In my recent reader survey, one reader shared this (remarkably prescient) comment:
“The world moves too quickly now and we are expected to keep the pace but in my opinion it is far from healthy and we need to realize that.”
Here I am, in my home office, typing at my computer, surrounded by kantha blankets. This is nothing new; in fact, my work situation (and my husband, Wayne’s) is, on its best & most productive days, remarkably resemblant to “social isolation” or “social distancing”. Some weeks (most weeks?), I barely leave my neighborhood.
But the difference is the distant sound of piano keys pounded, the wrestling in the other room… the presence of three extra bodies in the house on an otherwise normal school week. And: the encouragement from both our government and our culture that we should not interact with the people or places we normally do, indefinitely.
Busy life, life full of movement and activity and hustle/bustle… it currently does not exist.
So, what to make of this? When the culture around us slows down to a halt, do we see the situation as an inconvenience?
Or, can we sift through the fear & frustration to embrace it as a gift?
I have been saddened by reading some comments (never read the comments! 🙉) borne out of pain, fear, & powerlessness. There was one list titled Seize the Opportunity of Home Quarantine and included ideas like "Learn to bake", "Write letters of love or thanks", "Phone old friends".
There were many frivolous & fun ideas, too, which inspired comments that lamented an inability to "just stay home" or actively participate in many of the "romantic" ideas listed.
It is completely legitimate to be in a financial or physical situation that doesn't allow the luxury of "free time" or ability. These are real concerns with deep implications. But, during wartime, if someone was at home writing letters and baking bread, does that imply they were not supporting the war efforts?
Seek the gift in your circumstance — whatever it may be — and let's cling to a generous spirit towards others, shall we? This unprecedented moment in time will bring a lot of pain.
But, I am choosing to do the little things I can and try to proceed, one step at a time, in the way of the good. Right now, those steps won't take me beyond my living room. ;)
I've said before that while I advocate for shopping thoughtfully & being slow... I love gifts! Actual, tangible, pull-the-wrapping-off gifts.
We want to make the gifts that we give worth it. Worth the money, the materials, the effort... So, how to choose a thoughtful gift that will be meaningful to the recipient?
Intentionality simply means the act of being deliberate, purposeful.
If you are a committed budgeter, there is no question of being intentional; you probably account for every dollar. But, nobody — even if you track every receipt — spends every single dollar how they wish to (dishwasher repairs, new socks, & lost library books come to my mind...).
Even so, we can be thoughtful about how money leaves our wallet, slides onto our credit card, decreases our bank balance… we can be deliberate & purposeful with even the smallest financial decisions.
This dignify post draws from Derek Thompson's October 7th article in The Atlantic.
Thompson's article explains the practical challenges in 2021 for consumers as well as for retailers.
Here's how some of these points relate to dignify right now and in the coming months: