Lockdown! Shame on me...
How crazy was lockdown?!?
I'm just coming to terms with the fact that for effectively 2 months, I stayed home. My own bed, every day. Home cooked meals every day (that's right, didn't even do take out at Alert Level 3). My own family every day.
In hindsight, I think it's absurd that it took the government to lock me in my house for me to stay home with my family for any extended period of time. Shame on me.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing though and I suppose I'm lucky enough to be in a position to have actually made the most of this lockdown. I realise for quite a few of us that making the most of lockdown meant;
a) doing home renos/landscaping;
b) getting fit;
or c) learning something new like how to play guitar or cook or bake or knit or TikTok.....
For me though, I did none of that, at all. I didn't even clean my car until week 5. Instead, I made the most of family time. We went riding every day for the first 4 weeks and then every fine day after that. We made huts in the forest behind the house. We explored the streets looking for teddy bears and we even managed to get in to the forest a few times to get our drenching of nature.
I'm not sure how it was for other people, but for me I distinctly remember the air of awkwardness on the first few days as we took to the streets to get outside for fresh air, exercise and to explore our backyard. That whole moment of should I wave, should I say hello, should I cross the road.... It was super weird. Then I think that's when Jacinda said, "be kind, get outside and do some exercise". I think that was the moment we became one of the friendliest neighbourhoods on the planet!
Jayne and I set a goal during the lockdown. That was to get our 4 year old riding her bike with no trainer wheels. You forget how quickly kids learn things until you really commit to something like this. Instead of the ad hoc, once in a blue moon bike ride on the fields like we were doing in the summer, we instead dedicated a half hour each day to getting her riding and hey presto, in 4 days she was off!
To be fair, this meant we still had another 4 weeks to fill and this is where I had another epiphany. It will sound cliche and obvious to most but it sure is hell wasn't obvious to me. Family is everything, time is infinite, but the two together are but a flicker in history that you have to capture with arms wide open ready to embrace our short moment in this universe.
This unique time over the past two months has taught me that for all of my successes, failures, achievements and experiences, nothing compares to my time with my family. This period has been just what I needed to re-focus, re-evaluate and re-establish my goals, values, drivers and methods for getting where I want to go.
While I have had to manage pulling some big work hours during this crisis, I have also managed to get a huge amount of whanau time too. I can definitely say I am in no rush to get back in to a normal office routine and while home may not be the easiest place to work from, I really do love those moments like just the other morning when my daughter runs in to the dining room (aka Covid-Office), whispers "I love you daddy", gives me a kiss and runs back down to her play room to make pretend morning tea....
Photo Credit: Me
Photo Caption: Day 4 and we were off. Starting by herself and all. Now we've even managed to do the kids loop in the Whakarewarewa Forest!
Cover Photo Credit: Me
Cover Photo Caption: The start of Alert Level 3 and heading in to the forest for a mental health break. Note the little hands on our necks squeezing as hard as they can to give mama and papa a family bear hug. Her words, not mine.