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We are all living through different experiences

JaniceColumn

The experience over the past two months has been different for each one of us, as we each live through our own reality of what the current pandemic has brought about. One thing I've learned is that the experience can be vastly different, even for people living in the same household.

In our home, part of our experience has been finding a middle ground where we are all happy. Sometimes it means conceding to one side or the other, and sometimes it mens realizing that there may not be a middle ground to place ourselves. My husband has a fairly long list of health issues - primarily, he suffers from a seizure disorder. Some days he appears completely healthy and normal, and suddenly that can change and he's forced to find a safe place and sleep his day away an in attempt to keep symptoms at bay.

When the pandemic situation began to unfold in March, we quickly went from an attitude of 'this won't last more than a few weeks,' to realizing this was definitely lasting more than a few weeks. Taking the advice of experts seriously become common sense for us. And over the past two months, we have settled nicely into our own unique routine.

My husband took the lead on keeping the kids on track for school, which was a welcome distraction for them, and allowed me to stay on track with work. We've watched movies together, and we've completed a list of projects around the house. Keeping busy has been key to keeping sane.

We've planted a large garden, done some painting, we've rearranged a couple rooms, we've done plenty of baking and cooking, and at night we watch old episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, have family movie nights, or simply let the kids play video games until bedtime. I'm also three quarters of the way through taking a free online course from the University of Alberta - something I would fully recommend. I'm a firm believer that we can always be learning something, or better yet, learning a lot of things.

Now, I'm finding myself at a bit of a crossroads. The projects around the house will be wrapped up soon, I should be able to finish my course in the next week or so, and the sun is shining outside. It's really tempting to let our guard down.

And for the average family, it's probably safe to give in a little and inch closer to some semblance of normal. While many of us have cancelled our summer plans, I'm sure it's really tempting to make new plans at this point. But, as the wife to someone who has spent his fair share of time in a hospital room and is always wondering when the next stretch of bad days will be, I want to encourage everyone to be mindful that we are all living through this experience differently.

Personally, I would love to do all the things I used to do. I miss watching my kids play baseball and soccer. I miss visiting family in the city. I miss all the things that normally would be happening in our lives right now.

Right now, more than ever, our priorities and experiences are all so different. For some people, grocery shopping creates an unnatural level of anxiety, and for others, it's a getaway after being stuck at home alone - and sometimes, we are both those people, at the exact same time.

Over the past two months, I've learned to be more patient. While I may not see the risk involved in continuing to do a lot of the things I love, I live with someone who is at risk and sees the risk in a way I don't, and that in itself has been a lesson in itself.





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