EP 114: 10 Lessons From 626 Days (Not) Alone At Home
Tami: Friends. I am so, so happy to be here with you today because today I want to talk about the 10 lessons I've learned. By being at home, not alone for 626 days. That's right. There were 626 days between when my kid left school and when she went back to school. So I had a little time this week. What did I learn?
And all of those days home, not alone. Remember introvert here. So I will share with you first, if you want to get to know my wonderful daughter, you can here our family self care and episodes. Number 91. But for now, I'm going to share with you these 10 lessons that I learned over this time. Lesson number one, our health matters.
Duh, you probably got the hint that during a pandemic. What we do really matters. So we can't phone in our self care and stay healthy and staying healthy as the little stuff that we do every damn day over and over again by hand-washing the staying away from people, the rest, the water, the movement, all of those things.
Right. And when we look at it that way, it's kind of like training for a marathon. So if you think of your life, As a marathon, you're not going to sprint a marathon. You're also not going to run out the door one day and go, you know what? I think I'm gonna run a marathon today. I've got 26 miles in me.
Instead, we're going to take small, consistent action toward taking care of my physical body, my mental health relationships with myself and other people, my kid, my mood, all of that is done in tiny increments of. Usually imperfect action done every day so that I can get along with my family and we can live semi peacefully within the four walls of our home.
So lesson number two of saying home for 626 days, not alone is keeping promises to ourselves really, really matters. Early December, which has me thinking about new year's resolutions. And one thing I know about new year's resolutions is, Hey, I stopped setting them a million years ago. Cause I thought this is dumb.
I make these big promises to myself. And by the end of January, I have a hundred percent forgotten about them, but I haven't forgotten the part. I feel bad about myself that I have given up on myself again. So during this really long. At home. I was able to build in a little bit of a routine where I was not only setting goals.
I was setting. Check-in times regularly. So what did that look like? I set year long goals. Then I broke them down into quarterly goals, and then I broke them down into monthly goals. Then I broke those goals down into that's right. Weekly goals, which led to daily goals. And I put those check-in times on my schedule because I found out, even though I have a love, hate relationship with planning, if I don't plan.
It doesn't happen. Sometimes I plan it. It doesn't happen. But what I do know I've learned over the 50 plus years I've been alive and this damn pandemic taught me anything is if I don't write that shit down, it's not happening. You know, I had to make sure I was taking care of my own health and what was happening in our family and food and all of that stuff.
So I just made plans and made plans to check on my plan. So lesson two is keeping promises to ourselves matter. And the only way that we keep promises to ourselves is to make sure that we are making those goals clear and actionable and realistic. Okay. Lesson number three that I learned over the 626 days at home, not alone is that accountability works crazy town.
I know some of you are like, oh, But I'm an obliger. I hate, hate, hate having to have people look over my shoulder to keep me accountable to which I say as a question, or I'm like you guys, it's the biggest gift. All you need to do is tell somebody you're going to do something and then suddenly you're there.
You can do it. So, during 2020 and 2021, I ran deferred maintenance. My group coaching program for most of the time, in fact, I've been doing a year long program as a beta, like, does this work do people like it? And the resounding. Response to the year long accountability was hell yes. More of that. Thank you please.
Because when we set our goals or we remember we set our year-long goals, our quarterly goals, our monthly, our weekly or daily goals, we were easily being able to meet them because we had other people checking in and cheering us on. Yes. I took a look at my 2021 goals today, and I had either met them or decided I made a decision at some point in the year that that goal is not important to me anymore.
Set a new goal and was easily able to meet those. And everyone that has been in deferred maintenance is like, holy crap. I am also setting and meeting my goals, doing things that they've never done before. Like. Actually go to bed on time, actually start exercising, making sure that all of our unsexy doctor's appointments are happening when we have that support and that accountability things happen.
Ooh. Speaking of support, lesson number four, is that support like your foundational support matters. Okay. Picture that. Mid March, 2020 and the foundational structures that hold our very lives together disappear. What does that mean? Our kids stopped going to school. We stopped driving to work. Where did my hair cutter go?
Holy shit. Who's going to do my nails. Who's going to do my hair color. I can't get to the gym. Why are these people still here? Hello, we're talking about all the babysitters, the nannies, the therapists, the massage therapists, the PTs, the hairstylists, everybody. We all went inward and we're like, oh, now we're left with no childcare, no help with housework, no help with anything.
I had to tell you every single moment that my kid is able to be taught by someone else. Even during distance learning. Oh, I thought this, I will, I want to like put a pin in it that I will never take that family support team, that structure, that foundation of people who help prop us all up for granted again.
