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Simpler Times

Updated: Jan 11

An irony of the Covid 19 disaster gripping the planet is that, one of the most complicated events in history seems to be throwing people back into simpler times. The hustle and bustle world is being forced to slow down. Come home. Focus on friends and family. Reevaluate priorities.

All over social media, folks are posting about the things they are doing to pass time while stuck at home, and it all seems wonderfully homey and old-fashioned to me. People are baking bread, going for long walks at the park and playing games that had sat dusty on the shelf for years. We played Trouble, Chutes and Ladders and Clue here at our house. I had forgotten how much fun it could be to play a simple board game with my kids. I’m realizing I had forgotten a lot of things.

Like what it feels like to be bored. I’ve become accustomed to jam-packed days that move ridiculously fast, from one task to the next. It’s honestly a strange, and somewhat uncomfortable, feeling to wake up today and realize I have absolutely nothing on my schedule. Free time is a luxury most of us are not often granted anymore, to the point where we almost can’t recall what we used to do when we had it. While there is deep apprehension about what the future holds, this global “pause” is giving us an unexpected gift. Time to play, connect and create in a way “normal” life doesn’t usually allow us to. Time to remember what matters most, without so many distractions.

I announced to the teenagers that we were going to take this opportunity to clean out their bedrooms. Even they acknowledged that the stench and laundry piles could no longer be ignored, and something needed to be done. But still, there was some eye-rolling and annoyed looks that clearly said, “mom’s here now so we have chores to do.” That’s right guys - mom is here now. But my soul is asking me this week...where was I before? Work obligations, carpooling to sports practices, endless errands and appointments. Even when I was physically in the house I was busy - busy all the time. Meeting all of my obligations to my jobs and family, but so often too preoccupied to fully enjoy the tender moments of daily living. Nothing scheduled or urgent today doesn’t mean I have nothing to do. I have some very important items on my list actually. Things I have been putting off, that I never should have. I’m planning to watch a movie and eat ice cream with my children. Pray and meditate for awhile. Spend some quiet time with my husband, just reading or writing next to each other. Being peaceful in the same space together. Putter around the house on some DIY projects I’ve been meaning to get to. Puttering is a great word isn’t it? I’ve really missed puttering. Doing nothing special. Relaxing with loved ones with no agenda. No timeline. No goal other than being together.

I would never say Covid 19 is a good thing. People are dying. Economies are suffering. This is a somber time indeed. But, I do hope some good comes out of it all. Things will eventually go back to normal. I don’t know when, but I am confident they gradually will. My heart doesn’t want the future to look the same as it did before though. I’ve tasted the simpler times again, and they are sweet. We’ll have to go back to work and school. Things will get busy again, and that is ok. As long as we continue to move a little slower and love a little deeper going forward.

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