Despite the premature feeling that lockdown was nearing an end, it isn’t, and at this rate we’re probably going to be dealing with this through the rest of 2020. That said, it hasn’t entirely been unproductive either.
After any major, life-altering social upheaval (wars,1 pandemics, etc), I figure that people go through a series of phases: shock, fatalism (enjoy today, we may die tomorrow), acceptance, depression and finally adjustment. At least our family went through all these at some point. In time, we’ve adjusted to new routines with school, with work, and with being home together all the time, and started taking on some long-term projects that were neglected (sometimes for years).
This is not a novel idea, either. I see friends and neighbors taking up gardening, home repair, painting or other such projects. The specific project isn’t even that important, but having something personal you can work towards and make the most of your time locked down can really help. The alternative, of course, is worse.
Last month, I wrote down a list of projects that I wanted to finish by end of August, in no particular order, which included:
- Finishing a couple of books. These were books that I actually wanted to read, as opposed to the pile of books I bought and only half-heartedly want to read.
- Finishing a certain, little writing project of mine (more on that in a future post).
- Finishing one of my Japanese language textbooks, which is already 2/3 done anyway.
- Finishing season one of Star Trek: Discovery.
This was meant to be a list of easy, stress-free projects to complete by August, but I also expected to not get all of them done, so I made a note to myself that I would not be disappointed if I fail to finish them. I figure, any progress is better than no progress at all. But I have completed a couple items so far, and I am happy to see the list getting smaller.
Meanwhile, the house and yard are getting some badly needed maintenance. We’ve even co-opted the kids a little to help.
All this is to say that lockdown sucks, it’s super disruptive, but we’re all learning to adapt and make the most of the time we’ve got.
1 I don’t say that to be flippant either. My grandparents, and my wife’s parents (as children) both lived through WWII, albeit on different sides. Social upheaval can take years to get out of, and even then you can never quite go back to where you were before. You can only move forward. Then again, when you think about it, every generation has some crazy life-disrupting events anyway, so I guess it was our turn?