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Family is everything
The past few months have been so many things for so many people! It has been rewarding, it has been frustrating, it has been depressing, it has been invigorating, and it has been confronting. We are all riding this strange Corona wave right now, and we are all in different stages, which is why spending time with family means everything!
I too have been riding this wave this year; there have been some great weeks full of sunshine, mindful walks and catchups. However, like us all, I have had some horrible weeks full of stormy weather, lonely nights and huge glasses of wine.
But through it all, I have had my family! Okay, most of the time it is virtual (with our Sunday. virtual trivia) that brings us together and has us all laughing out loud (always).
Why family matters
In times of uncertainty and for some who are isolated miles away from family, having family reach out is something worth being grateful for during this difficult time.
Although I miss my husband terribly because living apart together (LAT) is difficult, having family around is very comforting. I am very close with my family, and I am very fortunate to call them not only family by blood but family by choice. In other words, if I had to choose, I would’ve have picked them anyway.
Distance, isolation and a pandemic have made me realise the things that matter most. Family and the closeness and reliability of a close family unit is pretty special. I am not even sure if growing up, we were all that close, to be honest. I am 7 years younger than my siblings, so I never really felt that connection until I was old enough to appreciate what family means.
Overcoming hurdles with family
Please don’t think that I am saying that all things are always rosy with family, especially as the family expands and new people are added to the mix! We have our words, we have our disagreements, but they are never bad enough not to want to speak with the person. There is an unspoken rule, that nobody ever holds a grudge and that every argument is resolved. It is just what we do, and somehow it works.
I believe that the biggest hurdle is forgiveness, and once you realise that your family means more than the issue at hand, well, forgiveness comes more accessible than you think. My family is very supportive of my children when we are not here, and of my husband when he is abroad. So for this, I am eternally grateful!
Spending time with family
I was lucky enough to have spent last weekend with family for my sisters surprise birthday. Because it was a significant numbered birthday, she had all kinds of things planned one of those was a cruise! So, of course, everything was cancelled. So being able to spend time away at the Hunter Valley (check the link here) with family was wonderful.
We laughed, we drank, we played lots of trivia. It was precisely how a weekend away should be, surrounded by those you love most. Sometimes it isn’t until the world comes crumbling down, and life doesn’t feel fair, and the little things are what is essential. The family that surrounds us embraces us and makes us feel like they will catch us if we fall, is all that matters in this uncertain world we live in today.
Spending time with the elderly
Before this second wave occurred in Australia, I had been visiting my mother in an aged facility two-three times a week, in isolated time slots, and I loved the particular time we were able to spend together. It is easy to forget how important that time together is when you have the flexibility of being around each other all the time and distractions are everywhere, so your time is taken for granted.
Knowing that I only had a specific time each visit, ensured that my distractions (mainly work) were taken out of the equation during my visits. Our conversations were heartfelt but light-hearted, and my mother had me laughing with her stories (even though some of them were on repeat).
My mother suffers from dementia and Alzheimers (read more about it here) so seeing her happy when I visit makes my day!! Unfortunately, due to this second wave, the aged facility has shut its doors to visitors, so we are now on facetime calls. I appreciate the time I have spent with her, but I am not sure when and if I will be able to see her before my intended trip home to Singapore.
When time becomes a precious commodity
We have taken time for granted in the past, well at least I have anyway. But time, right now as it ticks away slowly for some, fast for others, is our greatest commodity. Time has always been my biggest anxiety trigger, strangely enough. Whether it is lack of time to do something, or whether I am running late for an appointment, time itself has always made me feel like I am in a rush of some type.
So to not have travelled since March, and appointments have become zoom meetings instead, it has encouraged me to slow down. The reason I mention this is because instead of racing out the door, instead of working continuously. I am now taking the time to be present with those I love most because I don’t know how long I will be here for or how long it will be for me to come back once I have left.
So my priorities have changed! My working hours have changed (I am now a 5 am riser, who would have ever thought) so that I can do as much as I can before my family rises from their slumber and I don’t waste precious time with them.
I have also spent less time on social media (okay, maybe TikTok is my new kryptonite). Now, the mindless scrolling has stopped, the tv before bed has also ceased (most nights anyway), and in its place is less distraction when I spend quality time with those I love and of course mindful meditation before I go to sleep.
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