For many of us, our lives are often busy with work, projects, extracurricular activities, house chores and so forth. We wake up early, stay up later and squeeze a whole lot in our day to keep up. I often complain to my husband that figuring out what to make for dinner every night and packing lunches every morning feels frustrating and overwhelming. As I have made my weekly trip to the grocery store, latex gloves in hand and carefully maneuvering my shopping cart to honor the 6 feet of space between myself and others, I have found a lot more joy in the food that I’m buying and I find myself looking forward to planning dinner for the evening and even for the next day. I know why this has happened. It’s not that I don’t like to cook or don’t like to plan meals, but with so many other obligations, it’s another task to think about on my to do list.
I’ve told myself that I’m going to deep clean a room a day and then I find myself skipping the bathroom yet again. To maintain my work responsibilities, supervise and support my children in completing their school work, completing basic tasks around the house, and spending quality time with my people makes the day go by really quickly. Maybe this is important and that it’s okay if I don’t complete a house project or deep clean every room.
Am I telling you to just survive and don’t make the most of a simpler schedule? Absolutely not. If putting up drywall in your basement brings you joy because you are creating a beautiful space for your family, go for it! If putting energy into a project at work fills your cup, do it! But let’s be aware of replacing our normal hustle for a different kind of hustle. There is beauty and value in having a fire and s’mores in your back yard even though it’s only in the 40’s, and in spending hours completing a puzzle, and in reading a stack of books, and in playing board games. This is a time when many of us are slowing down and we should take advantage of that, because there are people in our community who cannot slow down. Health care providers are working long hours. Retail workers are working tirelessly to order and fill the shelves to keep up with a demand. Some people cannot slow down right now and they are going to need us to be at our best so they can take their turn when we are through this pandemic.