In this strange, new world, there are things I hear myself thinking that I never have before.
Who else touched this?
There’s a lot of people in that car.
Am I going to die of the Coronavirus?
That one comes up kind of a lot because I have a lung thing. I’m healthy and I take good care of myself, but sometimes even healthy people get infections, and this virus doesn’t seem to discriminate. I take comfort in hearing that most of the people who die from it have other health issues, and I don’t have other issues. I just have a lung thing.
I was born with my esophagus attached to my windpipe. No one could really explain to my parents how that happened, but luckily they were able to notice it right away and within five hours of being born, I was in surgery. One of the long-term side effects of the procedure that fixed me is a condition called bronchiectasis, which is the result of airways being damaged, putting you at higher risk of infection. Mine were damaged by having surgery on them. So, growing up I got pneumonia quite a lot, and even now when the pollen falls I get out the Mucinex. If I get sinus congestion, it invariably moves to my chest, and then if not treated turns into bronchitis, and then pneumonia.
Funny thing is, the doctors told my parents that I would never be very active. So, I really take delight in being a marathon runner, reaching the summit of a 14,000-foot mountain, and stuff like that. But, when I read about people dying from COVID-19, I wonder if I could fight it. I honestly don’t know.
But what I DO know is that for the time being, this is our life now, and I still have jobs and clients and deadlines and all of that. So, as is my way, I got out a notebook and a pen and began making lists.
I made lists of what opportunities I saw in this new lifestyle.
I made lists of my deadlines and work projects that needed to be completed and by when.
I made lists of the projects around the house that needed doing.
I made lists of what things I needed to think about.
Then, I made a schedule. Well, I made about four schedules! I made one that was all work, broken down by hour and task. Then I crumpled that up and tossed it out. Too rigid, not realistic. My next schedule was too unstructured. Finally made a schedule that I thought I would use, which included time for exercise in the morning, then set times to be at my desk working, and time to wrap it up and make dinner.
And then, that evening, I corralled my boys out for a walk around the circle that we live on. The weather was nice and breezy, and there was a calmness in the air, as if the earth was at peace. It was quiet. Really, really quiet. And as I watched my boys walking ahead of me and thought about what to make for dinner, the right schedule came to my mind.
This is an opportunity to completely change the way we live. I’ve craved a simpler life for a long time, and I have it now. It’s more complicated in some ways, but soon we will get work figured out and fall into new patterns. But I am curious to see what we don’t spend money on anymore, and how we benefit from more sleep. Our mornings can be slower, since we don’t have to rush out of the door to get to school by 8:30 am. I can do the things that usually get put off for the weekends, because I’m not driving all over creation every day. So I made a new schedule.
Personal exercise just for me.
Breakfast on the porch and checking in with my online group.
Morning couch to 5k workout with my boys.
Work projects and clients, prioritized for the day.
Lunch followed by yoga or guitar practice.
Second half of work projects.
House projects, one each day, indoors and out.
Evening walk with my boys.
TV time and in bed by 9.
Now THAT is a day I feel at peace with. Just having it on paper makes me feel more calm, organized, and energized. I encourage you to do the same - what opportunities do you see? What can you delete and bring in? What would be your ideal day, and what is stopping you from living it?
If you need a little motivation and accountability to make this happen for you, join us in The Good Life.
About This Blog
Each week, I write the "Healthy Heather Blog" in the Tallahassee Democrat. It is republished here in case you are not a subscriber (what???). Sometimes it is really good and other times it is just okay. Thanks for reading it regardless of your opinion!