But it was a good thing. I've been able to get so much done and I've had lots of fun doing it. I'm guessing that there are others out there who might not be viewing it the same way, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and embrace the changes around you, so that you can make the most of it. As for me, this is what I've done:
For starters, the most obvious thing accomplished (if you've been following me) is this website. It's updated - new format, new feel. It took a while because I didn't realise how many blogs I've written, but the new layout should mean that you'll find all my content without having to dig around in a maze. It's also quicker for me to add to it, so hopefully that should mean more writing on my part.
I've also spent hours of uninterrupted time playing with my kids and just being a kid myself. This meant doing everything from playing different games to watching TV shows and movies that each of them chose. It also meant buying a new game or two, and learning to play them... We spent at least one full day playing a fairly complicated board game that we've been putting off for months because none of us had the brain capacity (or time) to work it out, but thanks to a few YouTube tutorials, we were able to play it. (And it was lots of fun.) I was also able to spend dedicated time with each of them and I really enjoyed that.
We went for long walks and no driving meant no money spent on petrol, although I have missed being able to go on long drives. Nevertheless, we made each of our local walks an adventure and not having to worry about the time on a weekday (because I wasn't working), was really refreshing.
Since we couldn't go on holiday, we brought some of it to us by ordering take-out much more often than we normally would, and everyone had at least four turns to order something that they wanted. We even set up a tent in the loungeroom, for some indoor camping (minus the campfire), just for something different.
We all did a bit of work on ourselves and took the time to reflect on how far we've come as a family and how much each of us has grown and changed over time. And this last bit really helped when it came to returning to work and school. It enabled us to understand what each of us needed to be able to effectively do our work / schooling remotely and the kids were able to set up their own work spaces for themselves and essentially, keep out of each other's way during school hours. We've even worked out a play routine around the working hours of each weekday. And frankly, I'm grateful and really happy to have my kids with me all day. It's making our bond even stronger.
But I know that not everyone is happy with being back in lockdown and having children learning remotely again. I know that it's put a strain on many households and that many people are angry, frustrated, and generally short-tempered right now, because we were all so close to going back to a somewhat "normal" life and just when it felt like things were on the up-and-up, we hit this roadblock that sent us into a lockdown that keeps getting extended.
And that's probably the clincher, isn't it? Not that we're in a lockdown (again), but that this time, just when we think that it's going to be over, we get told that the lockdown is extended. And the conditions are getting stricter but they're also unclear. That in itself is frustrating. Wouldn't it be easier to just set the "rules" once, set a long-term end date for the lockdown, and then bring it forward or ease the rules as we go?
But I think it's a matter of perspective. I think it's a matter of acceptance. It's time to roll with the punches and make the most of it. Make this situation somehow work for you.
Because there is no "normal" or "going back to how it was". Everything has changed. Permanently. It's different now. And the sooner that we can embrace the changes as they come and learn to adapt to how things are, the easier life will be.
The glass is always half full... and I know where the bottle is to refill it. So do you.