Since “regular” life stopped and the “great pause” as some call it began – –
I’ve had the energy of a gnat
And its surprised me no end
I thought somehow I’d take to it like a duck to water.
Time at home with nowhere to be has long been my love language.
But turns out pandemics are exhausting and missing our normal life is too.
This means doing even the most simple tasks takes me forever and doing an entire task in one single motion nigh impossible.
Anything requiring a semblance of deep thinking or organisation – nope. I save that for work and even there I’m not breaking any records.
Instagram friend Dawn L Wright explains it beautifully this way
Here is the deal. We are all so tired. And everything we do takes 439% longer these days. Trauma and grief make your brain shift gears. We are in survival mode, and though we are doing a lot of processing, it is taking place in a different location of the brain. And all the normal brain stuff we do doesn’t have as many resources available, so it can’t operate at its usual capacity. At the same time, our bodies are doing a lot of work managing all kinds of giant, unhappy emotions. We are scared, angry, anxious, sad, lonely… And now, things that used to be simple require hypervigilance, a ton of logistics and strategic planning, and contagion mitigation. And we are “all in this together” which means everyone is going through this at the same time. So. High five yourself for wherever you are in all this. You are surviving a global pandemic today, and you get a freaking high five
Or as Joy the Baker puts it
It’s hard to describe but best I can tell, we’ve all got sandbags around our ankles and a weighted blanket over our shoulders – emotionally – ya know? ”
Thank you Joy. Yes we all know.
But of course stuff still needs to get done.
We still need clean plates to eat off and clean clobber to put on
We still want out houses to be clean and a place we might actually want to be. We all want to make being at home as pleasant as possible.
So I’ve had to figure out a couple of work arounds.
Forget twenty minutes
Forget five minutes
Let’s go with about one minute
I’m calling these micro movements
See I can’t seem to deal with packing the entire dishwasher in one go so I’ve resorted to packing a few items into it every time I walk by.
I CANNOT seem to do the whole kitchen at once but I can manage one thing – I clean the sink or maybe the bench. Then every time I’m in the general vicinity I do a tiny bit more. These spurts of activity average one or two minutes at a time. They take zero thought, or psyching myself up and I call them spurts but there’s absolutely no speed involved.
Amazingly this kind of micro progress still adds up and gets you over the line of reasonably civilised just the same as the gangbusters approach. And it always feels good and lifts the atmosphere to make a little bit of progress.
I cleaned out the fridge two items at a time yesterday and then wiped the shelves out in random one minute stretches through the day. Yes done in spits and spats, no gold medal for speed or efficiency but tonight – clean fridge
The washing got hung out at about four items at a time in between drinking tea and taking pictures of this guy.
Giving myself a lecture that I should just get in and get it all done – doesn’t actually get it done.
Eating humble pie and just doing a bit every time I get up from playing scrabble or scrapbooking or phaffing about the garden or FaceTiming friends on my back verandah – did get it done though.
I’ve done most things this way for the last few weeks. I seem a bit of a sorry case not being able to pack a whole dishwasher in one go but it simply is what it is.
And now isn’t the time for pointing fingers at ourselves or giving ourselves a hard time friends.
Now is the time to help a sister out – and your the sister.
So give yourself a big ol hall pass if you find yourself not managing things that were a breeze three weeks ago. Find a new way that works for you right now and of course find a thing or two that brings you peace and bit of good old fashioned joy.
As I’ve taken the pressure off myself to be handling this whole thing with more aplomb and gusto and military style organisation I’ve noticed my energy levels have increased a wee bit and I feel a lot better.
Amazing what being kind to your self can accomplish.
Thanks for reading friends.
Your thoughts? Would love to hear