What I learned by staying at home: I’ve been a spoiled brat most of my life, doing whatever I felt like doing whenever I felt like to doing it. My new habit is to ask myself, “Do I need that?” Do I need it, NOW?” Mostly the answer’s been “No!” and I like this trend! Clearly, I’ve been my own worst enemy! The loss of freedom is relative and, turns out, negotiable.

“Every change brings with it a loss… of the way it used to be” is something I talk about in the introduction to Emerging from the Heartache of Loss. Some losses seem to be more like a whisper, disappointing but barely a blip. Others are like tornadoes that upend life as you know it. Somewhere in between is “stay-at-home” from the governor! Merely inconvenient for some, devastating for others. I am healthy, didn’t lose a job I depended on or have children at home, so my life circumstance puts it into the “inconvenient” category.

On top of adjusting to the general pandemic rules of hand washing and face masking, Bill was exposed to Covid so the two of us self-quarantined for 2 weeks. Our home was a comfy little prison, but luckily we like we each other… a lot.

At first, major boredom and frustration. I thought frequently about the summer vacations of my youth and how boring the days were without school and my friends. I probably didn’t complain at the time lest my parents find their own brand of activity for me to do.

Once this initial struggling calmed, the benefits started showing themselves. Highlights of what I learned:

♣ You save $$$ when you eliminate restaurants.
♣ You put healthier food in your body when you stop eating out.
♣ It is possible to enter the grocery store every 2 weeks instead of every 4 days. With better planning, a  quick produce run in the middle is all we need. We like this. We will continue.
♣ It’s a big relief to cross things off your to-do list. An empty inbox is heaven!
♣ Walking more limbers a body up.
♣ It’s exciting to have a video chat with both children at once. This is not big news for everybody else, but we’ve been slow to join the ranks. At 4:30 on May 10, we dialed each other up with glasses in hand and had a Mother’s Day toast. Sooo fun! The 4 of us like each other… a lot.

 

loss-of-freedom-brings-reward-of-slowing-down

A treat courtesy of my wonderful neighbor!

Slowing down to a snail’s pace has more benefits than I ever imagined! There’s no need to hurry because life slows on its own when there’s less in it. With less to do, I could pay more attention to things I hurried through before. Rushing through “this” to get on to “that” left no time for mulling or thoughtful decisions. Less pressure means less stress, and less stress meant a better night’s sleep.

In the end, my head is clearer. I love this going slow business. I’ve had time to smell the roses!

Weeded out this week: The habit of doing two things at once. Focusing on one thing at a time has been a huge relief. I now lay out spices and chop all ingredients BEFORE beginning to cook.