Times are changing, once again. As things open up and we being to resume some activity, I’ve reflected on some concepts that have impacted both personal and professional life. I invite you to think through these for yourself and your family as well.
What have you learned about yourself and/or your family during this time?
What habits or things have you appreciated during more time at home?
What are you anxious to change or get back to?
What have you let go of or added to your life?
Here are a few things I learned, maybe this will get you thinking as well. Some things I did just out of habit, not necessarily because they were needed.
*I tend to grocery shop more than I need to. During this time, it’s been great to use the pantry and freezer to utilize what I already have instead of stocking up on the regularly used items. I also utilized the substitution lists and made “variations” with some favorite recipes. I enjoyed cooking when I wasn’t rushed or too tired. I’ve also enjoyed family meals and time to really have conversation without watching the clock to run to the next event.
*I managed time better to get routine chores like laundry done, made time for walks in the sunshine, along with other chores and work responsibilities. Stretching them out through the day allowed a change in focus while being very productive.
*With nice weather, walking and working outside have been a welcomed addition to the day. Sometimes it can be planned during the day and other times it waits till the work is finished to get out and enjoy the sunshine. I’ve enjoyed the flexibility that teleworking has offered. There are still evening commitments, but with no travel, the time invested has been lessened.
*The household budget has been revised as many areas have funds available since I’m not traveling or shopping as much. It’s a great reminder that a spending plan really works to make our money work to achieve the things that are important to us. What are your family goals and how are you achieving them? It’s a great time to talk about how are we working together to accomplish the things that are important to us or saving for projects to accomplish in the future. The regular spending patterns have become more apparent to me. Saving money and being aware of the “little things” have been important.
*Keeping in touch with others has been essential. I’ve found time to talk with friends and co-workers with a mindful presence, not a hurried conversation with specific points. I realize for many the disconnect has been a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for making time to be in communication with others and really listen with compassion.
*I’ve improved my use of technology, but I’ve also realized there’s so much more that is possible!! It’s exciting to learn from others and be mentored by the younger generations!
So I’d like to challenge each of you to reflect on the questions that I began with, what has worked well for you and your family and what do you want to keep or change as our summer continues? Time is precious and rather than letting it pass and feeling like we are not in control, choose the things in life we have control over and mindfully incorporate our choices to not just endure, but enjoy each day.
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu.