With everybody having to stay at home, children being off from school, and huge changes to peoples routines, I thought that I would share the experiences from the multi week adventures that Nikki has run and that I planned, crewed, supported, managed, driven, cooked…you get the idea! What we’ve been seeing of late is that people’s lives are falling into a similar pattern that our multi week adventures fall into, especially with children being home from school. You see, when we undertake one of Nikki’s crazy adventures, I feel like I’m having to look after a child sometimes! And the way she reacts, how she has to be looked after and entertained all seems very similar to what I ‘m seeing on social media at the minute! So, here is my week by week guide to what happens during a multi week adventure and how it might relate to what you are experiencing at the minute with your children:
You (the adult!) have done all your planning, you’ve got timetables and charts and lists of tasks, you are so prepared and ready to go. The Adventurer (or child!) is excited about something new happening, something that’s been talked about for a while. It’s about to happen! Clearly the excitement is different for us when we start an adventure but I’m sure there is a certain amount of it shown with these enforced changes. Week 1 invariably won’t go to plan but the newness of it all, that excitement, however it manifests itself, and the determination to make it work as planned will get you through.
OK, so what I find is that come week 2 the things that didn’t work in week 1 start to show. Also, the Adventurer starts to get cranky. Things don’t feel like they should. Things aren’t going their way. For Nikki, this is the time that her body starts to put up a bit of resistance and go through an adaptation phase. The tantrums start, the sulking, the demands…yes, I’m still talking about my Adventure Runner here but I’m sure this applies to your children as well!! The timetable isn’t enforceable, the daily tasks were a bit optimistic, people aren’t playing ball as you had hoped…basically you have to make changes. Week 2 has become known to us as “The Terrible Twos”. It’s a bit of a struggle, as everyone is getting a bit stir crazy, but this is where you have to dig deep and persevere to get through it because, well, there’s week 3 to look forward to!
After the energy and enthusiasm of week 1, and the tantrums and struggles in week 2, week 3 seems to just work. Through all the issues you may have encountered in week 2 (and I hope you don’t!) you will have been creating processes and routines that had evolved from your original plan. These will start becoming normal for you and habits will start to form. You realise that you’re still doing this thing and everything is working
We have always found that week 4 is when the habits kick in and you are following your processes and routines without thinking. The Adventurer as settled into what they are doing and there may still be tantrums but you know what to do now (I just feed my Adventurer and that seems to shut them up!)
This is normally a bit of a blur for us. Things are still tough and you still have to work at what you’re doing but things now feel normal and you do them without having to think too much.
For us, the last week of an adventure is a bit surreal. You are so excited to see the end of it all, you feel energised knowing that you have got through all the challenges of the previous weeks. But then you have the anxiety of what is going to happen after you finish. You see the thing that you have been learning to deal with, the thing that wasn’t normal 8 weeks ago is normal now. And when it’s all over you may well be going back to what used to be normal but it’s now a change to your life. The end of this lockdown period is going to result in children going back to school and parents gong back to work. Routines will have to changed again, you will have to step out of the comfort zone that you have been creating. Which you probably didn’t realise you had created! But you have to remember that you have become stronger now for dealing with the last 8 weeks, or however long this change has taken. By dealing with the change that was necessary during this pandemic you have given yourself the tools to deal with going back to “normal”. And hopefully you will take some of the habits that you have created during this period with you, to make your old normal better. I hope this gives you some insight into what we go through during one of our adventures and that you can relate it in some way to what you are going through during this difficult time. I do want to say that we are not professionals giving out official advise here! This is just our observations of the current situation and how they compare to our experiences. We also realise that this is written with people staying at home and who are not directly affected by the COVID-19 virus, and hope it adds a bit of light relief from what is going on. Stay strong, be safe, and be clean ????