It’s been three months. 90 days. Our personal lockdown started back in March when Luke’s school closed, and several days later the UK made announcements that changed our lives. While we’ve been blessed not to be physically affected by COVID, it touched literally everyone around the world in some capacity. And it’s not over. Even as the world re-opens (some quicker than others), we continue to adjust to our new way of life. The mental trauma of 2020 will stay with us for years and maybe decades. But we know that even in the hardest of times, if we look deep enough we can find ways to grow.
After these many months digesting our experience, we’ve had time to recalibrate and even begin to appreciate what we’ve learned in lockdown. I wanted to record and remember the things we learned as our country opens back up and we try to get back to a normal sense of life, travel, experiences, etc. Do these resonate with you? Our challenge as a family will be to make these learnings useful, worthwhile and long-lasting as we leave lockdown behind.
1. How to be bored – We discovered forgotten family games, old toys and quiet days of reading. Finding something to do when you are trapped inside is a handy life skill.
2. How to be still – Luke has never enjoyed sitting still in church, but without youth group and Sunday School, he’s successfully listened to online church sermons for months. I’m thankful he’s learned how to be still and listen.
3. How to be patient – Poor kid has had to spend A LOT of time with Mom and Dad. And we as parents have tried to be patient, show grace and understanding during this unprecedented time. I’m thankful he showed patience with us as we tried to navigate so many days together in a small space with a pandemic looming large.
4. How to maintain friendships from far away – Moving to another country gave us a head start on the need to connect virtually with friends and family. But add school friends, teachers and even virtual Young Life to the mix, and maintaining relationships did prove somewhat challenging. But we persevered through the Zoom overload and kept connections as best we could.
5. How to be hopeful – As we adjusted to the unknown and looked eagerly but tentatively to the future, Hope was our anchor. We gave each other space when it was needed and focused on not feeling down for too long. For me, hope could always be found in a walk outside in the fresh air and sunshine. I also enjoyed posting Scripture verses daily with a photo from my nature walks. For Luke, it was a bike ride and homemade banana muffins. Mitch stayed positive and hopeful with virtual workouts. Our mantra became “you do you” when it came to finding hope and a brighter spirit.
6. How to be creative – Pre-COVID, we were too busy to need much creativity. Activities and schedules kept us on the hamster wheel. But during lockdown Luke reconnected to building and tinkering. We also enlisted him to cook dinner once a week and that allowed for creativity in the kitchen.
7. How to be independent – Luke learned incredible independence when school went online. Scheduling check-ins with teachers, showing up for “live” classes at different times every day and being held accountable for homework sent into the virtual classroom required a steep learning curve and mountain of patience (from all of us). He matured in ways I hadn’t expected and I imagine the new habits will serve him well when in-person school returns.
8. How to laugh when times are tough – Sometimes we just have to laugh or we’ll cry. It’s good for the soul to find humor in hard places. Thank you, Internet, for the memes that kept me going.
9. How to be grateful – Most importantly, we rallied around gratitude to keep our emotions in check and remember the many things we were thankful for. I hope to continue our Daily 5 long after lockdown.
What did your family learn during lockdown that you hope to keep alive?