An Unexpected Pause
Well, here we are. Somewhere we never thought we would be, somewhere the vast majority of us never even imagined. Who among us ever conceptualized the idea of a global pandemic and its tangible effect on us, the “Stay-at-Home” order, the “Shelter in Place” guidance, the Quarantine, or as many of us have taken to calling it, THE LOCKDOWN.
“I’m on day 12 of The Lockdown.” I said this sentence to a good friend in another state yesterday. We spent a few moments discussing our reaction to The Situation, and how we are dealing with our new, rather surreal, reality. She has chosen to use her newfound free time to engage in her favorite hobby, gardening. Her joy was palpable. Unfortunately, unlike my friend with the laser focus on her planters and flower beds, many of us are floundering, looking around in bewilderment, wondering what in the world to do with ourselves.
I suffer from anxiety and depression. When faced with uncertainty, like how freaking long this quarantine will last, I struggle. I struggle big time. I’m working from home like many of you, and the first week I barely put on real clothes, and not one swipe of makeup (and that’s saying something). I wandered around the house aimlessly, and when I wasn’t working I was staring listlessly at the screen of my phone, scrolling through Facebook or looking for fresh horrors on a news website. Is this how I want to spend this unwanted-but-gotten-anyway downtime? Hell, no.
I’ve found new focus this week, which for me is the third week working from home. I’ve chosen to wake each day and wonder of wonders, actually shower and put on something other than snowflake pajama pants and a Clemson tee shirt from 1990 (shut up, haters). I have chosen to utilize on demand fitness classes, and have even tuned into a couple of Zoom yoga classes taught by my good friend, Kristin Smith. I have purchased a new journal, and begin and end each day with a focus on my goals, my affirmations, and gratefulness. There’s a 2000-piece puzzle laid out on my dining room table, waiting for stolen moments with my nearly adult son. I have even ordered a cross-stitch kit so that I can sit in quiet solitude at night and create something that will end up a beautiful reminder of a scary time.
I’m separated, and will most likely be divorced before this pandemic subsides. I’ve been living on my own with my sons since March of 2019. I’ve been in a state of metamorphosis, living through a process of remaking myself. I’ve found strengths I didn’t know I had, have accomplished things that were brand new to me. I’m a work in process, a Leigh that is becoming, somehow, more myself, and also a new me, all at the same time. I am choosing to use this unplanned pause, this honestly horrific situation we are all existing in, as a time to rev up the remaking process, including taking tangible steps towards a future of my choosing. I hope you will do the same. Put down your phone, and pick up your journals (or that pad of paper in your kitchen drawer), grab a pen, and begin making a list of all the ways you want to remake yourself. NOW is the time to step out of your comfort zone (making sure to socially distance of course), breathe deeply, and go for a walk into your future. The remaking process begins today.
- Leigh Floyd