Passing the Time Away…
Here we go, yet ANOTHER quarantine article!? Well, what else are we supposed to write about, read about, talk about, think about these days? After all, I wouldn’t want to appear “out of the loop!” I do not typically write these articles in first-person, but since everything else is out of the norm, I gave myself permission to do so.
Today, I am thinking about TIME (no, not the magazine). What I came to realize is that I had been taking the concept of time for granted for most of my life. For me, time had existed in my calendar, on my daily schedule, in my memories, during sessions, and of course, as a reminder of how old I am getting.
But, I had never just sat with time and acknowledged it’s beauty. Even during mindfulness and meditation exercises, I would not pay attention to the actual minutes that were passing and how precious they were. Sometimes it takes an external force to remind us to appreciate the things that we cannot see.
What Day Is It Anyway?
In recent weeks, we have all been gifted with the opportunity to sit still and become more present with ourselves and our loved ones. For some, this has led to days filled with anguish, boredom, and anxiety. For others, it has encouraged introspection, connectedness, and hope. For most, it depends on the day.
But, whether you have been spending your days reorganizing, overeating, cuddling, or freaking out—we are all a bit more invested in the “here-and-now.” The date seems less important, holidays and planned events have come and gone sans family gatherings, and the idea of making new plans has been put on hold until further notice. So, how are you managing sitting with time and living in the moment? Are you embracing or fearing a lack of control?
My New Normal
I will be the first to admit, I struggled for a bit at the beginning of the “safer-at-home” declaration. The idea of moving all of my clients to video sessions had me concerned that there would be a “lack of intimacy.” The client/therapist connection is vital, and I feared that this aspect would suffer.
Turns out, I was worried about something that never came to fruition (sound familiar?). In fact, it seems MORE intimate in many ways. I get to see a part of their world (pets, environment, décor, steady eye contact), and they get to see a piece of mine (a cat walking across the screen from time to time, a dog barking in the distance). It’s been a smooth transition after all, and I see value in this new platform.
Pets-Oh, the joy of having pets during this quarantine! Not only do they provide the best non-judgmental companionship, but they also give me a reason to focus my attention on something other than this pandemic.
Board Games/Puzzles-These have been lifesavers at helping with reducing boredom and creating happy memories. I recommend Yahtzee, Clue, & Scattergories!
Walks-We may not be able to go out to dinner or to the movies (or for me- escape rooms!), but we haven’t lost our ability to walk around the neighborhood. And boy, are people taking advantage of this luxury currently. We saw at least 10 other couples on our walk today. We even chatted with a few of them (from 6-10 feet away, of course). Goes to show that people still want to connect!
FaceTiming Loved Ones-What?? We have to make an effort and actually plan a time to sit and talk? Ok.Ok.
“Netflix and Chill” has a whole new meaning now- The phrase used to represent a sexy date night for most couples. Now it entails 2 unbathed people eating chips and fighting over which series to watch next. Still a good way to pass the time though.
And, let’s not forget: The lovely trips to the grocery stores– These seem more like a scene from “The Handmaid’s Tale” nowadays. Enough said!
Appreciate the Time
Flexibility is an essential skill to have in our unpredictable world. Now more than ever. Over the past few months, I have witnessed our fantastic ability to adapt to our current situation. As a society, we are working together to keep each other as safe as possible. It’s a real sight to see.
It’s not always easy, but I choose to stay hopeful and optimistic every day. I cannot change or control what is happening, I can only control how I cope with it all. I am making an effort to embrace gratitude and appreciate the time. If you can, do the same, and please be safe!
*This article is light-hearted in nature. My intention is not to dismiss those who are sick, have family members who are sick or have experienced a loss of any kind. I am simply sharing my own experience.