An Important Lesson from COVID-19

This week has felt like I’ve been carrying an extra 80 lbs on my chest… how about you?

This world wide slowing-down to save the health of our friends and family has been a bit of a culture shock. In response to that, I’ve been doing my best to keep things light all week on my social media to help bring some peace to those struggling.

But something in me also feels a bit conflicted. Now that I’m in survival mode making sure my finances and food supply is prepared, I feel a deeper type of empathy. For those who have lost people close to them, those who have gotten a life threatening diagnosis, who’ve survived through house fires, soldiers who suffer from a multitude of mental disorders, miscarriages, and a million others that they too, didn’t ask for. 

It puts things in perspective in my own life- my family is healthy, my bills are paid, and I’m safe in my environment… why do I so often take these things for granted during times of normalcy? And right now more than ever, I crave normalcy. We complain often about daily struggles, such as the wrong coffee order or a construction detour, but are those things actually a big deal? It’s not until we’re confined to four walls for an unforeseen amount of time that the answer becomes clear.

My hope for you during this time is that you take note of the small things you’ve accidentally taken for granted. Make no mistake, there is no judgement for those of you reading- we are ALL equally guilty of this. Notice the humans in your daily environment. Notice the gift of connection free from distraction that we currently have the chance of embracing. Notice the board games and past times that we usually “don’t have time for” because we’d rather be productive.

Most of all, notice that time passes very fast and in order to make a life worth living, we need to prioritize rest and quality time as much as hustle. If you’re gracious for this break from work, that means you’re burning the candle at both ends. It’s a small silver lining that so many of us are recharging during this unscheduled break, but we need to collectively do better when it comes to prioritizing rest.

I’d like to commend those of you who are taking up a new hobby or skill, but it shouldn’t take a worldwide pandemic to kick that childhood dream into action. As adults, its equally as important that we make time to play just as children do. Do you think you could squeeze in 1 hour of playing the piano or learning Italian during your regular work week? Yeah, probably. Do you think you could find 1 hour before the kids wake up for you to read or workout in your living room? I’m more than sure of it. 

You see, this break is a mind game that gives us no excuse not to pursue what we want, but it shouldn’t take this circumstance to get you to schedule time to play. The world needs more people who practice creative expression. It fulfills you and helps you to present your best foot forward, both to your work and  family. Both your work and family deserve the best version of yourself. In many cases, the decision you need to do to achieve that comes not from putting your foot harder on the gas, but from removing it completely.

May we never take a day of work, quality time with family, enough money to pay our bills, a trip to the gym, a morning out to brunch, a walk on the beach, a birthday party, or single piece of toilet paper for granted.

Xoxo Maria 

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