The Return to Normal: What Have We Learned?


A family making a mess baking.I had thought Covid’s abrupt disruption of everything normal had taught us some lessons about slowing down. It reminded us of how quickly life could change. It caused us to re-evaluate how we spent our time. It helped us refocus on the importance of being with those we love.

And then, it seems like we’ve decided it’s over just as fast as Covid came along. Our family is ecstatic to have things feeling like a return to normal once again.

And instead of emerging from two-year hiatus with a more mindful outlook, we’ve gone full-on FOMO. Now that we can do all the things, we want to do all the things. How did we get here again so fast?

Our schedules are once again packed with sports, dance lessons, Girl and Boy Scouts activities, and family commitments. Just this weekend, we have two campouts, three soccer games, and we’re hosting a baby shower. This October is full of plans for birthday parties, Halloween celebrations, the book fair at school, reading in classrooms, and chaperoning field trips.

It’s all wonderful and very exciting. I love life feeling full once again.

But I feel like overwhelm could creep back in. It’s hard to say no to things after two years of being forced to say no to everything. But it’s still important to prioritize our time.

Those lessons about slowing down? About being selective with how we use our time? About how being with those we love is the most important way to spend our time?

We are trying to keep those lessons front of mind by keeping space in our weekends committed to family time, just the six of us.

We like to have days after school where our kids come home, play, and relax, rather than zooming in the car from one place to another.

We limit screen time so that we spend more time together doing fun things like reading, crafting, or playing games rather than zoning out on separate screens.

We try to get time outside with our dog every day, no matter the weather.

In other words, we’re trying to be mindful about including time in our lives that isn’t scheduled and planned. It’s easy to get pulled back into the rat race. But we’re doing our best to balance a return to activities by scheduling time together without plans.

How do you feel now that things can return to normal? Are you excited to be able to join everything again? Or are you trying to take it slow?


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