What to write, what to write? Scrolling through my various feeds for the last several days has had me floating around in a soup of distress, ingenuity, grief, and encouragement. Some of the posts resonate and make me laugh, and some of them turn my stomach, and some of them, incredibly, don’t acknowledge anything - like we can pretend none of the virus stuff is happening. I confess I felt some fear this morning when I woke up. But rather than allowing myself to operate from that fear, I decided to see where it might be nudging me. As a result, this is not a post that will remain “evergreen” (at least I certainly hope it won’t).
I have some clients who have found a sense of equanimity in all of the disruption, as things that perhaps once seemed “urgent and important” are now less so. No carpools, less time-wasting meetings, and fewer errands have opened up the possibility of creating some new routines that better serve goals and values. They’re free to try things differently. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my front porch in the dark. It’s 5:35 am, and the stars are still out, and I’ve never written this way before. It’s funny that in all the time I’ve understood that this is my favorite time of day, and this porch is my favorite place to hang out, I’ve never put it together that I could write in this particular time and space container. What else have I been missing?
This time on the porch is also reminding me that although it’s rough out there, the cycles are still running. The birds are going nuts right now, and the faintest hint of dawn is kicking in to my left - that rhythm won’t be ending any time soon. And there will be a time when we go out without our disinfecting wipes, and have gatherings in person (can you imagine if all of this mess was happening pre-Internet?), and resume work and school and the purchasing of toilet paper whenever we like.
I’d like, if you’ll indulge me, to play with what that time might look like. I know we’re supposed to be all up in the present moment and mindful and stuff, but I’m following my gut here. I have no crystal ball, only the instinct to see where the musings might go - and see if they can help to set a hopeful mood. If you’re experiencing difficulty beyond my comprehension right now, and this experiment seems tone-deaf, you can totally close the page.
What will tomorrow be like? Will you take lots of naps to cope, or head into your job at an essential business, or clean out another cabinet? Will you journal, or try reading poetry, or optimistically set a new daily schedule for yourself to have a sense of regularity? Will you take your online classes and write a paper, or deliver groceries to your neighbor? Or will you pull your hair out, just a little, and hide from your kids in the bathroom instead of homeschooling? What can you do, and how can you do it?
What will a week from now be like? Will you, having finished every worthwhile Netflix series (and some not so much) turn to old movies you’ve already seen, or start working out, or plowing through the stack of books on the nightstand? Will you be bored, and out of sorts, and sick of the confinement and disruption and endless news? Will you be pacing, and ruminating, and searching through closets to see if there’s a puzzle you’ve forgotten? Will you shake yourself a little, and plant seeds for a summer garden? What’s that going to look like?
What will a month from now be like? Will we all have settled more into the new normal, and having done so, begin to change? Or accept that we already have changed? What might that change look like? Do we have some new opportunities to explore, or ways of thinking we might never have imagined? Will you reach out for some assistance, understanding that taking care of your brain and heart is as important as checking off to-do list items? Will necessity be the mother of invention, and what will those inventions be?
What will six months from now be like? In my research, I was dismayed (although not entirely surprised) that no expert really wants to predict how long this pandemic will be running its course. But let’s assume, for the sake of the experiment, that we’ll be seeing signs of improvement. Will we be testing out some brand-new business ideas? Starting a new job, or picking up the pieces of an old one? Figuring out how to reconfigure portfolios? Will we have resumed scheduling weddings and milestone birthday parties, and express more gratitude in being able to do so? What will the first day of school be like? Will we be mourning, and have a heightened sensitivity to others who join us in that mourning? Will we slow down? What will “productivity” and “being organized” mean for us at that point?
OK, big stretch here. What will a year from now be like?
Sun’s up now, and my toes are cold, and I see a neighbor heading off to work. Time to go inside and begin again.
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, dog-lover, author. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?