I’m delighted to have been challenged by the fabulous Steve at https://thediaryofdad.com/ to write about the positives that have come out of isolation. I have to confess, when all of this started I was panicking. As a business owner, the possibility of not being able to work for an extended period was scary. At least I don’t have employees to worry about. I’d convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly get anything done with the kids at home. Thankfully, there have been plenty of positives. Here are just a few.
I have an amazing business community
I’m used to spending time on my own, working at home while my sons are at school. I’m also an introvert so I thought that the hardest thing about isolation would actually be having the entire family under one roof, all of the time. It actually turns out that I miss talking to other adults, whether it’s at networking events or the school gate.
Thankfully, I’m part of an awesome small business community that quickly mobilised to take events online. It’s not quite the same as hugging your friends in person, but it’s great to keep in touch. Whilst social media isn’t always good for my mental health just now, spending time in the right places has been a real bonus.
Flexibility is key
One of our biggest isolation challenges has been the change in routine. It’s also created one of the biggest positives. My kids love routine, so we’ve created our own. School have sent suggested activities home but it’s up to us how we structure them. We’ve also introduced stuff that they wouldn’t learn at school, like how to do their own laundry, as well as new takes on fun activities. Who knew you could get IT, music appreciation and cookery into organising a kitchen disco?
I’m also thankful that we’ve created a balance when it comes to working at home. My husband and I are both self-employed, but while his workload is steady, mine fluctuates. With good communication and flexibility we’ve been able to settle into a pattern that works for both of us.
Work is still happening in isolation
The fact that my business is already online so can mostly carry on going (kids permitting) was a real silver lining. However, I had no idea whether my clients had any money to spend. Thankfully, some of them do. Some are using the enforced down time to get on with projects that they hadn’t had time for before. Others just need some help communicating with their customers without sounding like they’re trying to profit from a crisis.
The thing is, we’re all just trying to get through this as best we can. It’s been really heartening to see how many people are supporting their community, including other small business, when times are tough.
My kids are mostly great
There are days when I can’t face another conversation about Pokémon. Or Minecraft. But mostly I’m really glad that we’ve got the time to listen. I feel as if I’ve got to know them better. It’s also been great to discover that they’re actually pretty resilient. My youngest turned six in isolation. The fact that this year’s party was a cake and the extended family on FaceTime didn’t faze him at all.
I always knew I was pretty patient, but it goes further than I ever imagined. It has to when your children’s insecurity about the situation comes out two hours after bedtime when you just want to flop in front of the TV. Being able to take the time to administer hugs when they’re needed has been the biggest silver lining of all.
Thanks to Steve for the nomination. I’m nominating Rona Myatt to pick up the baton and talk about her isolation silver linings.
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