“Get your life together!!” my sweet and subtle inner-voice shouts at me every morning these past two months. While this moment is once-in-a-lifetime in a horrifying kind of way, it’s also taken me away from a decades+ long routine I often (daily?) wished to have a reprieve from. Though not the way I imagined it, I’m still aiming to recalibrate in some sort of meaningful way. Most of the ways in which I will do this are complete fantasy, but I know that even slight alterations of set patterns can make way for something new. Here is a list of things I’m doing differently, mostly guided by instinct and love–but some more deliberate. I hope I walk out into the world (maybe July? When is that happening in L.A. County?) a little differently.
- I have played the banjo at least a dozen times. I hadn’t opened the case in at least 5 years. So this is something. I can’t really play, but I am learning basic rolls. I use a metronome to work on my speed & it’s just mindless repetition at faster and faster paces. The neighbors are LOVING it.
- I read a whole book and am currently reading another. I sadly gave up reading with parenthood, but I can’t really blame it on that. Mostly it’s the phone that stops me from picking up a book. A physical book seems almost shockingly serene. Thanks Mom for sending me “Educated: A Memoir.” I loved every minute of it. I needed a really great book to get me back into it.
- I workout every single day for at least an hour. This has always been a goal, but it has been pretty lofty the past several years. Now I have the time to do it, so I don’t take it for granted. I love it. It is the best mood-lifter I know.
- I have sort of cleaned out some stuff. I did this very early on in quarantine and now everything needs cleaning again, which is kind of depressing. I don’t enjoy this work, but having a clean space does bring me a sense of peace. So maybe I’ll scrub a toilet today, who knows.
- Obviously my event business had to pivot, and at first I just thought I would ignore it. But I have been able to do a few things I never had time to do when I was so focused on planning an event. I updated an email subscription list. I am trying out new virtual options. I am experimenting with advertising. I try to do one thing a day that moves it forward. I am an entrepreneur at heart, even though I try to avoid it because it requires so much–sometimes I think if I just embrace it, I’ll finally feel like I’m on the right track.
- I do stuff with my kid–like really do stuff. It is so easy to pretend to be engaged and believe me… I have so much experience with that! But I’m making sure I play with my kid. We paint. We do puzzles. We read. We play games. We pretend. We also get annoyed with one another! But that is OK.
- I eat weird food. I never realized how limited I was with options when I was gone from home 10 hours a day. But now I have such freedom! My favorite morning snack is cold brew coffee mixed with some ice cream and “blended” with the milk frother from the coffee machine. I think I’m brilliant every time I’m doing it (“Why am I not making a video of this right now?”). I wish I could say “I eat healthy food,” but that I’m putting off til the very end of quarantine.
- I deep condition my hair weekly. I must be doing something wrong because for three days after my hair is so oily it looks like it’s soaking wet. But then I tell myself I’m really taking care of ME, and I just go with it. It feels like such a luxury.
- I experience the outdoors while NOT working out. When I’m on the daily grind, it’s all I can do to get out a couple of times with the kid and the dog and grind out some miles. But now I have time to not worry about calorie-burning or intervals & I can just go out for an adventure with my kid on a scooter (an activity that requires an amount of patience I never knew I was capable of). I can have my dog basically pull me around on rollerblades & not worry about breaking a sweat.
- I pet my dog every 10-15 minutes. He is probably SO annoyed by this. Who am I kidding–we have such separation anxiety with one another that this has been a dream come true for both of us! When I visualize my all new lifestyle, it is always in the country with 4+ dogs running around. I haven’t figured out the exact path to get there, but I love being around my dog. He keeps me from daydreaming too much & forces me to throw him a ball. He finds my feet wherever I am working and makes sure he is next to them. He brings me such comfort.
Nothing revolutionary is going on in this house. There is still plenty of insomnia and anxiety, distraction & old patterns, but I can play a forward roll on the banjo at at least 160 BPMs. I try not to get lost in the sadness of the world right now, which is a really easy thing for me to do. I try not to think about how much I want to see my parents & have them see Kenzy, something up until now they did on the regular every few months. I think about all you often–how you are weathering this time, if you are holding up OK–and I try to have patience with the world and with myself. Love to you all! I can’t wait to see you soon.