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Finding the Silver Lining Among the Uncertainty

There is so much ugliness and uncertainty going on in the world right now. School, sports and all other extracurricular activities are cancelled for our children. Many are out of work, others are having to navigate how to work from home while homeschooling their kids and then there are those that are risking it all going to work everyday to make sure we have healthcare, food, safety, etc. Vacations and other events are being cancelled and many are left wondering when life will get back to normal. There are some of us who wonder what our new “normal” will look like. Then there are those that are in a rush to get back to everything we once did. I was one of those people. I loathed what this had taken from my family and friends.

Before COVID-19, admittedly my “normal” was chaos. My household consists of two full-time working parents, along with 2 children with a variety of activities. Between trying to coordinate work schedules, swim practice pick ups, piano lesson drop offs, softball/baseball games, board meetings, and whatnot, I felt like my family was existing. We were not connecting and enjoying life.

I am now working from home, while my husband still must go to work. I am responsible not only for my children’s emotional and physical well-being, but also their educational needs. There are days where it is just plain exhausting, where I throw my hands up in the air and say screw it; the schoolwork just isn’t getting done today. And you know what? I am 100% okay with that decision and my children are no worse for the wear. I have stopped looking at all that I have “lost” from this pandemic and have instead of started to focus on all that has been gained. This has been a great time to reconnect with my children, to just be able to play with them and enjoy what they bring to my life. We are eating more home cooked meals and ones that aren’t served in a rush at 7 PM, while trying to cram homework in before bedtime. Sure, my kids miss their friends and their activities, but they are outside playing more and just getting to be kids. As a family, we are getting to do more things together than we ever have, even if it is right from the comforts of our own home. We take the dogs for walks or hikes. We have movie and game nights. We are working on projects around the house. I am excited for some warmer weather and the ability to use the new kayaks we bought during a Black Friday sale. Kayaks that I wanted so much but was sure would not get the use they deserved because of our busy lives. Now that the busyness is gone, we have time for all of it and I couldn’t be happier!

My family had a big vacation planned for this summer, starting with a weeklong Caribbean cruise, capped off by another week in Florida on the beautiful gulf coast for a family wedding. We have cancelled the cruise aspect of the vacation and are still left wondering whether we will be able to do the Florida leg of our trip. At first, I was really bummed, however, I am starting to see some upside. My family has always had a love of nature and the outdoors. We enjoy camping, but for the past several years have been caught up in our schedules that we haven’t been able to do it as much as we would like. This pandemic gives us the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature. To take those hikes or camping weekends that were maybe once thought of as things to do when our schedule would allow or when we ‘had a chance to slow down’. Now is our time to be able to slow down and appreciate our surroundings and those that are with us. I for one am no longer in a rush to get back to the way things were, because frankly, the way things were wasn’t really working for me. I was existing, but I wasn’t living. I hope that everyone can see at least some silver lining in our current situation and is able to make the best of it! Go out and do something that you love, but maybe haven’t been able to normally do. See where the journey takes you and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Jillian McGrath
Executive Treasurer
New England Adventures, Inc.