The end of Summer is here. This is my last week of Summer holiday. I kept working these weeks, but only three days a week. The rest of the week we spent as a family doing fun stuff. This week will end with a few days at a campground with extended family. We do this every year, but this year will be a little bit different. Some family members stay at home, the traditional Saturday meal will not be a collective effort and we will keep our physical distance. The weather will be cold and wet. I don’t particularly look forward to being outside in the cold, but we rented a comfortable tent this time (instead of pitching our own) so it will be less of a hassle. I do look forward to seeing my family again. I can’t wait to hear their stories on how they coped with covid lifestyle, and meet the new baby that was born in the midst of it all. It’s also a perfect environment to celebrate my birthday on Sunday, amidst those I love most.
In the previous confessions I wrote about my increased fear for infections. All over Europe the number of infected people is increasing. The Netherlands is no exception. In February infections were mostly in the (rural) south (carnival probably played a big part), now big cities are mostly worrying about rising numbers. Amsterdam is even contemplating closing the city for tourists. I wasn’t wrong in worrying about countries opening up too soon on too big a scale.
While it is raining outside at the moment and storm Francis will visit us tonight and tomorrow, I realize how lucky we have been the past few months to spend so much time outside. The coming months, which will become colder and wetter will be a new challenge for everyone. Visiting friends and family is a different game when not being able to sit in the garden. Going out requires more planning than ever. While many restaurants had plenty of space outside, seating indoors is very limited.
Next week Daughter will return to school. A new class, new teachers, new rhythm. I long for a steady rhythm during the week. Ever since mid-March I had to readjust my rhythm constantly. From not being able to work to take care of Daughter, back to regular daycare rhythm, then daycare plus school, then back to daycare only for the Summer holiday and next week a new rhythm with five days school and two afternoons daycare for Daughter. Every adjustment takes time for me to get used to. I hope the next change will be a long lasting one, that it will not be interrupted buy school closures and lots of stay-at-home coughs (though testing is now an option).
The past few weeks have been fun mini-breaks, but they were not a great substitute for the three week break from regular life I’m used to during the Summer. My background stress is still there and it’s taking its toll on my neck and mood. I realize I have to prioritize reducing my stress level. I still have a Headspace subscription to help me meditate. I also need to move my body more. Even when it’s raining. That requires a bit more self-encouragement. Hopefully the rain will stay away in September. That would help me find a new rhythm for work, physical activity and motherhood. But that’s for the future, when I’m fourty-two.