I’ve been watching some of my Facebook friends post amazing updates about all the things they’re accomplishing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re cleaning the basement, going through closets, repainting the house, learning a new language, taking online classes, working on their novel and all sorts of impressive things.
Meanwhile, if I can get a story or two posted to the Gazette, get the newsletter out and maybe take a walk, I’m calling it good. The only thing impressive around here is my inability to accomplish anything beyond the basics.
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During non-pandemic times, I always fret that there’s never enough time to do anything, and lord knows there’s always plenty to do. Starting with organizing the Johnson Family Archives and OMP History Archives, for which my house has become a command post (which I’m totally cool with, by the way).
And yet, here I am sequestered at home with plenty of time, and I just can’t seem to muster the energy to do those things I ordinarily never have time for. And I’ve got this very cool banjo – brought home from a yard sale on Peninsula Drive a couple years ago – that I’ve been meaning to learn how to play.
Then someone posted something on Facebook last night that helps to justify my slackerness and makes me feel a teensy bit better. The post comes from Rachel Rhody, who is a Registered Nurse at Mayo Clinic. Here’s what she says:
If you’re feeling adrift, there’s a reason. I’m about to drop some first semester nursing school on y’all. It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Humans have basic requirements (the bottom of the pyramid) like food, water, air, shelter, sleep, etc. The biological basics. If those are met, then the next rung of the ladder is Safety and Security. If we feel safe and secure, then we can climb up and start on our Love and Belonging needs and on up the ladder we go until finally at the very tippy-top is SELF-ACTUALIZATION which would entail all of the cool aforementioned activities. The catch is, you cannot level up until the needs at the current level are fulfilled. If the needs remain unfulfilled, we remain stuck on our current level until the situation changes.
Friends, in the midst of a pandemic, we are dwelling in the basement of Maslow’s pyramid. How in the heck do you think you’re going to kick ass at the highest levels when we can’t even find toilet paper, for Pete’s sake.
You physiologically and psychologically aren’t built to live your “best life” right now. Your only job is to live “a life” right now. A luxury that is being denied many which increases the pressure to really make every day count.
Every day you are here counts.
Every breath you take counts.
Are you eating, drinking water, and sleeping at all these days? If so, that is a triumph right now.
Cut yourself ALL THE SLACK. Focus on the bottom level. Are you showering? Eating a vegetable once in a while? Getting some sunshine and fresh air? Keeping some semblance of a sleep schedule?
Start there. And be extra gentle and abundantly gracious with yourself. We’ll get through this. And right now, getting through is absolutely enough.
So if you’re feeling like you should be getting way more stuff done right now, it’s ok that you’re not. Getting through each day is absolutely enough. And my banjo isn’t going anywhere.