I'm looking forward to rebuilding my family support team from the ground up in 2022 lesson number five that I learned during the 626 days here. Not alone. Is that relationships matter? Remember, again, back to 2020, when we were all at home with our people all the time and we got to really go, huh? Do I like these people that I used to never see, but now they're here all the time.
And what about all this time I'm spending with myself now that I'm not super busy now that everything is. Become an internal look like we're all looking at a, the dust bunnies in the corners of our actual houses, but we're also spending more time at home and more time with our families than ever before.
And we had to get real about too. I really, really like these people do they really, really like me? Do I enjoy my own company? Do I enjoy their company? So one of the things that we do. Early on in the pandemic, like week one was we started having family meetings so that we could ask each other and ourselves, what do we need more than anything else to feel loved and supported and nurtured this week.
And it changed depending on the season. Sometimes we needed homework help, meaning we had to help our kid with our homework. Sometimes we needed my thing that I said over and over was I need clear surfaces. It would seem that my family is allergic to any like a flat surface that doesn't have stuff on it.
So I was like, we need to get rid of the visual clutter. My husband was real big on, we need to stop interrupting each other. But what we did during all of this is that we got real about what we really needed. And we worked hard to respect the needs of everyone in the house and to even if their needs were different than ours.
So I live with two. Very sociable extroverts and I'm a super introvert. And so sometimes I had to advocate for things that didn't make sense to them. And the one thing that makes very little sense to my people is my need for solitude. So during this last 626 days, I thought, how am I going to get that fundamental need met?
And be supported by my family and we work together to make that happen. A lot of times it looked like spending time in the car, whether I was running an errand, I had nowhere to go. I was just driving around or parking at a park or whatever, or just simply sitting in the car, watching a TV show uninterrupted.
But that's the thing. Like we were all able to like look inside and go, okay. What's it going to help me feel the way I need to feel in order for us to get along and still do this big group project together and come out the other side where we feel like, wow, we still, we really like each other. Look at us having good teamwork.
So number five relationships matter. Number six is we can do hard. Things friends never. I probably should have started with this one. Right. We all just have been doing a hard thing. And now we are us probably still doing some hard things and we're doing different, hard things, but we've probably figured out like, wow, stronger than I thought I'm different than I thought I'm more vulnerable and tender than I thought.
So in addition to like, like the global suffering, like my best friend died. And so one of the things that I had to learn how to do, and the lesson I got was that I could grieve. Differently than I ever had. Like I brought people into my grief, Michelle and I did our grief series. Our get better at grief series.
I read a lot of books. I attended a grief a closed grief group. So it was the same people, same facilitators through my hospital system. And and it was nice to have that specified brief time on my calendar every week for 10 weeks where I could. Really process my grief with other people who are also in like the really acute, early stages of grief.
And it felt like the most loving thing I could ever do during a really, really hard time. And the lesson there for me is we don't have to do things alone that are hard. Doing them with other people makes them while they are still hot. I was going to say it makes it easier. It doesn't make it easier. It makes it less lonely.
It makes it less, maybe 3% less ouchy. Right. So yeah. Thank you for all the people who have reached out about the grief series reached out about tests, but us brought us. Comfort sent us cards and love and food. Totally appreciate you. Which leads me to number seven, the seventh lesson I learned, and I have learned this over and over again, but it was particularly.
Poignant during this time is that community matters who we surround ourselves with matters. Over these last 626 days, we relied a lot on our neighbors. Sometimes we were laughing over the fence. Sometimes we were crying over the fence. Sometimes we were talking through the fence, we got to know each other's pets and each other.
Habits and each other's schedules we've, we've shared food. We've shared laughs. You know, there's nothing like saying, oh man, does anyone have a lemon? Does anyone have an egg so that we don't need to run back to the store who has extra toilet paper and coming together as a community to really. See each other in this interconnected way.
And it happened not just with my immediate neighbors in my neighborhood that it happened through, you know, the listeners on the podcast and people I know from social media, like people have really come together during this time and really. I feel like we, we had a lot of moments where we were really shining as like, we are here to take care of each other.
We are here to be stewards of each other and to build communities around ourselves. The eighth lesson in the series of the lessons I learned by not being alone for 626 days, is that teachers matter, you guys. I've been a teacher. I am married to teachers, but I have to tell you, if you have teachers in your life now is the time to send, help, send things goods, send gift cards, send massage vouchers.
Teachers have never worked harder. They have never been asked to do more with less. And they really, really matter, like teachers, I don't know about you, but I spent some time, a lot of time over the last 626 days learning at home. I was teaching my own kid. I was watching other teachers teach whole classes of kids using technology.
