Remember when Covid-19 first hit, and we were all stuck at home in a weird time loop where clocks didn't exist, days didn't matter, and no one seemed to be in a rush for anything? A weird kind of calm/chaos reigned, and we felt frantic, yet at the same time not at all in a hurry for anything. 2020 was a year of adjustment, and I personally really appreciated the opportunity to slow down and take things one step at a time.
Having said that, we are now over halfway through 2022, and the world still seems to be struggling to "leave the house", if you will. We are all experiencing shortages in goods and services across multiple industries and sectors. Last week two of my three children need to see the doctor. Their pediatrician could not see them, so I went to the quick care place we usually go to. I left after THREE HOURS still having not seen a doctor. I will now have to fight with their billing department to get my copays back.
My grandmother is getting her cabinet doors replaced. They have come out and measured and have the doors in stock but are short on installers. The estimated date for installation is DECEMBER. I had a similar (but slightly more complicated) issue this spring with a storm door and we just ended up deciding we didn't want it. I have a friend who teaches elementary school at a neighboring district, and she told me last night that despite the fact that school starts in less than two weeks, they have ZERO fifth grade teachers hired. I am still seeing empty shelves and coolers at the grocery store on a regular basis.
So where do we go from here? Well, I think we all have to start being really intentional with our time and resources. First, we cannot control what we cannot control. Don't waste your energy on the things that aren't that important. I wasn't going to fight with Lowe's about a storm door, so I just decided I wasn't meant to have one this year. I've been fine without one all this time. It can wait. And the grocery store? Too many choices anyway. The empty shelves just make life easier and my grocery trips quicker.
When it comes to the bigger stuff like healthcare and education it certainly gets a little more complicated. My kids did in fact need medication, but they did NOT need to be seen in person even though that is my preference. I went home and used a Teladoc service. Going forward that will be my first step instead of my last. Lesson learned. We definitely do need teachers but guess what? Educating our children is ultimately our responsibility. So, if the schools are lacking, we have to pick up the slack. Maybe that means fewer extra-curricular activities so that we have more time to spend on schoolwork in the evenings. All that time I am saving at the grocery store can go towards teaching my kids to read and do long division! And maybe it also means we accept the fact that this generation's education is not going to look the same as the lasts. Do I like that? No, of course not. But like it or lump it, the world is a different place now. There's no point in beating my head against the wall.
So as summer winds down and we start to head into the school year, I am spending some time reflecting on what is important to our family and setting my intentions for how I want the rest of this year to play out. I want us to spend time together, I want to raise children with integrity and love and honor. And I don't want to sweat the small stuff.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay the course.