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When You Don’t Want Life to Get Back to Normal

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I feel incredibly selfish saying this, but I’m dreading life after COVID. Yes, I am ready for grandparents to be able to hug their grandchildren, for local businesses to get foot traffic, and for our frontline workers to feel a sense of normalcy again. I’m happy that my kids will be able to play tag with their actual hands and I’m heartbroken for those who had to say goodbye to a loved one through a computer screen. It’s horrible.

But what also exists inside me is this feeling that I don’t want my family life to go back to the way it was—and I’m feeling some anxiety. I’m afraid that all of a sudden I’m going to get five emails asking me to be on committees, my kids are going to get the run-down version of me, and we’re going to spend all weekend darting from one thing to the next. Is it possible to stay in a healthy place when life around us wants us to pick up speed? Here are 3 ways I’m going to try to keep a peaceful pace in life after COVID. Want to join me?

I’m going to decide what matters to me and what doesn’t.

One of the books I read during the pandemic is The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi. Kendra says, “Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.” If something matters to you, do it with gusto. If it doesn’t, then take shortcuts.

In other words, if you’ve always felt pressured to throw huge birthday parties and not doing one during COVID felt like a breath of fresh air, decide that epic parties aren’t going to be your thing. Give your kids the choice of a fun birthday outing with two friends or take the party somewhere where they do it all for you.

I’m going to take an inventory of what habits we want to keep.

By identifying the habits we want to keep, we automatically identify the ones we are going to have to give up. In life after COVID, I want my yeses to be intentional. This will help ensure that they are.

If you came to love every Sunday at 4 p.m. when your crew watched a movie and ate a casual dinner in the family room, make it permanent. That means you have to say no to the church group that meets on Sunday nights at 6. I started reading more in the evening to disconnect from the craziness. That habit is going on my “keep” list, which means I have to say no more often to TV and scrolling Instagram.

I’m going to think big picture.

Even though the pace will pick up in life after COVID, we can still hold on to the big picture gains. What positive change did you feel in the past 15 months and what adjustments can you make to keep that going?

If e-learning led to less stressful mornings because you weren’t running around yelling about backpacks and shoes, make small changes to get your morning routine dialed in. If you loved that you talked to your 13-year-old son more because you weren’t rushing from work to dinner to practice, carve out time once a week that’s just for you and him to do something, even if it’s just going for a 10-minute drive.

What good things happened for your family in the last 15 months and how can you hold onto them in life after COVID?


What part of being stuck at home did you enjoy?

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