The new normal is not a phrase I have ever liked. Nothing felt normal about how life changed throughout the pandemic, and while we leaned into that first lockdown and subsequent restrictions, it was not real life.
And yet, we went through massive changes with work, family, and recognising and appreciating what we have and what is around us. The pandemic changed us whether we liked it or not. Life altered, and we created new habits. Some of which many of us refuse to let go of.
If there is one thing the pandemic has taught me, it’s that life is unpredictable. The fickle nature of kids and the impulsive nature of random days out are to be appreciated for what they are; real life.
Before the pandemic, I meticulously planned days out, and we would work off an itinerary with toilet breaks taken into account and actually knowing where the closest facilities were! These days, we run out the door with simple snacks and wing it. My expectations about what we do as a family, the memories we make, and whether our days’ work out or not have been significantly lowered. I live in the moment and take every day as it comes.
Embracing The Imperfect
Fish finger dinners, movie days, pillow forts in the living room and PJ days. Weekends on end without an event or day out planned, ice cream for dinner, and days when I’ve tried but exhaustion and frustration have made me shout. The pandemic has reminded me that I am not perfect and don’t always get it right. It has reminded me that we can have slow days, boring days, and tense days and we will all still love each other and survive for another day. I embraced the perfect, and along with no longer wearing underwire bras, it is a habit I refuse to let go of.
Expanding Our Horizons
We all had more time to fill during the pandemic, and while we all burnt out on banana bread (and potentially burnt it in the process), we found ways to fill our time and expand our horizons. For me, it was growing our own veg. I have not perfected my vegetable patch, but there is something incredibly rewarding about picking your own sugar snaps and popping them in your pan with other veg from your garden.
Holidaying At Home
We’re not ready to travel the world with our kids just yet, but part of that is because we have recognised what is right in front of us and embraced the staycation and holidaying at home. We have explored Wexford, Meath, Louth, Kildare, and Dublin. This year we will find our way through Athlone, Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny with an epic road trip. There is so much on offer right in front of us.