Just the other day my sister in law and I were discussing how on some level we were enjoying iso-life...
I say on some level because there was a lot we were missing; family, friends, coffee dates, playdates, restaurants, date nights, girls drinks, pubs… the list goes on. But we both felt this sense of ease at what reducing our circle had done for us. When you had to be so selective of who you could see, when it wasn’t possible to just invite everyone to be polite and when it was about quality over quantity, well it wasn’t all bad.
I joked to her over our cup of tea surrounded by our four little ones, that we needed to do the iso-cull. We laughed because honestly it sounded a bit ruthless and we joked about who and what was getting the cut, but in the weeks that have passed and as restrictions have further eased it has really got me thinking – what have we learnt through all of this and seriously what is getting the iso-cull?
I’m a big believer that you have to say it out loud or write it down to make it happen, so here is my list of things to survive the iso-cull:
- Always family first. I am so lucky to be surrounded by family, in some cases, they aren’t actually that close but through technology, we are able to feel surrounded by them. If anything, lockdown has made me realise just how lucky we are. They were the first people we wanted to see as soon as restrictions eased and for those that are still not physically close, we ache for that hug and first cold beer together.
- Find time to spend with friends that make you better. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean they make you behave better – I have quite a few girlfriends who make this list and there is definitely not much good behaviour (or dancing for that matter) when we manage to finally catch up for a wine or ten, but once the hangover clears my heart is always full. Yes, more time with these people. These are the people I was desperate to see at the end of isolation and they are the people I want to surround myself with. Whether the busyness of life means we can catch up weekly, monthly or just once or twice a year doesn’t matter, it’s that you hang out to see them every time.
- Say ‘no’ more. As a mother of a preschooler, toddler and baby I can tell you I say ‘no’ quite a bit. ‘No hitting’ ‘No, don’t sit on the baby’ ‘No climbing on to the bench’ but what I am talking about here is saying ‘No’ to things that you just can’t take on or don’t need to do. Knowing when you have enough on your plate or that you actually don’t want to do it. Soon as restrictions lifted and the obligatory ‘let’s catch up’ started again I found myself saying ‘yes, of course’ when to somethings I wanted to say ‘No thanks’. Almost instantly that over-scheduled panic set in.
- FOMO once ruled many of my decisions but I am going to make a conscious effort to not worry so much about missing out and only do things that I really want to, that’s best for my family and that keep my heart full.
These things aren’t revolutionary, in truth they are things I wish I had always been doing, but like most things in life sometimes you just need a little reminder. If the last few months have taught me anything, it’s the people that we missed most and that get us through these hard times, not the things.
Note: I am acutely aware of how lucky we are here in NSW. The numbers across the globe continue to grow and they are far from ‘getting back to normal’, please don’t in any way read this and think I think this is all over, I am just grateful for where we are today.