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Living in uncharted waters

Posted: June 1, 2020

During this quarantine period, I’ve reflected on how our experiences might be similar to how life was for early settlers traveling across Canada, not knowing what was ahead. For us, the unknown is how this pandemic will affect, and continue to affect, our daily lives. Scientific and economic experts can provide models, but none of them are certain.

Many families and individuals are living without their full calendar of meetings, soccer practices or other engagements – and are instead left on their own to make the best use of their time. For many, schedules have always been “busy” without free or unscheduled time available. Now, individuals, couples and families must self-plan their days, which creates new demands on their time and capabilities amidst the uncertainty of short- and long-term circumstances.

Before COVID, we may have been pre-programmed into our habits and rhythms, not aware of all the intricacies of setting up and planning our daily activities. We were able to show up to our lives. But now, we have the opportunity to learn about all the moving pieces behind the scenes that affect our daily activities.

An example of this would be the production of a play: we can likely agree that the finished product is fantastic to witness, but the work behind the scenes – the scripting, creation of props, audio production, light rigging, not to mention the many hours of practice and memorization for the actors – are what makes it a smooth and seemingly uncomplicated event.

This example reminds me – a seamless event only appears seamless. It takes a lot of work, helping hands and a concerted effort to make it look seamless. We must remind ourselves and others: to give ourselves a break. These are uncharted waters and we will learn as we go.

This also makes it all the more important to create a balanced lifestyle that will build resilience, making it easier to navigate the challenges of personal relationships, work, time with friends and family, as well as financial challenges.

Building resilience in ourselves and realizing that we don’t need to have everything appear “seamless” will help us adjust to our new normal, as it changes.