Little did I know that a pandemic would actually make me realize so much. For me, I realized that my life was filled with so many possessions that I had very little use of (duh!). I almost didn’t need so many things I had accumulated over the years. An instant pot, food processor, Ninja blender, Kindle, iPad, Apple Watch, 2 laptops, 50 pairs of shoes, 20 handbags, 39 pairs of trousers, and the list goes on. Frankly, I am so embarrassed that I can’t even finish this list!
I had spent so much time filling the void in my life with materialistic pleasures but had spent such little time to enjoy them. In accumulating so many of my so-called possessions, which made me feel happy momentarily, I didn’t realize that I didn’t need so many things in my life to make me happy. I didn’t need so many things to enjoy myself. While staying at home during this time, I realized I need such little to survive. Food, a warm place to live in and a cozy bed to sleep in. Now what all the yogis say about minimalism suddenly makes perfect sense! It took me so long to realize such simple words: Own less, live more.
I started thinking if I had to die tomorrow, what would happen to my precious belongings? Who would take them? Would I leave them to a charity? Then I realized that none of these belongings will matter once I am gone. All that will matter is how many lives I was able to touch while I was alive.
I realized how unobservant I was and how much I ignored nature while walking around. I was in such a rush to get to my car, to work, the courthouse, the networking event I signed up for that I missed the chirping of the birds, blooming flowers and exotic beauty of nature around me. I missed the beautiful colors nature displays to us. I never took a moment to stop & admire nature’s beauty. I didn’t take a moment to be grateful for plants that breathe out oxygen, so we can breathe in oxygen every day.
I realized how much I kept stalling my mental health. I made umpteen number of resolutions to meditate 5 times a week but broke them so often. It was ok to break my word to myself. After all, which moral police were watching me anyway? I always had excuses just like you: too much work, such little time in the day, I am very tired, let me finish my office work first after the kids go to bed after I watch this show on Netflix so on and so forth. I was so caught up in my mind’s useless chatter that I couldn’t hear my inner pleas. I worried constantly about my cases and what would happen in court tomorrow. I worried the night before going to bed about what would happen in my day at work. I worried about paying my bills. I worried about so many things in the future that I forgot to enjoy my present. Half my gray hair is from thinking about 80% of scenarios that never happened. Wait, they do happen, but only in my head! Live in the present moment might sound so cliched, but there is so much value in this simple line.
I was so lost in work that I didn’t have time to have a loving relationship with my family. I always wanted to get things done or move on quickly to finish my day. I am sure many of us wanted to: get homework done for our kids, feed them dinner and put them to bed so you can have some alone time before bed. In jumping from one task to the other, we forgot to enjoy small moments with each other. We forgot to enjoy simple things like enjoying dinner with our family or just talking to each other by keeping our phones down. We were so busy just trying to keep our routine every day. We were so busy that we forgot to be grateful for our relationships.
We were so busy chasing the next big thing at work that we didnt pause to think why we do what we do. Long hours, endless meetings, networking events, product launches had plagued our lives. We didn’t pause to think if we are actually enjoying what we do for a living. Have we ever thought of why we do what we do?
Did a pandemic have to occur for me to realize these simple things? Did I need a pandemic to show me that having less is more, nature is beautiful, being connected with family is a blessing, spending time with family is more of what we need and loving what we do for a living gives my life meaning?
Why do we need a pandemic to pause & reset our lives?