WHAT MATTERS NOW?

In the midst of a pandemic, much of what we once deemed worthy of our time fades into the background.

Dilemmas about not having enough time to get side projects done turn into a loss of motivation to continue those projects. My friends and I struggled to pick a destination for a long-awaited girls trip that now likely won’t happen this year. The decision to cut back on eating out became legally enforced as all the restaurants around us shut down or transformed to take-out only for the time-being.

I saw a post the other day illustrating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, stating we all need to cut ourselves some slack right now because some of our basic needs not met. It’s something I’ve struggled with the longer this goes on.

I’m a three on the enneagram, an achiever. My default operating mode is busy. I occupy my time with on-going creative endeavors, learning new skills and fields, and socializing. Not to mention the off-and-on love affair I have with fitness and maintaining a regular workout schedule.

So, while I have given myself some grace about not achieving all my goals right now and letting myself relax, my inner voice is screaming to stay productive. It’s popping up more than the ads you get after Googling something one time.

West World? Again? What about those products you wanted to launch in time to get some Mother’s Day sales? You know you could use the money now.

Another round of Wordscapes on your iPhone? You know this game is never-ending, right? Like, you will never win. Think of all the posts you could be writing.

Snacks! I need a snack. Right now.

Okay, that last one was not a productive thought. But who hasn’t had that thought pop up lately?

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of mixed-messages online. Some are urging you to slow down and be grateful for what you have right now, which is fair. The mere dilemma of what to do with all this time is a privilege in and of itself.

Yet, others are pushing us to still be our best selves for that very reason. We have that gift of having enough of our basic needs met that we need to be out there doing everything we can for those who don’t, maintain our routines, be the best version of ourselves and be strong for everyone around us.

So, here we are. In the uncertainty, we have no idea when this will pass. Terms like “new normal” are all too commonplace. And we are expected to carry on, because our life isn’t pausing; it’s just being disrupted.

I’m not here to offer any advice. I’ll leave that to the experts. For me, writing is therapeutic; so this post is a bit selfish in that regard. It helps me cope with my world and understand what I am truly thinking and feeling.

That’s what we are all expected to do right now – cope. If you can do anything more, great. If you can find a way to make a difference in your community, while staying safe, even better.

I like to think of it like we are on an airplane – except our plane is going down right now. What do they tell you to do then? Secure your mask before assisting others.

We are all in this together. The best reminder for me in this time is that social distant is the wrong way to frame it. We are physically distant, but we still have each other.

There will be days when you’ll be able to assist others in putting on their mask, and there will be days where you’re the one in need of assistance.

But the point is we will get through this together. And while everything else fades into the background, I think that is what matters most these days.