I'm someone working in an industry considered "essential." Banking might sound boring to a lot of people, but I know how important money is right now during this unfolding crisis. People want to make sure their funds are available to buy groceries. They want to make sure they are getting the best interest rates, gearing up to tackle this impact on our economy. Our economy isn't this ethereal, metaphoric thing. It's our every-day ability to meet our own needs; it's the way we keep money circulating through our communities so that everyone else can also meet their own needs.
What does this have to do with creating space? Obviously, Wisconsin is experiencing the effects of social distancing right now. But that's not the kind of space I'm talking about.
On Wednesday, I broke down in tears during work at the reality of this situation, and its horrible mishandling by people in power. My friends and I talk often about how employers and future employers will be judged on their response, how everyone will say "I remember where I was when--."
I was twelve when 911 happened. The every day tension and fear, the buzz of collective unease, reminds me of what I felt in 2001. But my life is drastically different than back then, and not just because I'm going to work every day. I have so much more control and ability than when I was a child experiencing terror.
Here's the biggest thing I'm noticing now: in the face of terror, everyone is leaning IN. Well, most people :) They are supporting each other, checking in on each other, and making decisions that demonstrate incredible care and consideration. While some of us see the most appalling reactions, we are also witnessing the most beautiful ones. The amount of bravery and love pouring out of humanity right now is a lifeline. THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU.
The biggest thing I'm learning right now is the importance of creating space. We must look critically at the way we are doing things, the way time and power is spent, and the content of our days.
This weekend, I'm taking the absolute luxury of a three-day weekend. Work every day is hectic and swamped for me -- although I love it. Janet's birthday is Monday, and as, you can imagine, she's feeling terrible disappointed in the state of the world. I decided to take a vacation day on Monday to help her celebrate, to feel the magic of being alive, and to (very importantly) eat take out food and ice cream cake.
This means my already socializing-free weekend feels even more delightful and full of potential. TIME! Time and energy to pursue projects and a clean house. How lucky am I today? Time and energy are always the most precious and fleeting things for me.
Here is how I've decided to Create Space
Yesterday was full of our weekly grocery shopping and decadent lazy-ing around. Today is a productivity day! And I want to create space in life and home for both self-improvement and creation.
My goal: rearrange, clean, tidy, revamp my home office. Take out the clutter of shoes and piles of laundry. File away the cascade of papers. Get rid of the clock that doesn't work anymore. Create a space to focus on the important things.
That goal is to support and enable two important life-choices: revise my 2017 novel Magic Ungrounded and dive into studying the textbooks my friend Nate gave me.
Nate moved to South Korea not too long ago, and gifted me with finance, accounting, auditing, etc textbooks that absolutely intrigue me. It's been eye-opening, keeping in touch with Nate and hearing from a first-hand source how South Korea has been handling the outbreak of COVID-19. The textbooks have been sitting on my shelf, collecting a little layer of dust.
I've decided to focus on self-improvement during this time, refining my abilities, competency, and skills. Once I get my home study re-tidied and rearranged, I'm going to create a lesson plan to follow that will lead me through each one of these textbooks.
I'm pretty good at pursuing knowledge and information, and harnessing determination. It's how I excel at work. But now, I'm giving the gift of that drive to myself outside of the workplace. And I can't wait to experience it!
Now obviously, revising a novel and working through college textbooks doesn't sound like a lot of people's idea of fun. We all create space and identify priorities differently.
My question, though: what is this crisis highlighting for you? What are you realizing is important? And how are you creating the space to let those important things take flight?
Let me know in the comments below! OR if you have any advice in lesson-planning, novel-revising, or crisis-handling <3 OR! If you have any favorite local businesses you are trying to help support during this time. Who are they? What can we do to help them survive?
Let's all lean in together! But with 6 feet between us, of course. Love you.