A couple of days ago I was having what turned into being a very deep conversation with my 21 year-old daughter. As we’re now basically the only people we each interact with, one of the shelter-in-place perks is connecting with her on a deeper level. For this I am grateful.
But as we were talking, she very wisely pointed out that, because of the coronavirus, we now all have the gift of time.
The gift of TIME, that elusive concept that’s impossible to wrap into a fancy package — we have all now been gifted with so much more of its presence.
Sheltering In Place
When I heard the governmental orders that we’ll be self isolating for another 30 days, I couldn’t help but giggle.
If you’re a parent, I’m sure you recognized the false-hope tactic of “just five more minutes and we will.” Or was that just my technique with my three kiddos? If you’ve been lucky enough to have never had to use that technique, it’s the thing where someone is bugging you about when something will happen — then, instead of you being honest, because you know that that answer would cause them to freak, you say, “Oh, just about five more minutes.” And here we are. Just a bit longer. And with this gift of time.
Every Day Is Saturday
I’m finding that as I’m self isolating, my days are running together, are taking forever (some days), and are going by way too quickly (most days). Before I know it, it’s 3 o’clock and I’m just getting ready to get to work — whether it’s figuring out how to film videos, writing my blog post, or doing yardwork doesn’t seem to matter. I’m moving at a pace that’s very different from just three weeks ago, and I feel that I’m kind of floating through the majority of my waking hours.
This is the peril of being on an indefinite spring break. On the one hand, it’s really nice to have the (mandatory) down time. I’m grateful to be able to exhale and work on things that I usually don’t have (read: make) the time for. On the other hand, my motivation level is definitely waxing and waning, and my complete to do list hasn’t been ta-done as of late.
How We Live Our Days Is How We Live Our Lives
On the days that I’m out of my jammies early and enthusiastically hitting my list, I’ve noticed that it coincides with me crafting my day out the night before. And I’m not talking about just figuring out when I’m going to do which work tasks. I’m including things like reading, watching a movie, taking a nap, and working on other side projects. Things that feed my soul.
This, too, is a gift.
How often are we able to design our days to be exactly as we’d like them to be? Maybe for you this is every single day, in which case Go You! But if this isn’t your norm, and since we now have some extra time, it just might be perfect for you to begin designing your ideal day.
Take a moment and think about what activities are a must in your day. Think of the things that are non-negotiable in your daily routine. These might include showering and working and vegging out at night in front of a screen.
Now think of the things that you’d like to include that seem maybe a bit frivolous, the kind of things that you might have actually even said, “When I have more time, I’ll do ____,” or, “I don’t have time to ____.” You get my point. Since you have this extra gift of time, how could you include those things in your newfound freedom?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices or just need a fresh suggestion, here are a few options for things that might light up your happy self.
Forget Facebook and Twitter and online articles. I’m talking about a book. Whether it’s on Kindle, or Audible, or one with paper pages, self help books, romance, intrigue, or historical fiction, spend some time settling in with a good story.
I’ve talked about this topic on many a previous post, and there are a bazillion books on ways to find your calm (look, bonus points here!). No excuses on this one. Sit down at least once a day and just breathe. It can be as simple as that.
Dance, hula hoop, do jumping jacks, yoga, swim, walk, somersaults. Whatever makes you smile while you’re moving, do that for at least 30 minutes a day. It’s not rocket science. It’s just heart-beating movement.
Learn A New Language
I will be living in Italy at some point in my life, for that I am sure. Guess who’s pulled up a variety of Italian language playlists on Spotify? Me! (That’s “me” in Italian).
There are tons of virtual language platforms for you to choose from, both paid and free. Find your favorite version and have fun with it.
Se non ora quando? Che cosa stai aspettando?
Be In Nature
It’s officially springtime, a glorious season to get some veggies, fruits, and flowers into the earth. A side benefit to planting food right now is that, in a short amount of time, you’ll have one less reason to go to the store. I have a newfound appreciation for that option. And think of the smile you’ll be wearing when you look at flowers all around you.
Right now is the perfect time to make a shift in your life and create your dream days. Because if not now, when?