When nothing becomes everything
While people are yearning to return to the quotidian life we have become so accustomed to, many have had to make significant lifestyle changes to accommodate this new way of life. The discourse seems to be about the lack— no more haircuts, birthday parties, manicures, or movie outings. The absence of the normal and mundane has had a shocking impact on the psyche and life
style of people all over the world. Even looking at the “bright side” focuses on an absence— no more tedious in-person meetings, no more rush hour traffic, no more outfits that are dry-clean only. But beyond evaluating contemporary life in terms of acquisition and loss, there are better questions to ask.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said "The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." There are scores of people who likely wouldn’t consider themselves to be bakers, and yet have made sourdough loaves that have knocked the socks off of friends and family. There are others who have grown beautiful herbs and fruits in their yards, only now discovering that they have a green thumb. Even more importantly, there are those who have done nothing worthy of online documentation and sharing, and have instead been thinking or working to keep the world turning.
Paradoxically nothing is the same, but everything is the same. As each day unfolds and our traditional benchmarks of productivity have withered away, it’s cleared a path for a new way of thinking and being. No matter what circumstances we are under, there is still an opportunity to choose how we live. That is not to say that we have to become master chefs or programmers or marathoners, or even that we have to be “productive” at all. Instead, we have the power to deliberately consider what is important to us, what has become so apparently unimportant, and reframe how we view our lives. Deciding who we want to be and how we can live our lives is something that is not only in our power now, but has been in our power all along.