If you’re alive right now, it’s impossible not to have seen the avalanche of free webinars, workshops, and classes that have taken over the internet. During this global pandemic, there are enough expert-created free activities that it can be a little bit overwhelming.
The shit seems to come at us from all directions: Join my free workout group! Learn to paint a landscape! Make chalk paint from scratch and decorate your sidewalk one-mile long! Learn to sew! Take up yoga! Learn a new language! Become a chef! Build a house! Run for president!
Ok; maybe the last few are a stretch. But you get the point. From the time we wake up until the time the day comes to a close and the sun slowly sets, we could be in and out of more courses, workshops, and webinars than we can count.
It’s great that these options exist, but don’t underestimate the time and energy it takes to keep ourselves and our families fed, clothed, and alive.
When the lockdown began and the pillars that make up our economy, culture, and way of life began to fall like dominos, I had the best intentions.
“Maybe I’ll clean out the playroom,” I thought.
“It’s a great time to get creative and complete virtual races,” I said.
“I have a sewing machine I’ve never used — time to dust it off!” I exclaimed.
“I have a whole pile of books in my to-be-read pile. Sounds like a plan!” I uttered.
And then I realized that these things were actually “coronaresolutions.” Not to be confused with the infamous, quintessential “new years resolutions,” but similar.
Yes, these are all tasks and goals and ambitions that ended up written on some kind of wrinkled paper that eventually became stained with greasy fingers after another night of to-go food because I “didn’t feel like cooking.”
I never did any of them, and I don’t plan to do any of them. I cleaned out one closet and it took me approximately six hours to conjure up enough motivation (or maybe guilt?) to lift my ass out of my LazyBoy chair, away from my favorite shelf (introverts have favorite shelves, by the way), and up the stairs with an oversized garbage bag to clean a closet.
I took not one, free online course or workshop to learn something new because I don’t want to learn anything new right now.
And the thought of a continued, sustained running training plan makes me cry.
The truth is that it takes all I have to get us through each day. I’ve been spoiled since my kids have been born. As an only child, my parents spent their lives doting on me, and now they dote on my kids. My kids and I are used to spending 4-5 days a week with my parents who take care of food, naps, and playtime while I do my job as a teacher and freelancer.
Now, here I am — by myself. Still working, but also momming 24/7. I know; I know…POOR COURTNEY, right? But really, if you are not used to doing this 24/7 parenting (and my husband does help a ton, but we are using to having MORE help), it’s an adjustment. A big one.
I think I wash the same kid plates at least four times a day, and the amount of crumbs (followed by ants) that my children face-plant onto the floor is honestly quite impressive. Cook. Wash. Play. Grade. Cry. Sweep. Lysol. Wipe. Repeat times ten.
And in the small pockets of my day where I am scrolling through social media, I am both impressed and defeated.
I see so many of you running full marathons through your damn neighborhood on your own, with no crowd support, and without aid tables.
I witness moms getting their kids together for a “virtual cookie decorating” pow-wow.
People have started meal plans and workout routines and are hitting goals left and right.
My social media feeds are traffic-jammed by some of the coolest artwork I have ever seen by people who don’t even consider themselves “artists” in any sense of the word.
Bedrooms, playrooms, bathrooms — they’ve been done the fuck UP and look like they’ve been sun-kissed by Joanna Gaines.
Yet, here I am, sitting the same chair staring at the now-empty bag of Chipotle chips that I stole from my kids and ate all by myself. I can see the dust settling on the TV stand and don’t have the energy to wipe it clean. I haven’t learned a damn new thing, but ya know, that’s ok — we are all alive and none of us have contracted this horrifying virus so far.
Maybe this is you. Maybe you’ve gotten too caught up in what you “should” do during this very surreal, unprecedented time in history. The truth is that there is no pandemic playbook. There are no rules. There isn’t a formal checklist.
If this is you — if you find yourself continually looking in the mirror and asking yourself “why don’t you do something with your life right now?” STOP.
You ARE doing something with life by keeping yourself alive through this shit-show that has stolen so much of your life already.
If you are alive and healthy right now, and if your kids are alive and healthy right now, it isn’t some kind of coincidence. It’s because you surrendered to this evil, silent enemy that demanded you change your life in ways you probably never imagined.
And that, my dear, is more impressive than any clean closet, painting, language, headstand, choreographed TikTok BS, or whatever.
When people ask you, “What did you do during all that time off?” Simply reply with, “I stayed alive and well.”
It is enough. YOU are enough. Don’t forget that.