It’s Okay to Wait Until After the Pandemic to Be New and Improved


I’ve been hearing quite a bit of buzz lately from coworkers and friends about what they’re learning, doing, and accomplishing while they’re “in quarantine”. Many that I’ve heard from have tackled multiple home projects like painting their kitchens and ripping out their bathrooms, some have planted entire gardens, while others have finally read all of the books on their to-read list.

There’s also been the suggestion made that those who don’t have children that are suddenly home-schooled or struggling to be entertained without the help of play dates, should be able to achieve the most during this strange season of life. That since we don’t have kids, we’ve lucked out to have the most free time right now with which to do all the things.

One meme argues that if you don’t come out of quarantine with a new skill, new business or side hustle, or more knowledge, that you never lacked time. Instead you lacked discipline. That’s a bit presumptive.

. . .

So when they ask me, a childless, high-capacity producer, what I’ve been working on lately or doing with all of my new “free time” my answer feels… well, embarrassing. I haven’t really done anything that I don’t normally do. And I don’t agree that I have any more “free time” than what I’ve always had.

I go to work everyday; I still go into the office. I come home, eat dinner, do a couple of chores watch TV, take the dog out, scroll mindlessly on Social Media, and then go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Nothing about my work week routine has changed.

On the weekends, I go out as little as possible. I’m an introvert, though, so this has always been my evil plan and is not new either. Weekends with no plans are my favorite kind of weekends.

I have managed to binge watch Tiger King and season 3 of Ozark, take a lot of bubble baths, and eat more s’mores and ice cream than I’d really care to admit. None of these are prize-worthy accolades, however.

. . .

Since I simply do not have a laundry list of quarantine achievements, here’s a list of all that things I’m not accomplishing:

  • That Dalgona coffee everyone’s making? Nope, haven’t done it. I haven’t made any homemade Sourdough either. I’m actually genuinely interested in understanding why these are the must-do quarantine activities. I like sourdough and I like coffee. If you “get it”, please explain it to me.
  • I haven’t turned Keto. I’m not doing a Whole 30. I’m not even eating healthier. Well, not intentionally anyway. I am eating more truly home-cooked meals by default, so in that respect I suppose I’m a little healthier. But, what I mean to say is that I’m not “on a diet”. I haven’t set a goal to lose ___ pounds during the quarantine.
  • No home projects have been knocked out. My house is still not “done” in the way that I want it to be. I haven’t hung any artwork and I haven’t started the many décor projects I’d like to do. In fact, I haven’t even mowed the grass. I’ve been paying someone else to do it. If you know me, that’s saying a lot.
  • I haven’t blazed through my reading list. I’ve actually added to it and not picked up a single book.
  • My house has not been Marie Kondo’ed. If I’m really being transparent, we still have unpacked boxes from our move into this house. Almost 2 1/2 years ago.
  • I haven’t signed up for Duolingo nor have I purchased Rosetta Stone. I’m still working with the same basic conversational Spanish I’ve had since my Junior year of College.

I’m not sorry for any of this. It’s okay that I haven’t done any of these things.

. . .

Maybe I’ll do them someday. Perhaps, someday will come after the pandemic is over. It’s also okay if I never do them.

And it’s okay if you never do them, too. It’s okay to just do the best you can right now. You don’t have to come out on the other side of this pandemic with a new skill, a new business, or an empty to-do list.

You don’t have to reinvent yourself.

It’s okay to do the same things you’ve always done or to do the bare minimum to get by. You don’t need permission or validation for that.

This post was previously published on Change Becomes You and is republished here with permission from the author.

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