It was March Madness, a time of the year where there are no national days off unless you called out of work for intentional reasons. I am at a point in my career where I was hardly ever home. The same went for a lot of my family members; everyone was on a different schedule that did not correlate with the other days of the week.
Conversations with family were through text messages and five-minute phone calls. Sometimes if we didn’t have the chance to do that we would just scroll through social media to see what the other was doing that day. Never did I think there would come a time where we were all occupying the house at the same time. That only happened during holidays, and even then someone was still missing.
If you have been living in the same world as I have, you’d know that a pandemic virus has taken over all of our lives. With the COVID-19 virus spreading faster than it can be controlled, a national shutdown has been required to flatten the curve of those who are contracting it and even worse, dying. The moment this happened, time seemed to stop not only in the outside world but also inside at home with my family.
Slowly, we began to try and figure out how to give each other space we never knew we needed from each other. Before the pandemic, I longed for the time spent with my loved ones. Now that we are all home at the same time silence is something I crave, space is something I cannot find, and the outdoors has never smelled so fresh and appealing to me.
Finding My Space While Getting to Know My Family
Now that we are all home forced to work and relax in the same setting, two things can happen: we can either give in to the chaos and confusion, or we find peace where all else seems lost. If you’ve read my previous post on how to stay sane during a pandemic, you would have read the top 3 things that I stated as necessary to surviving. But once we move past the idea of just surviving, we are able to create meaning to this new life that we have created for ourselves, even if it will be for a temporary time frame.
How did the pandemic reconnect me to my family?
I learned new things that I did not know about my family before the pandemic:
My brother does not drink coffee for breakfast.
My mother likes her breakfast in silence.
I seem to be too loud for everyone in the morning (sorry y’all, but I am a morning person.
We now have breakfast together before we move onto our workspaces, and then we come back for lunch. At first, it seemed very eerie and we fumbled with each other’s personal spaces. Conversations seemed to center around our work, but after a few days, this became our new ‘normal’. Family conversations now seem to center around what we have to do for the day (it’s as if family members are our coworkers too!), and what we want to do during our breaks (watch a movie, play a game, or just stuff our faces with comfort food).
Another new outcome that came from this national shutdown is the new boundaries we were able to create. During free times, we sometimes blend our work schedules. If I was doing homework, and so was my sister, we came together to work. If my brother and I were both working, we sat next to each other. If I was free and my mom was making lunch, I jumped into her workspace and helped her prepare lunch. Amidst all of the fear of COVID-19, my family and I were able to reconnect in a way that we did not know we even needed.
What change has this pandemic caused in your household?