If someone had told us a month or so ago that under the cloud of a pandemic we would be shutting our doors and that we would pretty much be unable to leave our houses and gardens, we would have thought the concept bonkers. Combine this with children not attending school, after school clubs being cancelled and any imminent travel being put on hold and our families are being presented with unprecedented and challenging times.

So amidst this chaos we have all been forced to don our optimism and commit to shutting our doors. For now, it’s a whole new world and way of living and strangely enough we’re beginning to talk about the positive memories we are creating.

During the initial period of adjustment, conversations centered around the natural fear of how we would cope with passing the time with our children. More recently these conversations have moved on – we’re focusing on the positives of what we’re experiencing in our own four walls and how we’ve managed to form a special place in our homes.

I for one have started to make a mental note of these moments.  Conversations and belly laughs over a garden fence that we certainly would never have had and debates with our older children about other major events we have witnessed during our lives. “How did Princess Diana die? How did the Tsunami happen? What happened when Eyjafjallajökull erupted? What does repatriation mean? Will you lose your job Mum during all this? When reflecting on these times these are all questions that I for one will immensely grateful I had the time to answer.

And the list continues – cherishing a daily walk, enjoying the simplicity of just being together and planning social events (bingo and quizzes) with neighbours you’ve never previously crossed paths with! Our family for one has never been in such regular contact with each other– the slower pace of life is forcing us to make this extra effort!

I was discussing this article with one of my colleagues over WhatsApp and she shared her own thoughts and experiences of this. Currently she is social distancing with her partner and 1 year old baby. She explains that this unexpected downtime was just what she needed – being forced to slow down and take stock had made a welcome and refreshing change. She was finding herself more appreciative of the small things in life and everything she literally has on her doorstep – namely her home and garden.

She goes on to elaborate about how she feels she is currently being a much better Mum to her one year old boy. Not rushing about all the time, letting him walk if he wants to rather than rushing with him loaded into the pushchair and reading four books at bedtime rather than one. For her partner and their relationship she has more time to cook and share conversations of an evening – rather than experiencing the overwhelming exhaustion that comes with being a working Mum.

For us all its learning how little we actually need in life. Everything we need to make us feel enriched, loved and whole has always been sat there right in front of us.

It’s a given that there will be a list of things we will all desperately crave the return of following this unique chapter, but I feel this list will reduce with every passing day.  Let’s not forget just how good these special moments felt when we created them during the challenging times of 2020.

Written by Nicola Astle, Rayburn Tours.