How to Use Our Shelter Time WiselyYour answers weren’t what I thought they’d be. When I wrote the little piece about using our shelter in place time wisely, I thought I would get lots of responses about people unearthing that pesky drawer in the kitchen and finding the missing keys to…something. Or the two day purge of a closet resulting in boxes of items to be donated and so much more room to store things. Funny thing though, with the exception of a few response like that, Kelli did clean out a closet last weekend, Linda swore that her laundry room clean out was next, and Kristen seems to be meticulously cleaning house on a daily basis, what I noticed was something different. Many of us are using this time to do the fun things that we don’t usually make time in our schedule for.

Many of us are fortunate enough to be ok during this time. Our finances, though in question as we move through the weeks, aren’t on the verge of disaster. We have homes, and internet, friends and family. And the beauty is, we are making time to spend in and with those important things. Perhaps we’ve realized that although clean closets are to be admired, they aren’t what soothes our souls. It’s a phone conversation with a friend that does that. Even when our laundry room is spic and span, it’s the latest funny joke from a family member that makes us belly laugh. And as for that pesky drawer or cabinet in the kitchen that may be a black hole to another dimension with long lost sauce packets from dinners past, it’s orderliness really doesn’t play into our sense of well being, a virtual cocktail party with a toast to friendship is what feeds the feeling of well being and happiness in our hearts.

As for me personally, I cleaned out half of our hall closet, with the intention to finish the task this week. But I’ve also baked coffee cake, from scratch, because my husband mentioned that it sounded good. I’ve listened intently to my teenagers (who are essential workers) about their daily experiences at their jobs. I’ve checked in on my high school student’s online high school experience and been her touchstone for Art assignment ideas, and introductory paragraphs for History papers. I’ve adjusted my schedule to one that allows me to set an alarm for seven am, and that provides all the time I need to get everything done in a day. This is very different from the five am alarm that usually starts my days. I have leaned into my current status. I work from home, workout at home, eat at home and laugh at home. The overriding concept in all of this is that I’m at HOME. My home. The place that I crave when things are chaotic in life. The place that gives me a sense of peace when I walk through the door. The place where I brought my babies home from the hospital and where our dog greets us at the door upon our return.

Maybe all of these clean out projects are great in theory, and if we get them accomplished, then we do get bragging rights, but maybe what’s most important is all of us allowing our lives to slow down a little. It’s appreciating the little things, making a meal for our loved ones. Folding that last load of laundry when it’s not midnight. Sitting on our front steps and watching the sun go down at the end of the day and knowing that it will come up tomorrow and that we don’t have to be up before that sun. We can let it warm the sky and welcome us from our warm beds, with tousled hair and a cup of coffee, knowing that although the pace of our day may be slower, we’ll move through it with the grace and the gratitude that it deserves.