Posted by & filed under Callings, Everyday Lessons, Happiness, Work.

There is a lot that is hard about the pandemic. One thing I am finding lately is the sheer volume of house work and the tradeoffs I have to make to enable housekeeping. I used to outsource a lot of that BC (before Corona!) and used to trade in that time for more space and joy which is much harder now given the shelter in place.

And I say that, acutely aware that I am in a position of great privilege to even be able to say this. I recognize how much harder it is for many, many, many people around me. Just this Friday, I was picking up frozen yogurt from pink berry and said “thank you” to the cashier for working in this environment. And he paused and said – “I need the money, it’s been two months and I haven’t been able to pay rent.” There was a tinge of sadness that stayed with me throughout the evening. It is one thing to read about such stories on the internet and another to witness pain in a real human conversation. I came home and realized I should have tipped him way more than I did…

And I know there are millions and millions of stories of pain, suffering and trauma around the world due to the pandemic.

And yet, knowing the reality of the cards dealt to mankind at large, this season is also a very powerful moment (for those of us for whom it is even remotely possible) to take stock of our lives and connect with who we are, what matters and what we are discovering about ourselves and the kinds of lives we want to lead. It is a conversation I have been frequently having with myself, my husband and many others around me.

One of the things I am learning about myself is how much I value space, ease and flexibility in my days. In a strange way, I am finding that my life has more air to breathe, more savoring and freedom, an improved relationship with myself and more time alone in this season. When I think of the days that are most joyful, I find that there was room to linger, to take a pause and go for a walk, practice restorative yoga for a few minutes or take a longer bubble bath in the afternoon. The days I am most nourished are the ones when I was able to write and listen to the birds chirping and make desert on a weeknight. Its nights when I can go to bed without setting an alarm for the next day. I find deep meaning in a very long bedtime (often times 2+ hours as that’s Vivaan’s favorite time to do homework) knowing that I can somewhat be off the clock for the moment and still go to bed at 9. I savor having moments to reflect and hold space for both my fear and dreams.

The days that are rushed in time, an unexpected increase in my to do list or tasks that don’t align with my values are much harder for me. As a highly sensitive person, when things don’t go per plan or I am hurt or overwhelmed, I need space, a pause, a moment to breathe to connect to myself again…

In many ways, this isn’t anything new and I was acutely aware of this need of mine, but having had a deeper glimpse into the joys of a slower pace of life and the power of space in the midst of a global pandemic as a gateway to more meaning has been very powerful. I am noticing how much of a difference white space makes in my life, not just when I take a week long break or at a camping trip but simply in the way I live every day. I am still processing and reflecting on what this means for the future I’d like to build. I don’t have all the answers yet but there is a lot that is emerging in my heart…

What are you discovering about yourself? What changes are you feeling inspired to make in your life right now and in your post pandemic life?

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