An unclose shot of a man's arm stretching out to hold a lady's hand as she leans back

Time flies.

We all know the timeless saying to be true. You are a kid. Then, suddenly your life is speeding past you. It often becomes a game of catch-up. If you can just get your hands on this elusive thing called time, then you can figure it out. You can figure out the next career move, living situation and the next step. If only you could just catch up to time.

Well, somewhere between then and now time has slowed down. For many of us, life has suddenly paused. We are face-to-face with decisions we had placed on the back burner, family dynamics we always swore we would resolve or situations we never expected to experience. I don’t know about you, but catching up to time hasn’t helped me figure out much. I still don’t know what’s next.

Instead, there has been increasing pressure on my shoulders to use this worldwide pause for something spectacular. I should create a masterpiece. I should become an incredible chef. I should become the person I told myself I would be if I just had more time. 

I’m sure many of us have faced the reality that we don’t know what to do with the time we once claimed we wanted. How do we handle that our goals aren’t created with just idle time? During this pause, I may make art, learn new recipes, fix old relationships or pursue my passions, but I also might not. That is OK too. 

I may make art, learn new recipes…pursue my passions, but I also might not. That is OK too. 

Can we be challenged to not pressure ourselves with the lofty accomplishments and to-do’s that have been floating around in our heads? Let’s not pressure ourselves into finding the right next step or the solution to an unsolved issue. Instead, can we take ownership of where we are now and develop the character qualities that can cultivate those goals of ours? 

I will spend my days practicing loving myself better in order to love others well. I will practice responsibility at home so I can be responsible in the workplace. I will practice making my passions a priority so it stays consistent when life is busy once again. 

I cannot control time, but I can control what I do in the here and now. I do not need to figure it all out or accomplish all of my goals. However, I hope to take ownership of this pause to take care of myself and those around me.

Given the global quarantine, how have you decided to fill your time? Do you feel pressured to set lofty goals or accomplish things during this pause?

Image via Colette de Barros, Darling Issue No. 16

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2 comments

  1. Preach!

    The contrasting ideas of (1) being super productive and (2) being okay with not doing anything right now are both things I’ve seen a lot on my media feeds. I like the last paragraph you wrote and how it feels these two can be true and they’re not mutually exclusive.

  2. Kylie:

    Your article is right on with what we are currently experiencing with Covid-19 pandemic. As you know, Grandpa works with individuals who struggle with mental health issues and many of them are sequestered in their group homes or apartments. They are scared and sometimes feel abandoned by those who have either deserted them or distanced themselves for various reasons. My job as Director of Spiritual Care is to bring hope and some joy into their lives by fortifying their faith formation and letting them know, God is always with them. I

    I believe you have a wonderful gift of expressing yourself and this gift will multiply over and over again. You will bring joy and excitement to those who read your articles because they are so uplifting. I am so proud to be your grandfather. You are a treasure to your family and o everyone who comes in contact with you. Love Grandpa Joe.

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