I, as well as all of you, have had to step into a different type of lifestyle in the last several weeks. The “stay at home” lifestyle. This has been a scary, unusual and frustrating existence. We are not used to living this way and it just doesn’t feel right. The days of the week get all jumbled up – there are no identifying daily routines that we have adapted to and are used to.
We walk into a grocery store and some of the shelves are sparse and some are completely bare. I am used to slowly making my way down the aisles and just adding things to my cart without having to worry about whether or not it is available.
After about the first two or three days of sheltering in place I started to get worried that I would lose all sense of direction and purpose. That was pretty disheartening. As I continued to count off the days, I found that my new “normal” was not as dire and threatening as I was trying to prepare for. For instance, I didn’t have to consult my calendar many times a day to make sure I wasn’t forgetting an appointment, a meeting or an event.
Sometimes during the day I would even forget where my cell phone was and I would have to call myself to locate it. That must have been where I found all of those added minutes in my day – I wasn’t constantly checking things off of my to do list on the phone, or looking at social media, or checking emails that may need responded to.
That is when I realized that I had been being “used.” I had been “used” to getting up and getting my mind wrapped around my schedule, duties and office work. I had become “used” to jumping in the car and making random trips to the store, gas station and shopping when now I had consolidated all of those trips into one trip. I was “used” to trying to carve out some time in the day to try to fit in a little bit of reflection or relaxation instead of putting those front and center.
I was “used” to giving my family and friends a hug without a second thought, making it more of a reflex action than a reward. I was “used” to taking fresh air, sunshine, the sound of birds and the sight of bunnies for granted, rather than actually hearing or seeing with all of my senses.
Don’t get me wrong in that I want this new normal to become my future normal. I will still go back to a routine, but maybe with more consideration and thought. Emails will still need attention and business will still go on, but maybe with a little more time for appreciation for those who have made life possible even though I may have not have previously realized how important each and every job as well as the people who do those jobs are.
Lessons have been learned, life has been turned upside down and when the world has been placed back in alignment, may we never be “used” again.