Extra Time

The days are either crawling by at an unprecedented snail’s pace or flying by in a forgettable blur. I can’t actually believe it is Saturday already and yet last weekend seems like an age ago. It’s tempting to obsess about time, how I ought to be spending it to be more productive. I am trying my best to resist that urge. I keep thinking about all the things I haven’t done (of course, it is too easy to forget all that I do manage to achieve) but I have to remind myself that the main reason for this is because this is not a holiday. I am still working as well as looking after my family and home. Occasionally, I find myself feeling slightly wistful for those who are languishing in quiet homes with no-one making constant demands on them and their time.

When I feel this happening, I shake myself. This is not fun for anyone. In fact, this is entirely horrible for those having to actually face the reality of the pandemic, unlike most of us who sit in our homes protected and relatively (blissfully) ignorant to what is really happening.

I also make myself think about how it will feel to go back to normal. The old normal. Flying around the house in the morning, barking at the kids to get their shoes on. Scrabbling around the freezer for something that resembles a decent meal because I got home late and forgot to plan dinner. Standing in front of thirty students and trying to inspire them to learn something. Spending the vast majority of my week away from my kiddos. For all the parts that I am dreading, this makes my heart hurt the most.

It is true that the very hardest part of being in lockdown for me is not struggling to juggle work, family and house commitments, nor it is thankfully dealing with illness and death, it is not being able to spend time with my parents, siblings, friends and family who do not live in our house. This is the most painful part. But while we are apart, while we are having to socially-distance, while we have to press pause on normal life, at least I get to spend all this wonderful time, slow crawling and fast flying, with my wonderful kiddos. I am going to enjoy it.

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