Life Lessons

Another life lesson from the time of Covid 19

A year ago this past weekend I was in Orlando, Florida for the Run Disney Princess Weekend races. I looked forward to going for over a year. My first big trip for a race weekend and I was planning to run back to back days a 10K and a Half Marathon. But as the weekend approached the mom guilt hit big. I’m talking huge. I felt badly about going alone. I felt badly about leaving my family for a long weekend. I know my husband, who is super supportive is also more than capable of caring for our children. Yes, I know I’m allowed to go places without my children, but it’s so rare even before Covid that I traveled anywhere without them that I felt all sorts of guilt. In this Covid world if I’m gone for a few hours it’s like I’ve been gone for days.

Fast forward a year and here’s what I would’ve told myself as I was feeling guilty:

  1. ENJOY every minute of quality alone time you get! No really, while I enjoyed the time in Orlando and even took a nap with those 2:30 AM wake up calls, that guilt still nagged me a bit and sucked a little bit of the fun from the experience. Quality alone time is hard to come by- so if you get it- revel in it. Enjoy the time. Make the minutes matter!
  2. Get over the damn mom guilt already. Let me say that again for those of you in the back….GET OVER THE MOM GUILT. Ok, truth be told I’m saying it for myself. I struggle with this big time. So I have to remind myself that being a good mom doesn’t mean spending every minute of every day with your kids. Being a good mom means making your kids and family a priority while still carving out the time to do the things that bring you joy. Being a good mom is setting an example for your children.
  3. Refilling your cup will make you better in the end. We’ve all heard the expression that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Well COVID has certainly drained our cups and made the day to day harder because let’s be real it’s been like Groundhog Day for nearly a year! When all this madness ends- take the time. Refill your cup. Reward yourself for being strong and maintaining some sense of normal for you and your family! Feeling guilty about thinking about refilling your cup?? See number two above.
  4. Go to new places!! I basically never travel alone. I have no reason to. It’s not that I’m not able to do it. Heck, I traveled plenty by myself before kids, but once you have kids if you are like me your alone travel time diminishes. Running has afforded me the “excuse” to try new things and go new places. Granted this can be as a family as well, it doesn’t have to fall into the get away alone category. COVID certainly put the brakes on the travel and the racing component but eventually it will come back. And you know what? I’m going to pick on race a year to travel to. Not necessarily far and hopefully to coordinate with visiting family and friends, but I’m going new places!
  5. Don’t take things for granted! It’s safe to say that pre-Covid we in general took a lot for granted. I’m not saying we weren’t grateful or didn’t appreciate different opportunities. But, I’m not sure I ever envisioned the uncertainty of in person racing. I certainly took for granted the fact that I could toe the starting line after training hard and run with a group of people for the amazing experience of running a race and finishing with your family cheering you on! I took for granted the ease of travel. Even with kids we traveled frequently around their school schedule. To basically been grounded for a year has been incredibly difficult. We keep adding to our post Covid list of places that we want to visit. I could go on and on- but I would also add- don’t go back to “normal.” If normal was crazy, busy, and making you unfulfilled then don’t go back to that place. Use the lessons learned from this Covid period to be selective in those activities that you continue to pursue. Be careful with your time. Keep doing the things that bring you joy!

The long and short of it- do what brings you joy and live for today because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed!