Our collective world has been absolutely turned upside down with the current global COVID-19 pandemic. For most of us, our lives have become a version unlike any we have previously known. We have all had to drastically adjust our routines, manage everyday life completely differently and spend more time isolated from others.
For me personally, I've found this to be one of the most reflective times of my life. To that end, I wanted to share ten lessons or takeaways I have had during the past two months of our stay-at-home order.
lesson 1 : I already have what I need
This theme has shown itself before as my family has navigated the changes thrust upon us due to stay-at-home orders. While we might be missing vacations, parties and events, our life without them still has so much value and meaning and I've been genuinely happy to have been given this time with my family. I'm grateful we have found ways to co-exist and create ways to separate when we have needed time apart. I'm most thankful for being given the reminder that what I've always wanted is right here with me everyday.
lesson 2 : I don't need half of what I have
When I'm not needing to go here and there for this and that, I don't seem to require as many clothes, as many shoes, as many bags, as many of anything really. It's had me thinking more deeply about being even more discerning about what I buy and why. What will I do with this new found knowledge? Well, I will review what I own again with an eye towards editing more than ever before. I will continue to walk forward with a more conscious thought process around what things I/we actually need.
lesson 3 : I don't miss all the driving
As a parent of a middle and a high schooler, we do a lot of driving. Driving from one activity to the next was a daily requirement and required a lot of coordinating. While I miss watching my kids enjoy sports and pursuits with their friends, I don't miss accumulating all of the miles driving from one activity to the next. It has been so nice not to be rushing, eating on the go and running from one part of town to the other and back.
lesson 4 : I must consider video options more often
I had used FaceTime to talk to my friends and my parents from time-to-time, but not to the extent that I have since we've been working and communicating from home. Since the pandemic, I've connected more with my friends, relatives, my brothers, and my parents using video chat. I've leveraged video for education, work sessions, happy hours, and dinner parties. While I've enjoyed certain experiences more than others (sorry 10+ people virtual meetings, it's just not my thing), I will continue to reach out to my circle via video now knowing it really has many terrific purposes, including feeding my soul at this challenging time with connection.
lesson 5 : I love curbside pick-up + delivery
My husband and I have been doing grocery shopping "dates" for years. It was actually fun to plan meals together and walk the grocery store while getting a mundane task done. I thought I would miss it when we chose delivery, but I haven't. We still sit down and plan those meals, but we are able to do other things together while someone else gets our food pulled and bagged. It will be some time before I'm walking the grocery aisle again.
lesson 6 : less = more
I've known all along that having a calendar jammed with appointments and activities can kill creativity and hampers people from getting into a state of flow but it really has become clear during this unprecedented time when all of my work and life activities vanished from my day. Less = More and by that I mean without all of the fractured time and go-go-go daily push, I've accomplished more in less time than ever before.
lesson 7 : missing a haircut isn't a big deal
For many years, I've booked my haircuts many months (often up to a year) in advance to ensure that I could see my favorite stylist in a time slot I prefer. When my mid-March cut + color was cancelled, I panicked a little. Now we're into mid-May and to be honest, my hair is just fine. The grey hair are less bothersome that I'd imagined and I've learned that maybe I can actually go longer between appointments saving myself some cash.
lesson 8 : missing a brow appointment is fine too
Same goes for my eyebrows. Turns out, when I just ignore them and let them grow out for four months, they actually have enough time to fully fill in and grow into the shape God intended. I've realized that all the extra appointments were not as necessary as I once believed. It's pure joy to know I can simplify by removing appointments from my schedule.
lesson 9: I must continue to embrace tech
When I worked in my corporate job, I had the luxury of having an amazing IT department and technical staff to help with all sorts of troubleshooting. It was convenient, it was a privilege and hence, I amassed very little tech skills as a result. Fast-forward to launching Neat Little Nest where I became its sole IT department learning many technical skills quickly. As my family and friends transitioned to work and learn from home under quarantine, I've been grateful to be able to support them while also receiving another round of tech learning myself.
lesson 10 : teaching my parents tech
This pandemic has taught me the importance of assisting my elderly parents (my father is 90, my mom 76), in learning tech basics since we can currently no longer support them in person. It has also reminded me the importance of being patient with new learners. We are taking the one-day-at-a-time approach and while it hasn't been an easy process, I'm happy to say we've been successful at teaching them to utilize FaceTime, texting and online ordering.
While I certainly wouldn't have wished for this pandemic to upend our day-to-day, I am extremely grateful for all the lessons it has (and continues) to offer me. I will for the foreseeably future log those lessons in my gratitude journal and carry them with me as we gradually move into our post stay-at-home "new normal"
Photo credit: Jes Lahay
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