• ebhowell

Cleaning out the closets in our minds

I’m fortunate to live in a place that has been pretty amazing to self-isolate: fresh air from my opened windows, long walks by the river and surrounded by good health; I also live in a state that’s taking the gamble to return to normal. Today, most SC business are opening, while restaurants and schools and beaches remain shut. The wheels are set in motion to boost the economy over keeping everyone safe at home. It's my hope that “something” from this dark time sticks in our heads. Like a jingle in our mind, not a distant memory. Here are three + things that I hope stay with us long after the shelter in place recedes:

1. Simple things: meals at home, family walks, purging closets and garages, potting plants, playing vinyl records. All of these things were a large part of my daily routine during the lock down and I'll keep valuing them.

2. Health: It is the one thing that we need to protect at all cost. Like most people, I stayed at home for weeks, so that others would remain healthy. Let’s now put a value on our mental health when we are thrown back into our regular lives. Can we imagine hosting a mental isolation from time to time, where we place our minds in a safe and we take inventory of everything? Clean out the closets in our minds.

3. Time: It’s hard to imagine another time when I had more free time. Yet, I managed to fill each day with sleep and busyness. I invented new chores that involved bleach. I slept while all of our nurses, doctors, EMTs and all the other essentials worked inhumane hours. When I return to a morning that starts with an alarm clock, I want to remember how time moved so slowly. I want to remember the luxury of rest, and the challenge of filling my days wisely. During college when I called home for advice, ”Hey, dad are you busy?" He’d say without missing a beat, “I have all the time in the world.” I want to be that kind of listener.

- As Much as I Care to Remember