I’ll admit that I’m not getting as much done during this quarantine period as I expected.
I thought I was going to spend this time writing and otherwise producing.
That hasn’t happened.
And it’s ok.
I’ve discovered that it’s hard for me to think and write when the kids are home all day. Those who are parents of young kids know that they are always hungry. This means multiple times an hour I have to stop what I’m doing to get them snacks, drinks, defuse an argument, or find a toy they misplaced.
I am also trying to spend as much time with them as possible. This means daily walks or hikes when they are done with their school work, which usually happens by noon.
I also want to spend time with my wife and, frankly, when given the choice between writing or sneaking upstairs with her, the latter wins every time.
I am also fortunate to still have a job and am working from home. That also takes chunks of time out of each day.
I have also not missed a single basement workout since I cannot let my fitness slip.
I could get angry at myself for not accomplishing all I wanted, but I don’t see it that way. It’s ok to set goals and adapt to the circumstances. In fact, I would argue that this approach is better than being rigid and inflexible.
I have a lifetime to do productive work, but this dedicated 24/7 family time will probably never happen again.
I intend on taking full advantage of it. That’s why I don’t see how I’ve been spending this time as a failure.
If you are not doing as much “productive” work as you expected but are connecting to your family in ways not usually possible, I’d call that a win.
If, on the other hand, you are sitting around watching Netflix, drinking beer, and eating chips all day, then I would say that’s a loss and there’s still time to make a change.
Ultimately, I see it this way: family time is productive time.
I may not finish writing the book I meant to finish. That’s ok.
I may not come out of this fluent in Spanish. That’s ok.
I know this. My family will remember this time fondly as a time when we were all together making memories.
As a father and husband, there’s not much more I can ask for.
That’s why I’m failing and winning at the same time.
Note: During the time I wrote this my son asked for a banana and five minutes later asked for an orange ice pop.