We have faced incredible change during the past few weeks. Not simple little changes that we would all expect to encounter during the course of our everyday lives. No, this has been significant, life-will-never-be-exactly-the-same-again change.
Originally, the change felt like a novelty for me. I love being at home with my family. I love finding creative ways to deal with problems and issues remotely. I love demonstrating that I can be at least as effective working from home as I can from the office.
This week, however, I have felt challenged.
I am missing the office banter. I am missing being able to lean over to my colleagues and just run something past them, even though I might already have the answer. I am missing the element of surprise that comes from not seeing my husband and children all day and then finding out about their days when I get home. I am missing spontaneous social interaction. I am missing our friends.
I am struggling to remain in wonder about zoom piano lessons happening beside me and my husband loudly having a work call in the next room.
I am judging myself for being late to work and for not having dinner ready on time. How can this happen when I am currently permanently and simultaneously located at both places?!
In the midst of my frustration and uncertainty, an email arrived from our girls’ school. The very last line caught my attention:
Over the coming week, they may miss some things. Look for what they are doing well and smile!
I immediately felt grateful for the kindness and compassion that this one sentence seemed to show towards my children. It is a very fast changing time with lots of uncertainty. Our children are doing the best that they can to embrace this change. It was great that the school acknowledged this, and it was great that parents were being reminded to acknowledge it also.
Then I had an ah-ha moment.
We are all trying to make sense of this crazy time. We are all trying to adjust. We could all potentially benefit from compassion and kindness, including self-compassion and self-kindness.
The message from our school isn’t only relevant to the students. It is relevant to each and every one of us.
Yes, I may have been late for work a couple of days this week when the commute was as simple as walking from somewhere in my house to the dining table that doubles as my desk. However, I have also embraced working from home when I previously avoided it at all costs, and in a situation where it is not just me working from home, but all four of us. That’s a win.
So, as you navigate the challenges associated with this currently ever-changing world, remember that none of us chose this path. We are all navigating it as best as we can, learning along the way.
Please take some time to acknowledge what you are doing well and remember to reward yourself with a smile.