunt who lived to be 101 and she swore by word puzzles to keep her mind sharp (which it was until the very end), so I am hoping that, by incorporating mental exercises with the physical ones I’m doing, I can stay healthy and strong for many years to come.
What are some things you’re excited about, you’re worried about, you miss, and you’re doing, learning, or enjoying?