Since all of this COVID-19 stuff has started, I have been wondering what “all this” will be called in the history books. Even as I am experiencing it, I am thinking about how this unprecedented time will be remembered, about how future generations will learn about the Coronavirus and its impact on our world. Will it be as simple as the “COVID-19 global pandemic,” or will the name reflect the countless ripples that are being felt across all domains of life?
We have all been forced to adapt in ways that we could never have imagined a few months ago. I’ve had to become a homeschool teacher, a surrogate speech and occupational therapist, a lunch lady, and an overall cruise director for my four kids. Many of my coping skills and outlets are no longer options, and all of these changes have been a challenge to say the least. With so many aspects of my former life being removed or drastically changed, I’ve found myself with these pockets of time that I did not have previously. I’ve often thought “I should be doing something productive right now.” I mean, shouldn’t I be organizing that closet I always complain about, or learning to knit? Shouldn’t I finally be on top of the laundry, or caught up on the kids’ schoolwork?
Well, the answer I’m going to go with is no. Just because there are things to be done, doesn’t mean that I have to be doing them. The pressure to be doing all of the time has been built into so many aspects of our culture. Have an extra 10 minutes at lunch? Run an errand. Cleaning your house? Listen to that podcast your boss recommended. Productivity to the point of exhaustion has been the norm for so long. But what if it wasn’t? What if the pressure to be productive went away, or at the very least was less pervasive? Unfortunately, it took a global pandemic for me to slow down and experience this. This shift in mindset and the ability to simply be- with ourselves, families, friends, and communities- is the ultimate silver lining to all of this. If we’re lucky, this shift can be the lasting impact that will be remembered in the history books. I haven’t heard a term for it yet, but I’m throwing this one out there- The Great Reset.
Some will think of it as a factory reset- pushing it off until it can’t be ignored anymore, and then only resetting out of necessity. I am choosing to view this reset as an opportunity to shift my time and energy towards the things that I value most. I am giving myself permission to say no to the things that feel obligatory, and yes to the things that fill my bucket and that make me feel whole. I am choosing to not return to what was “normal” before, and to reap the benefits of The Great Reset. I think we can all agree that the year 2020 is due for a reboot anyways.