Blog

Paring down

I’ve written about balance before (see posts from 11/2019, 1/2019, and 12/2018 as well as 12/2015 – managing my time and energy has been an ongoing challenge, perhaps since birth). In trying to carve out time to build and rebuild personal relationships (my last high school reunion really showed me what matters), I had hoped to get some clarity on which activity (or activities) to cut out next, then COVID-19 shifted a lot of the balance for me. I have thought long and hard about what I want to give up — not much. But I know there are 24 hours in a day, so I’m looking at what might be easier to give up. I found that COVID took things away and I didn’t mind some of those things, but really minded the rest.

What I did not miss: larger service group meetings and activities. [I already knew that I would sub out some of my contract work before everything shut down.]

What I did miss: Sunday dinners with family; small fellowship groups — my modern dance workshop, church, and beekeeping; the Eucharist; and the gym (especially group fitness classes).

What does this mean going forward?

  • less commitment to one large group. very low priority to attend meetings, but i’m not ready to opt out.
  • leaving a large group.
  • joining a small group at church (weekly meetings for a couple months) and maintaining another (monthly meetings).
  • decreasing time at bee club. less posting and commenting in group. there are two other moderators/leaders and several super-users. use virtual meetings for bee club but only upon request. i feel good about establishing the online presence all those years ago, i feel good about the people i chose to hold different roles for club, and it lives just fine without me being there very much. i fulfill my small group needs by talking one on one with other beekeepers.
  • hard commitment to participating at church services where and when allowed.
  • hard commitment to my nonprofit work. i might be leaving some of this behind in the future, but would want to spend at least six months preparing for an exit. i’d want to leave things in a good place before departing.
  • slow re-introduction of Sunday dinner at my house. i envision combining family and non-family. i want to blur the lines of family to expand my kids’ personal network and be efficient with my time. i just have to figure out how many people i’m comfortable with.
  • dance. i’m not sure how to do this going forward. i love the physical partner and group work.
  • the gym? there was a big mishmash of instability at all the gyms i frequented pre-covid (as in the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day). i don’t think the gym situation has settled yet as changes to ownership and operations occurred last month. i found a crappy solution until Oct. 1, so i’m still waiting this one out. a trainer suggested i test my by running twice a week for eight weeks in addition to weight lifting. i’m undecided.

What has changed for you due to covid-19?