Since COVID-19 came to B.C., I’ve gone through an involuntary life edit. Things have proceeded like any full edit (though let’s skip the proofread for now, shall we?). The first changes were sweeping, dramatic and structural as we paused daycare, moved to working mostly from home and navigating meetings around a toddler, and stopped frequenting favourite weekend haunts. Next, more stylistic edits crept in as we found the flow of our new life through shifts in activities, diet and behaviours. We’re now copy editing, as we seek consistency and completeness. Our weak semblance of a routine starts with popsicles before breakfast and prioritizes getting outside before lunch.
Most major changes in my life have been accompanied by big life lessons, and my COVID-19 experience has been no exception.
So far I’ve learned:
1. Don’t procrastinate.
I’m not a procrastinator, except when it comes to things like hair appointments. My salon closed a mere week before my last booked appointment, which I’d already stretched out as long as possible. This has not served me well, though I did learn that Instagram video chat colour consults exist and the results aren’t awful.
2. Human connection is important.
While I had a brief stint as an extrovert (according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®), I identify as an introvert. I value time spent with family and friends. I don’t enjoy small talk. I’ve come to enjoy more connection with neighbours through cross-courtyard acknowledgements from our balconies, and I always wave at our pizza man when I walk past his shop.
3. Figure out necessities.
Do I need a daily cup of coffee to function properly? Absolutely. Does it have to be an oat milk Americano misto? Absolutely not. My takeout coffees are much rarer these days, and more appreciated when I have them.
4. Buying local matters.
As a side effect of time at home, I’ve been reading more voraciously. I’ve connected with a local bookstore that offers a discount on books and free delivery within the city. They know a thing or two about books (more so than Amazon), and are genuinely appreciative of my business.
5. Take notice.
One benefit of living with a toddler is seeing things in a new light — things we take for granted like shadows, fresh blooms and clouds. While we miss the larger scale marvels at the Aquarium, our daughter has been finding and naming special places all around our neighbourhood. Some days we go to visit a Buddha statue, collect pine cones, and hope that a black cat shows up to say hello. Others we sit on a seat-shaped tree to chat. We’ve learned so much about our little corner of the world by stopping to notice rather than speeding by.
Once we’re on the other side of this major edit, I aim to remember these lessons and be intentional about what I let back in to the work that is my life — hoping that no new errors have been introduced.
Previous post from Marianne Grier: Asking for Help: Lessons from Toddlerhood
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