For all the anxiousness COVID-19 has created in life at the moment I find myself, a few weeks in, settling into slowness. The wind was crisp this morning, and the rain has been buffeting the house all day; I’m thankful to be cozy inside and to be able to enjoy the winteriness of it all before winter actually sets in.

A change in season is always a time of reflection. The outside world is shifting it’s gaze and so do we; in this instance, inward, deeper. Being in allied health, I am not one of the people who can work from home at the moment, but I’m still spending more time than normal sitting; so I’ve been making the conscious effort to unfurl and stretch. In my dance career, I overstretched… and in the years after was told to not stretch; to re-calibrate my body back to a more integrated position. But I’ve gone too far the other way. I feel stiff and sluggish. My joints crack and crunch and my muscles ache to feel fluid. So I’ve been stretching again and oh my goodness, you need to stretch!

Find the point of tightness, almost to pain and breathe. It seems so simple and yet, I can feel it teaching my mind resilience. I am yielding, adaptable, stronger for it.

“That which yields, is not always weak”

– Jacqueline Carey

And when I do one thing for myself, and have the time to let it unfold, I find myself doing more to care for myself. A beautiful book I ordered (“The Thrifty Forager” by Alys Fowler) arrived today. I’m reading it for an online permaculture course I’m participating in through Milkwood. Aside from being a stunning read, it so poignantly brings me back to what I hope for myself in life:

“Stephen is English, but lives in Norway. He has many attributes to his name (he is a leading voice in wave technology, a brilliant academic, a cross-country skier, a cook, a Frank Zapper fan, an owner of an impressive beard) but the one that truly won me over was his salad.”

– Alys Fowler

This seems like the perfect opportunity to look toward these things. If your career aspirations are put on hold, what else in life brings you joy? What lights you up? What hobbies can you cultivate?

At the end of my life, I don’t want people to say one things about me: Rachel was excellent at her work. I wish for people to think of me as a compiler of skills that lead to an adventurous life – a life where I pursued interests and depths and joys. So I’m going to try and let this be the time. Let myself seek depth in new and different areas of my life, to cultivate a rich life.

Gosh, all well and good to say, I know… but let’s make the most of the time, shall we? Let yourself soften and ease into things. Explore a new normal. You’ve got nothing else to lose right now, right?


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