As COVID-19 has reached my home province of Manitoba, there have been some dramatic changes. Organizations and lifestyles are being whittled down to their most essential parts. I’ve been hearing the reactions to what is happening, and many are mourning the loss of events and socialization opportunities. People are worried about mental health – depression and anxiety, for example.
I feel like a bit of an oddball in all of this. I do worry about the normal things – health risks, the economic toll, poverty, etc. But as far as things being cancelled? I feel like my mental health is better than it was before. I’m sure the feeling of loss will kick in eventually…but, it hasn’t yet.
Before the pandemic, my children and I were committed to a variety of activities through school, preschool, church, and family. Admittedly, I often involved us in these things out of a sense of duty. We should participate in community. We should volunteer and serve. We should fellowship in groups. My children should spend lots of time around other kids. We should be physically active. We should work hard. We should always be learning – academically, and otherwise. We should go on family vacations.
We should, we should, we should.
I would write it all on my calendar, and then feel like crawling into a hole. I would wake up in the morning, and want nothing more than to rest, because I am always tired. I would drag myself from place to place. These events were not feeding me, they were draining me.
I suppose, I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself, and on my family.
Do we really need so many programs, events, and commitments?
Perhaps this is a stretch, but it’s gotten me thinking about the tower of Babel. Building, and building, trying to reach Heaven. Striving for that ideal lifestyle. Covering the bases. Doing it all.
Look at this building. Look at this program. Look at our creativity! Our ingenuity! Our abilities! Our wealth! Just watch as we go, go, go!
It doesn’t take much to scramble us all up, does it? A few days, a few weeks, and we’re ground to a halt, forced to re-examine our priorities.
In my life I’ve felt a great deal of stress about things like: finding the ideal job, having a certain kind of home, or getting my kids involved in the right extra-curricular activities.
I bet people who are recently laid off would be happy for nearly any job – not just the one that ticks all the boxes on their wish list. People struggling to pay their mortgage or rent would be pleased to have a roof over their head that they can afford, even if it isn’t a dream home. And as a parent maybe I need to realize that “extra-curricular” means just that – EXTRA, as in, non-essential. And perhaps, at times, unnecessary.
I’m not saying that fellowship, education, and organized activities are bad things. To the contrary. They are privileges, and I am grateful for them. However, I am noticing – in my life, anyway – there is relief in trimming away some of the excess.
Has your life become simpler lately, or more complicated? Are you experiencing stress, relief, or both? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.