So I might as well start with what we are all spending most of our lives thinking about at the moment. Coronavirus. Social isolation. Lockdown. Scary, anxiety provoking words. I still catch myself not quite believing that this is really what is going on in the world.
Me and my three have been at home for almost three weeks now. School closed on a Sunday and we started online schooling the very next day. I work as a teacher in a British International School in Kenya and we live on the most beautiful campus. It went from a busy, full of life place to silence overnight. My neighbours are so quiet that I’m sure they must think we are crazy because I know they must hear us. Quiet isn’t really a word that describes us.
It’s tricky navigating all these emotions isn’t it. The situation is completely out of any of our control which isn’t easy to deal with. We want answers. No one knows. Humans are social animals and while I’m lucky I am kept really busy with my bubbies, my mum is living alone in London as are so many others. It’s not nice. Or healthy.
It’s a privilege. We can lockdown. We can stock up. We can work from home. We can wash our hands with clean running water and disinfect everything. I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from or if I’m going to run out of money. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. I can be thankful for the privilege and still acknowledge that I’m also experiencing negative emotions. I’m worried about my family. I’m anxious that I’m in a country with my three kids and my tribe is in London. I’m frustrated that my workload is a lot to cope with and I also need to ensure my three are managing with their school work: an almost impossible task.
“I can be thankful for the privilege and still acknowledge that I’m also experiencing negative emotions.”
When I say we are running home schooling I don’t mean a few worksheets for the kids to do in their spare time. I mean we are running to full timetable. Virtually. We start with staff zoom calls at 7.30am followed by form time with our class at 8.30am. We are planning and marking daily. We are running parent consultations by zoom, end of term assembly by zoom, writing reports as per usual but this time they get sent electronically. It is a lot.
How do I feel? Generally I actually feel really good. There are so many aspects of this new way of life that I am loving at the moment. I’m enjoying having all this time with my three. We are usually so so busy that it feels like real quality time we are getting together. My kids are getting on better. They still bicker of course, but something about not having outside influences and/or knowing that we are all we have at the moment means I’m seeing a lot more laughs, convos and good time’s between them. We are able to do more fun things together like play ball outside, make TikToks to dance to, sing together and watch Netflix obvs. The kids have stepped up with their chores big time! They are cleaning, cooking, organising themselves, proper life skills. I just have more time. Actual time in hours but also mentally, physically and emotionally I just have more space. More capacity. So I can be more intentional about what I do and who I have in my life. I’m exercising every day. (I need to with the amount I’m stuffing down the pie hole), I’m cooking a whole load of new meals, I’m reading more. I’ve even started a blog!
I would never have wanted this situation to happen. I’m sure no one would have. But I am really dedicated on my personal growth. To keep building resilience and to keeping it real. I’m determined to look for the good, look for ways to grow through what I go through, as cliche as it sounds. Because at the end of the day, growth does not come from the comfort zone. Growth comes from the hard times, when we are tested. This is the biggest test my generation has and hopefully will ever see. What are you learning about yourself? Who are you choosing to have in your life? What really matters? I am determined to grow through this period and look back on this time as of course tragic for humanity, but personally something I can be thankful for.