The world is upside down as we enter our third week of quarantine. Between a sharp increase in screen time and an unrelenting Groundhog Day-like repetitiveness, this new reality feels like a technologically driven dream.
For me, the distancing and the isolation are both challenging and welcome, and I am struggling to make sense of it all.
On the one hand, I miss my friends and family, my students and their families, and the smattering of neighbors, acquaintances, and community members that pepper my day-to-day life.
I miss small luxuries like sushi and manicures and the hot tub at my gym.
Most of all, I miss the freedom of leaving my house.
On the other hand, this pause has given me reprieve from a pace of life that had become *almost* unsustainable.
It has illuminated to me that my “normal” life is complicated in ways that I don’t want it to be. It has confirmed that I say far too many “yeses” and not nearly enough “nos.”
If there is an upside to this Corona crisis (and I, actually, think there are many), this is one of them. The universe has given us a rare opportunity to slow down and reflect on our lives and ourselves. In our hectic modern existence, such a luxury is unheard of.
And for that reason, it is both a blessing and a terror.
We suddenly have a moment to reflect on our values and determine whether or not we are living in alignment with them.
Amidst this time to reflect, I must admit that, my life is not in alignment with my values because I don’t allow myself the quiet down moments that I so desperately need.
Even though I urge my clients to make themselves a priority, to do the things that they love, and to enjoy moments of rest and solitude, these are not gifts that I give to myself.
I have fallen prey to the expectations and the “shoulds” of the outside world. And because I deeply enjoy my work, I have stretched myself, possibly to the ends of my capacity, in an effort to be the best coach and tutor that I can be.
In doing so, there are parts of myself that I have lost.
Maybe you feel similarly. Maybe you lose yourself in the expectation to be the perfect parent, the perfect wife/husband, the perfect employee, friend, daughter/son, etc. The list of expectations just goes on and on.
This unprecedented, and perhaps unwelcome, moment gives us a chance to take stock of the ways in which we have lost ourselves, the ways in which we have stretched ourselves too thin or sold ourselves short or, even, out.
Now is the time when we can outline what is TRULY important to us, and not only can we plan for how we might live a life in accordance with those values in the future, we can actually start living that life today.
Because there are no rules right now, and all expectations for what being your perfect self looks like have flown out the window.
Let’s take advantage of this opportunity.
Rather than resigning ourselves to hopelessness and despair, rather than eating all the junk food and watching all the news until we just CAN NOT anymore, let’s use this time to find ourselves again.
For me, this means a lot of yoga, reading, writing, walking in the forest preserve, and ignoring the hourly updates about the catastrophe unfolding outside our doors. Even if only for a little bit.
It means carving out quiet, alone-time for prayer and meditation.
It means sleeping more than I might usually, bathing when that sounds nice, drinking lots of warm beverages, eating more chili mangos than I should, and wearing all my favorite clothes.
It means rediscovering who I am and remembering that I like that person.
It means accepting that whatever I do today or tomorrow or for the rest of my life is more than enough because I am more than enough, just the way that I am.
What does it mean for you?