Posted in Mental health

An Imposed Simplicity

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.

Warm wishes,

Lisa

Author:

Hi, I'm Lisa, a born-and-bred-in-Manitoba mom of 2 boys. Having lived in 7 different Manitoba towns or cities, I've managed to stay warm in them all 😜❄. I am trained as a music therapist but currently work as a fulltime stay-at-home-mom by day, and a piano teacher in the evenings. By night, well...I sleep. Usually.

10 thoughts on “An Imposed Simplicity

  1. Because of the move, the craziness is ticked up a bit. However, I welcomed not feeling guilty about not going anywhere with all this, but also before it when our one car broke down and had to be in the shop for a month. My kids and I have barely left the house in a month and a half and haven’t been in a car driving somewhere since before St. Patrick’s Day. It feels weird, yet strangely familiar and routine because we stay home most of the time anyhow. But now I don’t have to feel all socially awkward when I attend activities with the local homeschooling group or feel guilty I didn’t run to a store to get something. I do miss my parents right now. We haven’t seen them in two weeks and normally we are at their house every Sunday for Sunday dinner. Now, we are supposed to stay at their house this week one night while we move our things to the new house, but I’m really worried we could expose them to something – especially my husband who has been going to work 40 minutes away and also to local stores up here. We have two cases in this small collection of towns we live in and we know there is more. So far, we believe local cases are mild, but my parents are in their mid-70s so I’m just a basksetcase about them getting it. And my dad is determined to come up here and help us move this week. Aaack! My mental state isn’t great but…one day at a time and trying to keep my focus on Jesus and what the Bible says he provides us, not on what the world is saying can happen or will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen to that! We have seventy some cases in our province, and 4 in our general area. (That are known anyhow.) I’m thankful that it hasn’t hit us too hard, at least not yet, but I don’t take things for granted. The economic toll is just as scary. So many layoffs in our community already. I miss our parents too. And my son’s birthday is on Saturday. I always plan a party for him so it feels weird to not be doing that. I hope and I will pray that your move goes smoothly and safely!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve found I’ve had more time to talk to people. Ok, it’s usually via text or video conference, but it’s great to have the time for real conversations because we’re not all rushing from one thing to the next.

    Liked by 1 person

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