Maybe it sounds like a contradiction or even a silly joke: “At-home adventure?!” What’s adventurous about walking from the kitchen to the living room, spotting irregularities on the ceiling?! What hope is there for adventure when you can’t even manage to grasp all the Government’s Covid measures?!
However, I truly believe that how we perceive our happiness and feelings depends to a large extent on how we process information and how we ‘translate’ it to our inner selves. If we can look for at least some positives in our current lives and, especially, possibilities offered by the situation, we can experience happiness and satisfaction even in this long period of strict lockdown.
Of course, during the lockdown our lives are largely taking place in our homes, and much has been written about how to spend this time at home as efficiently as possible. I think focusing your mind on something that’s useful or starting to think about your long-term dreams and plans is the best way to think positively at the moment.
For example, if you’re saving time because you aren’t commuting, you could spend that precious time with your family or by deep-cleaning or even refurbishing or redesigning your home. Some people might like to start painting, or dedicating the time to photography, or taking an online class. Others are using the time to work on long-term projects or startups – and to begin a new startup during the lockdown is a real adventure, as is starting to fulfil other dreams, long-term plans and interests. So it’s good to realise that there’s now time and space for hobbies or activities that couldn’t be done in the ‘normal’, busy times, from reading a book to painting the house.
And what exactly has the lockdown brought us? (I’d rather ask this question than dwell on what it’s taken away.) For us, it has brought real time for the family. While we were living in London, my husband commuted to work and spent three hours a day in traffic – that’s almost a whole day on the road every week – a lot of time! No wonder he arrived home from work exhausted and our family life really only happened on Saturdays, as Jacob devoted Sundays to his other projects, which he enjoys and feels fulfilled by. As a result, even in these difficult times we can see a big positive in the fact that we can spend more time together.
The time that Jacob used to spent in traffic is now spent playing with our son Lucas – which they both enjoy! So that’s one of our current ‘at-home adventures’, and one that Jacob and Lucas can experience every day. It’s amazing how Jacob, as a proud father, can see Lucas making progress every day, deepening the bond between them.
Of course, even this has its drawbacks, especially for women who suddenly have the whole family at home, many while also working from home – managing work, entertaining the kids, and preparing meals for the whole family can be exhausting.
But if you can plan the day ahead in consultation with your partner on how you will divide up time for the housework and playing with the children, it could be a great period for everyone. In addition, there are also great cleaners who can come to your house, maybe once a week or fortnightly (even during the lockdown), to help and relieve the pressure for larger families.
Since Jacob works from home, and to be honest he has far more work than I do, I handle most of the household responsibilities. I am quite happy with this and anyway I really enjoy cooking healthy food and prefer this to getting fast food and takeaways. But that doesn’t mean that a good-quality takeaway won’t save you a lot of time! If you’ve had a really busy and stressful day, there might be nothing better than getting a delicious dinner delivered to your home!
As most of the time I’m the stay-at-home mum at the moment, my husband has agreed that he’ll spend one to two hours with Lucas every evening, just the two of them, to give me a bit of time for myself, my work and other activities. And, as he is a great father, he enjoys these evenings very much! It makes him a wonderful husband too. I think it’s very important to have some time for yourself, especially if you are a full-time mum!
Of course, Lucas and I don’t spend all of our weekdays entirely at home. We’ve found a lot of new places in our area where we take our dogs for walks. Lucas really loves watching our dogs running and playing – it’s such great fun for him! Often I go on a two-and-a-half-hour-long hike in the countryside with Lucas and just one of our two dogs. The terrain changes often, so we’ll see green fields and magical forests, a real adventure for a one-and-a-half-year-old boy! It certainly seems that given the chance to explore our immediate environment more closely, we’re discovering amazing places right on our doorstep!
As well as play and nature walks, we’re spending a lot of time sorting out the house, having moved in last summer. We still had stuff in boxes right up to Christmas! The lockdown period has given me a lot of time to organise the house, which I would normally catch up on only on Sundays.
Looking back, even though it’s really hard at present, this time has also brought us a lot of good. With all the alarming news, it’s good to find some positive aspects and experience the joy of our little at-home adventures. If we really want to, we can find happiness during these hard times and this is a great opportunity to share these moments positively and peacefully with the loved ones we share our lives with.