For anyone who knows me you know I am a hard worker; overextending myself at work, the gym and socially. So when lock-down began in March and I was faced with this command by the universe to stop I felt lost and depressed. I shamed myself for what I could be doing with this time to improve the business or myself. I began trying new hobbies that I didn’t truly enjoy, I signed up for courses I didn’t follow through on, took up painting (which I have no talent for) and did exercises that felt like torture – just to fulfill this worker bee drive I have. After weeks of this faked enthusiasm I fell apart, nothing brought me joy.
I basked in my sadness for several days, and then, the snow started melting and the dog parks reopened. I walked every day and took the time to watch the tree’s bud and grass push out of the ground. I watched my dogs experience simple happiness at the opportunity to explore their environment. I began looking at my life through a different lens, I enjoyed the silent comfort of my home while I read, a pass time I haven’t enjoyed in years. I bought records and listened to them in full – with no distractions. I tuned up my bike and went exploring in my neighbourhood and the river valley. Time began to fly by as I counted weeks in “plant-watering” days.
Just as I was settling into my slow paced life, we reopened the clinic. I jumped in with both feet attempting to pick up back to where I was, feeling like I needed to make up for lost time. For 6 days a week I would work as a massage therapist, cleaner, receptionist and owner. My gym opened back up so I was there 4 days a week as well. Within 2 weeks I was burnt out.
It took me 3 months to learn to enjoy quiet after years of living, working and socializing at a fast pace, had I learned nothing from this? Now I am in a limbo, attempting to regain the peace and serenity I had while also running a business. Moving forward I must ask myself how I will take this information and balance my life in a way that is supportive to my emotional and mental health. How can I support others around me to do the same? We are in the discomfort of change and we have the opportunity to mould a new way of living. As we all step back into a routine let us pause and redefine the systems we have in place. Let’s get back to measuring weeks in “plant-watering” days.
“Let’s plant a tree together / Maybe we can make it grow / If not now then maybe never”
Timothy P. O’Brien