I have been a workaholic most of my adult life—even into retirement—too much to do and not enough time to do it. It started as a necessity in my early thirties as a single parent and continued as a habit. The Type A life served me well. Now with Covid 19, I am appreciating the Type B personality of my very early years.
I live with my daughter and three grandchildren. At home since Covid, I focus more on each person, every day, all day, more than I had before. I delight more in my grandchildren’s humor and antics, including an April Fool’s prank of multiple exploding caps under my throw rug. I enjoy leisurely coffee chats and intermittent sun breaks throughout the day on the back patio with my daughter. I look forward to dinnertime when the whole family gets together and to evenings with nowhere to go. I cherish time with friends on Zoom, even introducing them to other friends from out of state. That never happened before Covid.
I went into town the other day, first time in the car for several weeks. I took the back road. I had taken this route for years as the way to get “there”: work, dinner, shopping, etc. Before the Coronavirus crisis, I enjoyed the slower pace of this back road—bypassing highway traffic and copious stoplights—a two-lane country road through fields and pastures, even though it offered its own stresses, like the frequent happenstance of being stuck behind slow-moving, exhaust-blowing trucks and the focus on approaching traffic, cautious of on-comers crossing the center line.
On this particular day earlier this week, though, I noticed my focus not on the trucks in front of me, not on speeding traffic and the potential violation of the center line, but on the greening farms and pastures. I noticed geese and birds swimming in lakes. I noticed an osprey nest atop a power pole. I noticed the creek moving with spring runoff.
I especially noticed that I was driving slower than my lead-foot days before Covid. And once on the four-lane, I noticed that others may be driving slower too.
For me—someone not on the front lines or with the tragedy of a loved one’s death, but navigating my own world—everything seems to be at a slower pace with fewer stressful distractions. Now, I take the time to meditate daily, to spread love, peace, and healing throughout the world and to lend a hand to the front line as best I can in my own heart. I focus on the important things in life: family, friends, love.
Is it my imagination or are others slowing down to smell the roses too?