We talk about them. We think about them. We reflect on them. But do we actually live by them?
It’s funny how I put so much emphasis on items in my schedule that at the time feel as if they are the most important things in the world. Work meetings, appointments, life admin, shopping errands, studies, professional development… to name a few. And then the world goes on hold and I am forced to reassess what is actually crucial to getting through the day.
I’m not saying that any of these items on my agenda are not important in my life. Whilst not in a time of crisis they are most likely of high import. But now, I have to be 100% honest with myself in figuring out what is absolutely ‘essential’? By the way I just recently learnt that word and added it to my vocab;)
I sit here typing on my laptop, hoping to feel some kind of catharsis, whilst I ponder and type, letting my thoughts spill out.
So now I've decided to brainstorm and list my ‘essentials’ at the moment (at 8:30pm the 23rd of March 2020) in no particular order (I am a teacher, so I feel the need to say that;).
I am going to type without pausing and see what I come up with. This is a great exercise my Year 9 English teacher taught us to do when writing. This is probably one of the only exercises I can remember from my career as an English student, but it's brilliant. Write about something without lifting your pen. Try it!
Each person’s list of ‘essentials’ at the moment may look and sound different and/ or may change at any given point in time.
Here is mine:
To take care of my kids; that they are healthy, fed and overall happy (sorry I can’t control the tantrums). Also, this doesn’t really leave room for home-schooling ;)
To keep healthy
To follow guidelines to keep others healthy…
To check in with my husband that he is okay and make sure we both get some down time
To eat at least twice a day. In regular situations I am a big believer in three meals a day. For now, if I can get some nutrition in my system at least twice a day then I am winning. (Remember: each person’s list looks different;)
To switch off from social media for periods of time
To not engage with negativity on social media
To walk away from situations that add to levels of anxiety
To reach out to my support people when necessary
To be a support to those around me to the best of my ability
To let things be messy
To not try to control the situation- pretty sure everyone realises that that’s completely off the cards at the moment (and always!)
To communicate with people that make me feel supported
To take note of small wins
To keep it real and not be too hard on myself
Remember, each person’s list looks different. We all think differently, have different lives and have different needs and priorities.
I guess the idea I’m trying to convey is twofold.
A time of crisis calls for prioritising. What is truly important for me to be doing right now? What is essential? What can wait!
Each person’s priorities and opinions will look different. It is not a time to judge others, but a time to look inwards to cope in the best way that we can and outwards to help others where we can.