Back to “School”

In my mind, School has always been defined as a physical place where learning happens. Even when I was in Grad School, I tried the ‘online’ Master’s Program, but quickly transferred to a traditional brick & mortar program. My mind has been trained to correlate learning to a physical place. And it’s no surprise, that my associations and correlations are being tested once again, forced to make new connections and patterns in this COVID ‘New Now’ environment. This year, at least for the first half, “School” will take place in our home. Cue the ANXIETY!

Our original vacation plans this year were disrupted by the unknown but necessary surgery and COVID…well, more surgery than COVID. So, after many months of recovery and adjustment, we decided to take a ‘staycation’ this past week. As is often the case, life had other plans and an unforeseen circumstance at work forced me to relieve some of my planned 9 day break to a mere 26 hours.

In explaining my frustrations to the Hubby, he brilliantly stated that this was not a ‘vacation’ in the traditional sense, but just an opportunity to take a break. A break that we all needed. Deep breath, sigh of relief. Phew. He was right. We made the best of our week together spending time outdoors on the golf course, at the beach, and on the ocean but in the back of my mind was this looming anxiety of an unknown adventure that we were all about to embark on.

With my new school year planner arriving on Saturday, I was in full planning mode, trying to make order out of this chaos that COVID delivered. I brought the family to the table to watch the orientation videos for our new virtual school we were hit with the expectations of the ‘Learning Coach’ (i.e. Parent): 4 hours for 2nd grade, 3 hours for 5th. O. M. G.

HOW are we going to make this happen? With both of us having demanding full time jobs, how can we be successful at our careers AND ensure our children’s success as well?

We were both frustrated, seeing this story unfold in our heads with so much to do, so many requirements, but not a clear vision of what our days would look like. I’m a visual person. I need to be able to ‘see’ what my day will look like so this morning, I decided to break our ‘tea time’ rule of no scheduling / planning discussions and actually transferred the ‘anxiety’ in our heads on paper, working hand in hand with the hubby through job requirements, how we would incorporate all of our demands with work, school, household chores, work outs and of course, the most important of the day, our ‘tea time’. What resulted was our notional schedule below, and a lot less anxiety of what our ‘New Now’ will look like come August 17th.

The New Now: An Integrated Schedule

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