They had never used before. And technology and teacher. Like really came through for us so that we could all not be in this big project alone. Like we all got to be part of community because of teachers because of technology. And I, again, these are lessons that I'm like, write this down, don't take this for granted.
Like this was a huge thing that you learned also something else I learned, don't tell my kid, but I'm not interested in teaching my kid, the basics, the fundamentals of like the ins and outs of grammar. I would like to skip that part. I am so happy. She's back in school. I. Can hardly even stand it. I'm actually even looking forward to a parent teacher conference words.
I have never said in my life. And it's just so I can say. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to all the educators out there. Okay. Lesson number nine in the 6626 days at home. Not alone. Is that in? Perfect action matters. So one of our sort of family projects that we took on during. Our time at home is we really leaned hard into sharing the ins and outs of civic engagement and democracy and the constitution and state capitals and state governments and federal governments elections all of it with our child, because this is what I want to, I want to say that.
I mean, granted, I had a rising fifth grader this year, which is the year that you do study how the United States came together and what is the constitution and the bill of rights and all that jazz, as we're saying these days a lot. So it, it worked really well, but we also had probably the biggest election.
My lifetime I'm sure. Unless you're really old, it was probably one of the biggest of your lifetime. And there was more voter engagement. There was more participation in democracy than we've ever seen. And we really. Our young student, like she helped us write postcards to voters. She put stamps on it.
She made the postcards. We let her address a few. She made signs and, and decorated our sidewalk with, you know, pro democracy voting messages. We wrote a letter recently on voting rights to our senators to say, Hey, now's the time to pass some voting rights legislation so that we. Stop voter suppression and increased democracy in this country.
And the reason I'm calling this imperfect action is there is no perfect action. Right there is we're all bumping along. We're all. You know, we're all just saying to our neighbors, Hey, I care about you. These are the things that I care about. I think you care about them too. Let's care about them together.
Let's talk to other people. It doesn't have to be a full-time job. We can do activism joyfully together. In small bits of time, I was going to say daily, it could even be weekly. In fact, one of the things that I made a promise to myself about this year was that I was going to. Advocate for voting rights legislation, at least 52 times in 2021, which means I was going to post about it on Instagram.
I was going to, and by post about it on Instagram, I mean, Hey followers, here's the voting rights legislation. That's in front of the house. Here's the voting rights legislation. That's in front of the Senate. These are the. You can send, this is why it's important. And then I would also send my own so that I make sure that not only am I just talking about it on social, but I'm actually talking to the people who have the power to make the difference.
And finally, lesson number 10. In the lessons I learned in the 626 days, not alone is that teamwork matters. So one of the things that made me laugh so hard during the last 20 months is especially at the beginning, whenever there was a lot of people were like, oh my God, ha, there's going to be so many COVID babies.
And I thought, Hmm, you must not have a job where people tell you their secrets for a living, because I thought, man, there's going to be a lot of COVID divorces coming because for the very first time we were all. With our people are our chosen people, right? Whether they're our roommates, our original families, or the families that we made, we were all being asked to stay in one place and stay still not what we do usually.
Right. We also found that when we're all in the house, There's more messes to clean up. For some reason, everyone wants to keep eating every few hours. How are we going to get the groceries here? How's the laundry going to get done? Who's going to work when who's going to be in charge of the kids. How is this all gonna happen?
So one of the things that that really raised for a lot of people was, oh my God. I do a lot more than my spouse or conversely you're like, wow. My spouse does way more of this daily grind. Crazy. Talk with these little kids who are constantly wanting something to eat or need help with things. And so that's why I invited all of you into Fairplay book club, where we found out a we're not alone.
We are not the only people who we feel like we're doing everything and B that there's something that we can do about it. So remember, teamwork works when we were. And when we're doing things as a team, we all feel like things have been much more equitable and fair. Okay. So if these things matter to you and you aren't sure how to make them happen.
You are officially invited to join deferred maintenance immersion. That's right. Friends, deferred maintenance is changing from a six week course to a year long immersive experience. We're going to keep our promises to ourselves. We're going to take care of our health. We're going to take care of our relationships.
We're going to take care of our careers. We're going to take care of our families and we're going to take care of ourselves. If this is of interest to you, go ahead and join the deferred maintenance immersion interest list over on the website at www.tamihackbarth.com/shop, where you will get the details on early enrollment bonus workshops and the best pricing of the year and tell next week, remember that you matter to.
Claim Your Self-Care Planner & Assessment Now!
Enter your name below, and I'll send you my short video series (totally free!) to support you on your self-care journey right away!