SSD in the time of AD

I have been socially distancing since March 15th. I have gone to work and I have come home. I have gone to the market every couple weeks. Our 2-week vacation was canceled and I returned to work.

Initially I struggled with the emotional roller coaster of the sick patients, the shelter in place and the general uncertainty of what’s to come. Then a beautiful thing happened. 

I found calm.

You see, my BC (before Covid19) life was so hectic. I would wake up bleary-eyed after hitting snooze once or twice. I would rush to get ready in the AM. I would scarf down breakfast. I would speed off to work in start and stop traffic. I would plow through a morning session of patients. Nonstop reading charts on the computer and talking to patients and families all day long with multiple interruptions from nurses and pharmacy. I spent lunch trying to catch up on charts or inbox or attend meetings. I would scarf down food in ten minutes. Then return for an afternoon session of clinic with the same limitations as the morning. Those of you who know me know how much I love exercise. I enjoy group fitness classes. My gym is full of type A people so they instituted a sign-up policy. These spots fill up within a couple hours. When dealing with type A people, I had to sign up 24 hours in advance to ensure a spot. And if you don’t physically show up to the class on time, you get a strike and are bumped off to make room for the waiting list. So I had to be in my car by 4:50-4:55 to make sure I could make the gym on time. Park at the gym. Store my stuff in the locker room and change. Find a spot in class. Work out. Shower and change. Walk back to car. Head to Trader Joe’s to pick up dinner. Drive home. Prepare food. Eat dinner. It was usually past 8 pm by now, which means I had been running around for twelve hours! Wake up and repeat. Whew! No wonder I’ve been so exhausted!

My AD (after disease) life has simplified tremendously. I no longer get dressed up. I bought several pairs of the exact same scrubs, so It’s easy to get dressed in the AM. There’s no traffic so my commute time has cut down. Some days I work from home and there’s no commute. I still plow through a full day of patients but I have a lot less interruptions now. I eat lunch. Sometimes I listen to an interesting talk on topics I’m interested in, like business or finance or mindset. Sometimes I journal or doodle while I’m eating. I’ve been writing (it’s cathartic). I’ve been reading books (something I normally love but haven’t had time for). I’ve been exercising at home  with hubs 4-6 days per week. I’ve been hanging out with girlfriends every Saturday over Zoom. We eat at home six nights per week, which means we are eating cleaner. We do get takeout once a week to support local businesses.

It’s been so wonderful to stop and catch my breath.

It doesn’t mean I’m not scared or worried for our future as a country or for my health or the health of my loved ones.

It means I am choosing to savor the slow down (SSD) and make room for the things that matter in the end. We will never get the luxury of time again once it’s back to business as usual.

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