June 1st is coming and in British Columbia, that means the next phase of living with COVID-19. People are stressed. People are worried. People are scared.
There – I’ve said it. I think that while there is a nervous excitement about society moving back towards a bit of normality – the notion of resetting home, school and societal routines after 3 months of quasi isolation is daunting for many. Like the chained prisoners coming out of the Cave in Plato’s analogy: many of us may walk out into the light, see the sun, and want to run back into the comforting darkness we lived in since March. Is this true for you? Does this new – “new normal” frighten you just a little? If this is the case, I would like to offer you one "macro" piece of advice;
One meal at a time. Take things: one meal at a time.
During this pandemic, our family has eaten almost every meal together. Every morning, after we get the kids up and ready, this one question is always asked:
“Maddie, Spencer…hey…Maddie, Spencer, what do you want for breakfast?” They answer; we adjust so that it's nutritious and delicious. They happily consume. Then…
“Hey – does this sound ok for lunch?” They answer; we adjust so that it's nutritious and delicious. They, again, happily, consume. Then… (you can see where this is headed…)
“Hey -what are we making for dinner?” The person who was asked, answers; we plan, we (actually most of the time Michelle) make the food, and adjust so that it's nutritious and delicious. They once again, happily consume.
The point is this; during this pandemic, we have been teacher, cook, parent, entertainment and everything else to our kids and each other. We have survived – and even enjoyed ourselves – by taking it one meal at a time. We never worried about the kids being bored with the food we were giving them (and we make cheesy noodles a lot). We never fret about the type of food we would make, and, on a macro scale, the type of day it would be. There are dinner times where I served hotdogs and corn, and there are dinners where we had barbecued pork shoulder, steamed vegetables and perfectly cooked rice.
Whatever it is we chose to make, we went all in, made it with love, care and thoughtfulness, and ate it together with the kids. Likewise, together, we moved through each day, moment by moment making adjustments along the way – and never worried about what we would need to change as things evolved in front of, and around, us.
Come June 1st, when life takes this new turn – I challenge all of you – all of us – to take things one meal at a time. During COVID-19 – every day brings new demands, obstacles pop up unannounced, and societal pressures and expectations fluctuate constantly. I think this is why there is so much anxiety. As human beings – we fear the unexpected and try and run from the unknown. The reality is, none of us know what will come next in this pandemic world, and we will live in constant angst if we try and look too far into the future. However, if we live our lives just preparing for the next meal, and enjoying what we cook: whether your meal is your next task at work, the next lesson you teach, the next challenge you face, or the next goal you need to accomplish – plan one step at a time, adjust as necessary, and appreciate the experience.
Check out my wife adjusting to my son not wanting to ride his bike!
Taking things one day at a time: one meal at a time – I believe – is the only way we will be able to enjoy life in this next phase of the “new normal”.
Until next time!