It appears that the more free time I have the less valuable my time seems. Before the world changed and my world turned upside down, I was busy most of the hours in the day. I am sure most of us could say the same. I worked my 9 - 5 job, I coached swimming 2 hours in the evenings three days a week, I was running my bi-weekly podcast, I was beginning to be pretty social, and I kept an exercise routine. By the time I had a few hours to myself, there was nothing wrong with kicking back with a glass of wine and watching some Netflix. Now my Google Calendar is pretty much empty, except for the least fun reminders (like paying my rent). My daily tasks seem less life-changing, and when I turn my TV on I feel like I should be doing something else. I will be honest, I have quarantine easier than most. I do not have kids and I do not have a roommate, I am responsible for no one but me. For those of us in similar situations, we can fill our day with anything. I am probably not the only one who feels that if I am not doing something productive or self-improving I am failing something. Why am I not racking up certifications or making furniture? Instead, I fill my day with pretty much a bunch of my “pre-quarantine” activities. Is it okay that I didn’t strive to become fluent in another language? Or that I have not filled my schedule with computer science classes? HELL YES!
It took me a long time to get here, but it is still my time and I can spend it doing whatever the hell I want. All because I have this extra time does not mean that I need to become Kate 2.0. I have specific interests and don’t need to find myself. I was never one for languages and being locked alone in my home is not about to change that, so I need to get off my own back and give myself a break. It has become important to recognize the little victories that we accomplish during the week, to acknowledge the things we created, the things we learned, the steps we took (even if it is just walking outside). And reward yourself for them and forgive yourself if you did not relive your school career. Last week I started running, ran 3 days in one week, that was HUGE for me. Better believe I am going to reward myself. I cleared my schedule for the evening, told my zoom friends I was busy and gave myself an at-home spa day, opened a bottle of wine, and watched a movie. Our time is still valuable, and we are worth it.