Leave Out All the Rest (And Rest)

To Do, or Not to Do

Things have been a little crazy these past few months. Online, people argue about whether or not it’s good (or even necessary) to be productive at such a time. When all this started back in March, I felt like I was accomplishing things. I didn’t do it to show off on social media; I stayed busy so I could occupy my mind with things other than the news, not stopping to rest unless I had to.

The Shift

I don’t regret those busy weeks, but I noticed a shift as we neared the end of school. I stopped wanting to be as busy. Exercise started feeling like drudgery, and I began craving more comforting foods, especially ice cream. Though I’d enjoyed doing all the things “not cancelled”, that changed.

Flipping the calendar to June really upset me one day. In the back of my mind, I’d thought there was a small chance that we’d get to travel to North Carolina, see my brother’s wedding, and go to the beach. Realizing that it wasn’t going to happen really crushed me. I felt a little better after throwing that calendar away and crying a little. I couldn’t bring myself to cross off one more thing, especially not something I’d been looking forward to all year.

I read somewhere that dealing with this pandemic has been like going through the stages of grief, and I agree. It’s not a linear progression, though. The feelings come and go, and I suspect that when this is “over”, there will still be things about it that hurt.

So, Now What?

I at first blamed myself for taking a slower pace, but I realized that it’s completely normal. I’m doing my best to focus on doing the things I really want to do and letting go of the ones that don’t really matter. I don’t want to start a big project right now, do intense workouts, or deep-clean my house. I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to “be busy” again.

Now is the time for rest. I can hire out the dirty jobs to my children, save the projects for later, and wait to move my body when I feel so inclined. Taking care of myself helps me better take care of my family, and that’s what really matters. The details can sort themselves out later when the world doesn’t feeling like it’s ending.

a short hike with my little buddy: the only exercise I feel like doing right now. Being outside can feel like a rest from daily life.

(I have a few more posts about COVID-19 here.)

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