Written by Volker Ballueder
An old Japanese Buddhist saying suggests that nothing is permanent, and change is constant. Autumn is in full swing and the leaves are falling from the trees. Winter is coming, it is getting colder. As we start to turn the heating back on and prepare for the colder months, there are other changes happening too.
Since my last post, where we looked at the importance of having a break, it is also important to go back to work or life after a break. If you have kids you know for sure, that after the long summer break, it is back to school. What does that mean?
We need to get back into a routine. Earlier starts, no lie ins, kids go to bed earlier, no screen time before bed, good night sleep, lunch boxes, school runs, after school activities, play dates, clubs, Sunday football or horse riding. This is a full time job, and juggling that as a single parent or full time working parents can be daunting. It seems easy to snap at the kids blaming them for what is nothing else than our second job. It is down to us to manage and cope with this.
Also, most of us have gotten a cold or sniffle, following a long isolation from others. Back to school means more bugs, it always did. In times of Covid, we might have Covid outbreaks and new rules. The cold is mistaken for Covid, and before you know it the kids are off for a week. The juggling of life and work can become too much, out of your control.
But what about our own juggling of going back to work. If you are like me, you started going back to a workplace a couple days per week. Whilst you have a lot more flexibility when you go to the office, you have commitments too. And when your life, your and your children’s health takes priority, you are thrown into a turmoil.
Yet we need to remember that life is in our control. Whilst we cannot influence certain regulations, and we can’t make it right for everyone, we can be a good citizen, and a good parent, and a good employee.
This is when you want to remember lockdown and home schooling. How well you coped then, and how you had those little tricks to cope with the imbalance of work-life. When you prioritised family over work. When you looked at the bigger picture rather than being bogged down into the little things that drove us all mad. When you started your mindfulness routine, and looked at all things positively.
Which healthy habits and routines did you have? The family walks? The bedtime routines? Walking on the other side of the road to get a new perspective of the buildings on it? What worked well to keep you sane, the family together, and yourself in balance? How did you focus on the positivity in your life, rather than blaming the system or your kids?
Whatever it is you did, you did it well. We are still here, challenged daily by things that life throws at us, ready to take on the fight and make it the best life possible.
This is Volker’s last column for a while. However, if you want to catch up with him, you can contact him on LinkedIn or follow him on his personal blog or sign up to his monthly newsletter.