What a week it has been! This week I transitioned back to work. It is always rough but with Covid it has been a whole new experience! Each year this week includes me wrapping up summer activities, retraining myself to get up early (4 am on some days), creating a new routine, relearning how to juggle work life and time with my family, remembering how to match and wear professional clothes again rather than my normal athletic shorts and tank, and reminding myself I need grace and patience for myself as I make this transition. It is never smooth and always involves lots of tears and unexplained bad moods. My poor husband knows it’s coming every time and he’s patient with me and loves me through it year after year.
Beyond my typical struggle a new rush of emotions was brought on in addition to my typical “woe is me, I have to go back to work after an amazing summer at home with my kids”. This year I was filled with anxiety, worry, uncertainty and unsettledness. I had a lack of peace in my heart that I could not shake. I was questioning everything. From “how on earth is this going to actually work?” to “are we making the right choice to send the kids back to school”. And then the thoughts that flooded my head like “we are doomed now, we are all for sure going to get sick”, “we can’t keep Nancy safe any longer”, and “this is never going to end”.
In the days leading up to my return to work, we tried to suck as much out of what was left of summer as we could. We may have had ice cream a couple days in a row and visited several parks and gotten pizza more than once. Once we even got shaved ice while playing at the park! We did underducks on the swings, slid down slides, took a bike ride to the donut shop, swam in the backyard, built a fort and one night had an impromptu dinner in the back yard with my cousin and her family and visited for over 5 hours! We allowed Alaina to go to a 4 hour long birthday party, this made her year! She had the most amazing time.
Throughout the week, we had fun organizing for school, making sure we had every last thing on the supply list, did a little online clothes shopping and we visited all three of the kids’ teachers and classrooms. Aaron and I both ordered new backpacks and got our rooms at work ready. I worked too many hours to count but I was sure to make it a priority to fit in all the family time too.
Aaron and I had some life wins! I kept to my workout routine and morning routine and even hit my 350th workout and I filled an entire journal already this year and purchased a new one. Aaron has been filming and editing his first video for his youtube channel and is just about to publish it and is maintaining his once a meal a day fasting plan and is consistently losing weight.
The kids also had their own successes this week as well. Addie finished 2 books and is excited to take the AR tests on the first day of school. She also realized the consequence of life being fair. In her words “if life was fair it would be chaos!” She realized this as we sat at the stop light and she thought of how if it were fair we would all get to go first and of course we would crash. I love these moments! Alaina came up with a plan on how to make friends with the new girls in her class and Parker created some pretty amazing drawings and is doing great on his reading.
The kids are beyond excited to get back to school. They ask every day what the date is and how long before school starts. They can’t wait to see their friends again and play at recess and even do school work. I have never seen them this excited for something! It is reassuring to see their joy and excitement.
Final thoughts and challenge: I battled with the negative thoughts about returning to work pretty much all week but at some point this past weekend I began to feel peace and assurance. Maybe not that we won’t get sick and struggle but just that I know that everything will be okay, it always is, even when it’s not the way we want it. God can make good things out of this bad situation! What I was hearing is God can use me to help these kids, even during this time, and especially during this time! I recognized that I must not just show up and do my job but I must show up and be all in ready to make an impact. This whole situation is not about me or my family. It is about serving others! God gave ME the skills and gifts to reach these parents and students. So God will give ME the ability to do just that. My calling will not be squashed or tainted because of a pandemic. Why should it! It has a lot of power but it doesn’t have to put out my flame.
Are there any areas in your life where this season of life, this pandemic, has slowed you down or taken the fuel out of your fire for what you love? Can you reassess where you are with that and try to take back that joy that is yours and move forward anyway? Use your gifts and give it all you’ve got!