Could this be a time for us all to learn what slowing down really is? A time for us to learn about patience with ourselves? What about empathy for ourselves?
I’ll share a story I recently heard about a woman who lived a typical American “go-go” lifestyle even though she is over 70 years old. In this version of the story, she was busy running to the gym, various charitable and social events, helping neighbors, food shopping and keeping up her home. Her friends would tell you that she never slowed down. And she lived what many would consider a full, successful life in her retirement years.
And then came COVID 19 – the second week of March 2020 which changed everything, personally, socially, culturally and internationally. At first she stumbled and stuttered through the “lack,” of movement, adventure, and social engagement. She was bored with her four walls, even though she shared them with two good friends. She was restless, feeling like she needed to move, and the alternative of looking around at the same things everyday seemed unbearable.
But the threat of the virus kept her in, and her respect for science and of logic kept her in the house. She knew she was doing the “right” thing.
By the 14th day she found herself doing crossword puzzles, facetime with her grandkids and watching a movie, and that’s it for a whole day. As little as it was, it was enough. And maybe she was enough, just so.
And I wonder how many people are facing personal breakthroughs like this now. While “social distancing,” is painful because we are forcibly letting go of routines that sustained us, it is also bringing us closer to ourselves, and possibly closer to accepting ourselves.
What if we are now cultivating patience as a society, as a culture, and a person? What if this will help us transform into a bigger braver version of ourselves?
How are you slowing down? How are you learning to allow yourself to grieve the familiar routines that once sustained you? And what do you find on the other side?