Sunday, September 20, 2020

Focus on What Matters


I haven't written here since the pandemic swept away the version of normal we were living, because I wasn't quite sure what to say. I'm still not, but I am going to say a few things anyway. We've been through one full lockdown and may be entering another. I must confess that I don't mind much about this potential second one. We learned a lot of lessons in the first one about appropriate levels of preparedness, and I think that we will be fairly comfortable through a second one. Which makes us some of the lucky ones, I know.

To be honest, I don't understand the people who are grousing about things going back to normal and needing to get out and and do all the things they like to do again. My compassion and empathy extends primarily to those who have lost loved ones, who have had Covid and are still recovering, who have lost jobs and homes and all the big things that are essential to living. I think it is petty and disrespectful to complain about wearing masks and not getting to go to brunch. There are so many worse things. 

I do miss things that we used to be able to do, but it's a trade off. Because this slower pace has benefited us greatly. To have the pressures on our time, our energy, our money erased in one fell swoop was in no way a tragedy. We were busy, we were tired, we were a bit on edge in too many ways. And yet we couldn't seem to remedy the problem. I was saying no and quitting doing things that weren't a good fit, but things were still incredibly stressful in the day to day, for me, for my husband, for our kids. We have all expressed relief at not having so much to do anymore. We are not keen to go back to the old way of living.

For me personally, lockdown has pulled the things that matter into sharper focus. Far from being tired of having less to do and wanting to take on more, I have realized that there are more things I need to quit doing if I want to be the kind of person that I long to be, if I want to do what I do well. While we have been homebound, I have swapped frenzied activity for pursuits that are sustaining and sustainable. So as we have eased back into doing things outside of home, I have put time limits on some of them. Others I've committed to making part of the life that I want to create for myself and for my family, so that as we extend our activities outside our own home, we are well prepared.

It's not been the easiest thing, figuring all this out, but I have come to a place of feeling peace about how things are now and where we are headed in the future. I am working on letting things unfold, being diligent in the ways I need to be diligent and otherwise allowing room to just be. I know that there will be more to learn and new ways to adjust as we go forward. In particular I want to make sure that these good things that have come to us translate into us sharing that good with others, especially those who are suffering as a result of the pandemic. 

But I feel as if we have time, a little space to breathe and figure it out. Keeping close to home gave that to me, to us as a family. I'm not sure just how to express gratitude for this when what gave it to me has been so awful for so many. But I am thankful to be here now. At home, with things in better focus.