Valuing What I Have and What I Do

This week my task lists resembled what they used to look like pre-pandemic. I was focused for a significant portion of the week and I accomplished many things. Most of them were fragmentary tasks, small assignments that move a larger project forward. It was good to get some of those larger projects moving again. Between health concerns and pandemic, they’d stalled out for a while.

Then I arrived at this morning and task focus was gone again. I found myself wandering from house maintenance to cooking and back again. All my hours have been spent usefully, but not many of them went toward business projects. An interesting side effect of all the pandemic shut downs is that I’ve found myself valuing maintenance tasks differently than I used to. They used to be invisible annoyances, the things which I had to do in order to be able to get the important work done. Lately I recognize that these tasks are gifts. A morning spent weeding means that my flower beds thrive with beauty which anyone who walks past can enjoy. Doing the dishes means the kitchen is ready and available for whoever needs to use it next. Cooking food helps make sure that perishables are eaten before they go bad, or provides calories for myself and others. The time I spend on house and human maintenance is just as valuable to our family as the time I spend on business revenue generation.

The other day I was out back in my hammock, pondering what exactly it is that I want to gain in life and what I fear losing. The answer I found is that I want to be sure that I can keep and improve my house. I want my people to be safe and healthy. I’d like for my children to discover and claim their own paths forward. I’d like to be free to spend more time in the ways that I have during the full lockdown: giving myself permission to enjoy my space, bake foods I feel like eating even when it makes more economic sense to purchase pre-made versions, tend flower beds, read, write, and have a calendar that is mostly empty. I think I will get back to wanting to go places and attend conventions. Teaching fills a part of me that is laying fallow during this quarantine. I think it is good to let that rest for a time. It is good for me to ground myself in where I am with all the non essential things canceled.

I have a lot to lose, which is why I’ll be back to business tasks on Monday. Acquiring income is important. It is also why I’m staying home as much as I can to keep my loved ones as safe as possible.

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