More than a year into the pandemic things have barely changed

writings in a planner

I was a prolific writer at this time last year. We were more than a month into our new COVID lifestyle, I was unemployed, and my kids were doing virtual learning for the first time.

Fast forward a year, and we’re in nearly the same situation again. This time I am fully employed – somehow I landed a great job working from home – but we are still struggling with isolation and learning from home.

Related: How I fell into being a full-time writer

Frankly, it’s frightening to think about the mismanagement that has us back in this predicament, but that’s a political post for another time. (And I likely won’t write it because it’s not pleasant and I don’t want to delve into that at all.)

Instead I thought I would just share a little about how we’re really doing more than a full year later.

Remote Learning

While this is fairly old hat now (this is our third time having the kids learning over screens), it’s still a struggle. Emma can do her own thing, and she seems to be getting work done, but Rose still struggles with not being in a classroom. She forgets she can still just ask questions of the teacher during online class time or over email. She gets frustrated when she can’t understand the assignment sheets in French (and I’m not much help there) and she’s the kind to cry and shut down when she’s experiencing these feelings.

If I wasn’t able to be at home, I’m not sure how they’d fare. Reminders are still needed some days to “get back online” after lunch or asynchronous time.

Do I think they’ll go back this year – not really…

Working From Home

I’m still in awe that I landed a job that lets me work from home and be here for my girls. Patrick’s job has some at-home components, but he never stopped working in the community supporting businesses and doing construction IT.

I am writing. A lot. Which is why you don’t see me writing here as often. I love it, and I get to know so much about what is happening in the community, but it can also be very mentally draining.

Related: My amazing writing job has shamelessly stolen my desire to blog

My most creative time is in the morning. As soon as the kids get into their schooling (at 8:30) I try to get into my groove. I actually start working earlier than that, resharing articles on social media and replying to emails, but my best writing happens before lunch, and thankfully that coincides with the girls working online themselves.

Staying Active

I don’t want to share with you just how poor of a job I was doing with this over the winter. With no dance classes to keep me moving, I was feeling like a sluggish lump, and the scale was confirming it.

With spring finally here, I’ve been outside every day (or almost), working in the gardens and taking daily walks. I feel so much better, and I know my mental health and creativity have benefitted as well.

The girls? Well, they have been spending every nice hour at the park, with some kids whose families we can contact should the unthinkable happen. They have slightly sunburnt noses already, and it’s a great recovery after a day on screens.

Rose and Emma at Kingston Mills, April 2021.

Self Care

This is so hard! With everyone home all the time I find it really difficult to “escape” and just be. I try reading, but some days the “there’s cleaning to do” feeling keeps me from enjoying it. If dinner is prepped, the floor is swept, and the kids are outside, I can usually sit down for a few minutes and relax.

All I ever really want to do is read my book, or spend a few minutes sitting quietly. Outside in the sun, if possible. Sometimes in the bath. But really it’s turning off my brain from the emotional load of parenting and housekeeping, and just existing in the moment.

I get there some days. And some days I don’t. But I’m better than before, and constantly striving to let go of things I can’t control – including chores other people do that aren’t quite up to my standards!

I still stand by the few things I wrote about that really have improved because of the pandemic. More time at home has been a blessing for us, though that feeling is starting to wear thin.

I’d love to hear how you’re coping a full year later. Are you still in isolation mode? Did you get a vaccine? (I haven’t had luck with that yet, but my husband has!) How has your life been going?

Share with me in the comments, I love hearing from you!

Jess

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