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Spontaneous Overflow Reflecting in Tranquility

The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

Thoughts by Myself #7

I Never Imagined Staying At Home Would Be So Difficult.

Things are growing. Sketch Schoenhofer

On the News every night, I see pictures of healthcare workers overwhelmed with patients, grocery store workers inundated with customers, and truckers who keep the flow of goods moving. There are a lot more people I never see; warehouse workers, garbage collectors, people keeping the utilities going, and many more. My wife's friends, who can sew, are busy making masks for hospitals. Other friends have small children whom they are now homeschooling. I can't sew, I’m not a healthcare worker, I don’t have a CDL license, I don’t have small children, and I am not considered “essential.” So what should I DO?

For now, the message is: “Stay at home and do nothing.” This idea of doing nothing is hard to live with. We hear pleas from our Governor and Director of Health–staying at home saves lives.

Most of us want to jump in to help in an emergency, doing nothing doesn’t feel like doing something. For most of us, staying home IS doing something. So what can we do?

Tom Hodgkinson, in his article, 10 Ways to Enjoy Doing Nothing, offers some excellent advice. Here are some of his ideas with my twist.

  1. Banish guilt—we are so accustomed to being busy, that after we've cleaned the cupboards and rearranged a few rooms, we've run out of stuff to do. Seeing others overwhelmed on the News doesn't feel good either. This is the moment to listen to what we are being told. Relax. Wait for instructions. It is not OUR TIME to jump in and save the world.

  2. Do some coloring. I remember spending hours and hours coloring pages in coloring books when I was young. There are a lot of adult coloring books available. On your weekly or bi-weekly trip to the store, pick up some crayons or colored pencils. Then at home, sit at a table and draw or color something.

  3. Go bumbling. On your next walk outside, instead of making it an aerobic exercise with earbuds, unplug and wander around without purpose. Notice the trees beginning to bud, daffodils flowering, the dandelions starting to bloom, the birds singing, and more.

  4. Take a picture with your phone, then edit it on your computer, and post it on social media under the title—Look What I found Today.

  5. Pick up the flute or the clarinet you played in high school and see if you still remember the old fight song.

  6. Stare at the clouds. Pull a chair outside and look up, watch, and listen.

  7. Take a nap. This is my favorite. Enjoy an afternoon siesta.

Become more creative and playful. Embrace the pleasurable activities we reserve for a few weeks of vacation or a few hours on the weekend. We are becoming more and more aware of our interconnectedness with the disease-side of nature through this virus. Still, we can also realize the healing-side of nature as something peaceful for our minds. We each have a part in this moment of our history. The way many of us can help is by doing nothing. Our time will come. For now. Stay At Home.

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