Here’s to Those Working Harder Than Before
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic left most of us isolated in our homes, I’ve seen a lot of content about using the time to rest, recharge, and practice self care. “You don’t have to be productive,” they say. There’s lots of talk of free time, meditation, and binge watching, and the tasks we’ve all been absolved from include working out, purging our closets, and reading.
Well, that’s great, and more power to those that have the option to kick up their feet, but a lot of us don’t. Essential workers are risking their lives, often working more hours than before, and coming home with barely enough time and energy to accomplish the absolute essentials like showering and taking care of their families. Teachers are poring over lesson plans and unfamiliar technology, trying their hardest to keep students from falling behind. Small business owners are trying everything they can think of to keep their businesses afloat while their doors are shut. Parents are home with their kids 24/7, and many of them are playing homeschool teachers while trying to work a full-time job remotely.
So, here’s to them. Here’s to the nurse who would love to get in a workout but she’s just too damn tired after her 12 hour shift. Here’s to the teacher who spent hours putting together a quiz game and now Zoom is down, so he won’t have time to make lunch, nevermind check out a new TV show. Here’s to the store owner making round the clock deliveries by himself just to keep the bills paid, who would give anything just to prepare a home cooked meal for his family. Here’s to the couple struggling to split parenting duties while they both work from home, the nonessential worker picking up odd jobs to keep food on the table, and the single parent who has spent zero minutes away from their children since March. I’m sure they could all use a little time for quiet reflection.
Whether you’re a front line worker or a stay at home parent, I hope you find comfort in knowing you’re not alone and this is only temporary. And, to the point I’m addressing here, do not feel like you need to do everything at 100%. Just do your best, and ask for help if you need it. I think you’d be surprised at how many friends and relatives would be more than happy to grab your groceries when they do their own shopping, or entertain your kids on FaceTime for five minutes so you can sit down with a hot cup of coffee, or even offer some sage advice for sustaining your business.
On the other hand, if you do have a lot of free time, consider using a bit of it to do some good. Reach out to those that might need a little extra help, or even just a little cheering up, and do what you can. Things will start returning to [relative] normalcy soon and the more kindness we show each other during this difficult time, the stronger we will find our collective selves in the end.
Are you struggling to find a moment of peace or up to your eyeballs in me time? Have you done anything in particular to offer help or spread joy? Let me know in the comments. As for me, my home is overrun by feral toddlers at least sixteen hours a day, so R&R is definitely not an option, but I’m fortunate enough to have a flexible work schedule and a husband who can work from home. To do my part, I’ve decided to offer free marketing advice to anyone in need during this time. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.