Lockdown in Jerusalem hit hard and fast.
Life as we knew it came to a skidding stop. Our world shrank. For eight weeks we could go no further than 100 metres from our first-floor apartment.
This Travelling Family was just, well… this family. And, just like every other family, we had to learn to live in each others’ pockets.
Our enforced hibernation is over, but you know what? I’m kind of glad we had the opportunity. It taught me a thing or two.*
*I may not want to do it all over again though…
1. Downtime can be good time
We do lots of things as a family. Our weekends are packed with day trips, pool days, beach days… but never quiet days.
In the past, I would’ve winced at the thought of a quiet day at home. ON THE WEEKEND.
But when you’re rushing from one place to another, packing snacks or searching for somewhere to eat, you’re not spending quality time together.
Life in lockdown meant our daughter got a lot more one-on-one time with both parents, which was a massive hit. She was more than happy to hang out with mum and dad, or mum or dad. And it made us realise that it’s ok to take time out at home.
Just maybe not every weekend!
2. We are lucky to have each other
I’m not talking in a sickly, hearts-and-flowers kind of way… I mean at least we had support, company; actual human interaction. It was also a relief to discover we do get on quite well, even under extreme circumstances.
There have certainly been more arguments since we returned to the new ‘normal’ – let’s just say busy schedules make people stressy. But during those long days of total lockdown, we didn’t even try to kill each other.
And I was super-grateful for our dynamic of three. The grown-ups could tag-team and give each other a break, or double-up when times got tough.
3. Make time for simple pleasures
My favourite part of lockdown living was breakfast on the balcony. Just the three of us. Every. Single. Day. It was (almost) like being on holiday.
We ditched the alarm clock for two months; who needs to get up earlier than a five-year-old anyway? And settled into a slower routine.
We learnt to make our own hummus and fluffy pita bread (favourite recipes at the end of this post…). We designated Fridays movie
And we played outside on our dead-end road, cycling, scooting and decorating the tarmac with chalk drawings.
None of this would have happened pre-
4. Stay in touch
This is totally easier said than done. Pre-lockdown, I’d been promising to Facetime one friend for about three years… but a two-hour time difference and after-school schedules of two five-year-olds were impossible to synchronise.
Finally, in lockdown life, we spoke!
In fact, we caught up with loads of friends we’d not spoken to in ages. And spoke to family much more.
When everyone has a clear schedule, it’s pretty easy.
Our challenge is to keep this up, when life gets in the way.
5. The big lockdown release never came
Ah, how we would dream of being free again. Of heading to the beach, or out to dinner on a whim. Of getting on a plane, or just hanging out with friends…
We were longing for a return to normal. But it never came. Not yet anyway.
Shops opened, schools opened. We went to the beach and we went out to eat. But it’s not quite the normal we were used to.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful we now have the choice – but soon after restrictions started to lift came the realisation; we’re not going back to what was before.
And maybe that’s ok, because change is as good as a holiday, right? And I’m not sure when we’ll be getting on a plane again…
Our favourite lockdown recipes…
Israel 21c – How to bake delicious Israeli-style pita at home
A couple cooks – Thin Crust Pizza Dough