slow down and live

It’s barely the third week of May but if anyone asked me what day of the week it is, I couldn’t even tell you. 2020 has lost all sense of time. Every day includes part of a work day, a school day and a weekend, all in one. I know it’s a new day because I fall asleep at sometime when the moon is up and wake up when the sun is up again. I would say it feels like summer vacation or Christmas break, but it’s too cold for summer and too warm for winter. Despite this confusion, I know there is always time in my day. Some days, I sleep in until after lunch. The other days, I’m up and completed a morning workout by 8am. The regularity of my routine isn’t always there, but I know that I have time to accomplish the things I need to do. Even though the sense of time is a little lost, we know there is enough time. Time for work and our priorities, time for a break and time for relaxation. We are in a limbo state of life where time is the only constant. 

2020. A new year. A new decade. A new time. Our lives have drastically changed in these 20 years and continue to change. 20 years ago, I was 2 years old. I didn’t have any younger sisters yet. I hadn’t gone to preschool yet. My parents hadn’t separated. 20 years ago, life was different for me and for the world. We didn’t have iPhones, Netflix, Facebook or even gmail. In 20 years, we’ve had many defining moments for the start of this millennium. And this year, 2020 has proven to be just as defining as the last.

We started to hear talk of the coronavirus from China in January. At the time, I was living in the Philippines. We were a little concerned because we were pretty close to China. But it wasn’t a pandemic yet, so we went about living our normal lives. February came and went. Then March happened and all of our lives were flipped upside down. I was sent home to America and then isolated in my room for two weeks. I basically only left my room to use the restroom or to eat meals while staying 6 feet away from my family. We couldn’t go to restaurants, to school, or to the grocery store. We couldn’t even go outside. The rapid spread of this virus led us to adjust our lives and center everything to home. In a world of constant motion, we hit a red light that hasn’t changed to green. Kids are doing online school, graduations are happening through zoom, museums are doing virtual tours and even talk shows hosts are doing home editions of their shows. 

Our new home-centered life started nearly two months ago. It feels like our old life was years ago. For me, I’m really grateful for this slow down of regular life. I’ve learned how time affects me. Sometimes time flies. Yesterday feels like January 1 when we are in the middle of June. Other times, time feels like it’s moving slower than a snail. For me, I prefer the fast pace. I like being busy with projects, activities and life. I like knowing that I have something to do, even though sometimes I watch The Office instead of doing the work. But sometimes, I know I need to slow down. I get too overwhelmed and have to cut back with things on my plate. We like to think we are invincible and don’t need to stop. When I am in these moments, usually something forces me to slow down. At first, I didn’t like staying in isolation and quarantine. I felt useless and not productive at all. I felt like I should be doing more for others but I couldn’t leave my room. So I had a lot of time to think and ponder about my life – the past, the present and the future. It’s a little uneasy because the future is so unknown. So I have been spending most of my time living in the moment and reflecting on things I’ve learned. Sometimes I feel like I go a little crazy staying home all day, but I know there’s going to be a time when we want to be home with our families again. Slowing down my life allows me to recognize what’s important and what matters most. I hope that each day, we take the time to be grateful for the blessings in our lives and the things that are truly important, no matter how fast or slow our lives are moving.

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