Do you find yourself doing things a bit differently these days? I mean, besides the whole not going out of the house thing.
I sure am. There is no question that before all this I was throwing out tons of useful things. Carrot ends and onion skins, for example. Bones from pork chops and chicken thighs. Plastic netting from bags, twist ties, and those tiny elastic bands that come wrapped around green onions. The food scraps go in the freezer for stock making, the other odds and ends into the drawer of all things in case I need them even though I am pretty sure I have enough of that stuff stashed already. I’ve never been a minimalist with all my canning jars, garden implements, and stacks of books to read – and am I ever glad of that right now.
I’ve stopped tracking things – how much I write, the days I meditate, what exactly I am doing when I work out. I still turn the FitBit on to record walks and rides, but all the tracking of my days that I used to keep myself motivated, has fallen away. Because I am almost always at home, not trying to fit in this or that appointment, I am living my days more as they come to me with less need to plan all my activities so my schedule “works”. Although I don’t like the reason, I appreciate this shift, finding myself much less panicked about my lack of time to do all the things. I also note that I don’t feel the need to do as much, even though I have more time to be “productive” if I choose.
Although I am sleeping well, I am tired a lot though I’m not sure if that’s pandemic or perimenopause. There is a lot of focus in our house on what we are going to make for dinner the next day. I’m eating the occasional cookie, though my big treats I make sure I pick up during my weekly grocery shop are gala apples, sparkling water, and dried apricots. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so fixated on sparkling water before. Because of shortages, I’ve stopped eating eggs as often, a daily staple until recently. I’ve started growing small bits of food again after vowing I wouldn’t do that anymore once we moved next door to a farm.
I notice the gaps in our home supply, what I had run low on without thinking about it – canning jar lids, all-purpose flour, cold and flu medicine. I purchase an order of worms with a neighbour to see if I can fix the soil the previous owners of this place destroyed with moss killer. I’ve stopped thinking about my relative importance or success in the workplace, stopped worrying about how my teleworking life distances me from others now that we are all in the same boat. Instead I’m focused on the small daily decisions of how to organize my pantry, what canning should be done to ensure available food supply should things get worse, what garden or household projects I should turn my attention to next.
Because I’ve remote-worked for four years, my days have not changed much. I still get up early, meditate, go to work, get some exercise every day. But my life, the whole shape of it, what feels important and demands my attention – that’s what’s shifting. Saving scraps for making soup stock, planting sprouted potatoes in earth instead of throwing them in the compost, pressure canning another 10 pints of beans for the pantry – these activities situate me in the midst of the big unknown we are all living in, and remind me again of what a real life is made of.