by Jeanne Savelle
(Atlanta, GA, USA)
I have been thinking a lot these last few weeks about simplicity. It keeps coming up in various places. It got me thinking about how this COVID year has forced us to slow down, and to speed up.
We have slowed down physically.
We don’t move around like we used to. No jumping on a plane for a weekend trip or even dashing into the local grocery to pick up a few things. Every time we leave the house, it is deliberate and prepared. Spontaneity has been abandoned.
Our social lives have slowed.
No more dropping by for a chat or to share some wine and food. No more hugs and kisses or handshakes or fist bumps. Our limited and isolated interactions are covered in hand-sanitizer and face masks.
For many, personal finances flat out stopped.
We don’t spend with abandon now but hold onto precious dollars and worry about next month’s bills.
On the other hand . . .
Our home lives have sped up.
Parents, working from make-shift offices, are now teachers. Kids, zoning out on Zoom, are now Guinea pigs for technology companies.
Our mental and spiritual resources have been stretched beyond all imagination.
Dealing with multiplying stresses has forced us into overload. This is nowhere more apparent than with medical, front-line, and essential workers.
Technology hurtles along at its relentless pace.
We have to keep up. Zooming. Googling.
Facebooking. Instagramming. It’s how we stay connected and relevant. If we are not online, we are invisible.
We are all exhausted.
Even me. I am retired. I don’t have a ‘job’ or have kids or grandchildren. I don’t personally know any medical, front-line, or essential workers. I have friends I miss, and I don’t live the same life I did last year, but the impact is much less.
However, I feel the pressure too.
I exist on Zoom. I should be on Facebook more, checking in with every connection. I must Google ways to help, contribute, alleviate accumulating pains. If not, am I visible and relevant?
But, what if we just stop?
All of it. Everything.
For 5 minutes. Stop. Breathe. Let the stresses of the world recede. For just a few minutes.
Try it now.
How does it feel? Does it give some relief, even if it seems ephemeral?
What if the universe is sending us a message?
Slow down. Let go. Be still.
Maybe we should listen.
We might find space to breathe, to rest, to think, to connect, to love. 5 minutes at a time.
Could we learn how to live in the world, in the moment, in the now, no matter what happens around us?
What if this is the perfect time to learn how to live, simply, or to simply live?
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