This spring has given us a chance to evolve, to innovate, to increase our compassion for ourselves and others. “To train for a potential marathon that’s to come,” as one spiritual guide puts it. We’ll come up for air, sure. But all signs indicate that we’re preparing for something even bigger by October. My own organization just extended our work-from-home remit for at least another five months.
Do you agree? Are you worried? Skeptical? I do hope that your friends and family continue to be happy and healthy.
Things have been pretty terrible around the world. I know that, I see it, I feel it. Please don’t read these next words and my honesty without also knowing that my heart hurts for our entire planet every day.
The truth is, from my place of privilege, the past couple of months have also been among the best in my life.
I needed to be grounded, in more ways than one. Hear me out…
Gary and I have been living full time in Vermont the last couple of months. As you may recall, we found a place up here on our favorite ski hill last winter, so we’ve felt quite at “home” in many ways. I haven’t actually been home-home since the beginning of February when I rushed off to Australia for work.
But here are some unanticipated adjustments that have helped me see this time as a gift:
Possessions. Surviving on just a few shirts, a few leggings, two pairs of shoes (because we’re not really home)… it’s the forced “capsule wardrobe” my soul has been yearning for. Removing the burden of choice and the unspoken weight of having too many things.
Distractions. This comes as a surprise to no one, but I’ve lived my life extremely “busy,” from one task, event, hobby, passion or domain name to the next. Cut to isolation, no social plans, and like… books. My journal. Nature.
Connection. Virtual has actually meant more face time with friends and colleagues. There’s now so little pressure with video that it just comes naturally. Shower and makeup optional. I’m able to take more calls at 6am or 8pm to join my colleagues in their time zones. I have two-hour chats with girlfriends that would have otherwise just been texts.
Local. I haven’t ordered a single thing off Amazon in all this time. That’s not bragging – someone should actually check my pulse. But how amazing is it to purchase dog food from your local shop, to support curbside pick-up so the local restaurants and workers might possibly survive? I knew I wanted a certain pair of boots next fall, so I had the local outdoor gear store order them for me now instead of rushing online delivery in a few months. If you have a secure income yourself, now is your chance to do better for your neighbors.
Marriage. Frankly, we needed this in our 15th year of marriage. We’re now spending
more all our time together. We talk to each other and we LISTEN more. We go for several walks a day and run every errand together. We even unwrapped the box of our first-ever board game (Scrabble). It feels like we take life less seriously these days. And don’t tell Gary I said this, but the lack of live sports on television has been a godsend! For the first time in years, we actually go to bed at the same time together.
While so much seems to be a grounding force for me these days, I know I’m actually also afraid of going “home.” I wasn’t truly happy last year – before the holidays, travel and a pandemic took over – and maybe I’m just avoiding or escaping those feelings now. I can step back and see that pattern across my life in general, staying busy so as not to feel anything too much. So I’m grateful for this time and the human consciousness that allows me to witness and process that even still, and I know I’m growing in a direction that serves me.
Through all that is hurting, hectic, unanswered and scary during this time, have you also found something to be grateful for?