This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.
For the first time since 2020 began, I am finally starting to feel myself take root in this thing I call life. Even after my brother moved back to Arizona to start his second year of dental school and my sister moved to Madrid, Spain to start her two-year contract at the global university; even after my mother returned to working with children in person at school, scoping out the terrain in this brave new world, I find myself where I have been since the start of my teen-hood. Despite the changes, only now am I feeling a sense of home.
Today my roommate asked if I thought our life would be where it is now without COVID. Definitely, 100% no. I know it’s easy to harbor negative feelings, but I see all the positive things, too.
Without COVID, I wouldn’t have spent as much time reconnecting with my past life, putting my future life on pause, and creating the space for the now that bridges the gap between the two. I would have continued working six days a week, making a whirl-wind of activity my measurement for a “productive” life. I wouldn’t have focused my attention inward nor would I have created a home worth staying in. Instead, I had plans to travel to Japan, the Maldives, Hawaii … Now I find myself thinking that staying anywhere other than my own home is less-than.
I really want to continue this grounded-ness into October. Partly because I am genuinely loving the refreshing vibes exuding from my current lifestyle. Partly because not much has changed and what choice do we have?
Well, we still have autonomy over our thoughts.
We can choose to turn with the tide. We can choose to embrace the stillness. We can choose to believe that there is something that we can offer ourselves – something we can’t find in anyone or anything else. We can choose to practice gratitude for what is already here. We can try to bridge the gap within the whirl-winds we’ve created. We can calm the storm. We can listen to the burning fires within. We can ask why things are the way they are. We can choose what comes next. We can create the worlds in which we see ourselves living in. We can decide if COVID has been bad to us or has it been good?
As I continue to reap the benefits of having nothing to look forward to, I question whether it’s such a bad thing after all. I had a patient come in one day after the California fires wreaked havoc amidst the hottest heat wave of the year and he said to me, “Perhaps all of this is just a sign from above telling us to stay indoors and be still.”
Even if it weren’t as ethereal as he posed, there is a heavy weight in his words. Also, a light heart.
- Wake up at 6am and sleep at 10pm
- Write three things to be grateful for every morning
- Talk to my sister who lives in Spain once a week
- Do at-home yoga sessions five times a week
- No Instagram for leisure – only for blog work
- Write 30 minutes every day
- Switch out summer ice cream for dark chocolate
- Decrease the number of patients being seen
- Stay hydrated
- Learn two songs on the guitar
- Study French
- Read two books
- Explore two new places
- Be present
My favorite home upgrades this year:
– A mattress top and two pillows that helps soothe dentistry-related spinal and shoulder pain. Prior to these two game-changers, I was spending Saturdays laying on the couch, too stiff to move. This is the purchase that improved my life most significantly. It is what allows me to continue practicing dentistry and I cannot stress the importance of having decent support when you sleep! I have referred LEESA to a high-school friend who just moved into a new house and she and her husband love their mattress! Also, my brother and his girlfriend have both tried out our mattress and pillows when they were house-sitting for us one weekend and they told me that it was the best night of sleep they have ever had. She now also owns the same pillow as ours. I would highly recommend buying this product straight-away. It is never too late to start caring for your posture. Your 100-year-old self will thank you. If you are going to buy the mattress, check out my review here. Right now, you can get $350 OFF and a free protector too!
– Alternatively, a couch to sink into, especially during hard times. The couch is an Ikea Soderhamn couch – a Scandinavian design that has become a global icon – re-vamped with a Bemz cover. Depending on the cover you choose, you can make the Soderhamn look like a Restoration Hardware Cloud Sectional or a mid-century modern sofa from West Elm! We wanted to make sure we got a color we would like so I first ordered the five free fabric swatches before ordering the actual cover.
– A pair of speakers from which to play our vinyl collection. They are currently $49 off and are absolutely beautiful in white. They’ve got great sound, too. I stopped listening to music sometime two years ago. I think I just got carried away focusing on all my “jobs”. I told myself I didn’t have time for “noise”. Now, I enjoy my weekends deep-cleaning the home, occasionally sipping coffee, while playing some tunes on our record player. This newly added mid-century media console from West Elm perfectly hides the speakers when they aren’t in use. Currently, West Elm is hosting a sale – 15% off furniture, 40% off bedding, and 30% off rugs.
– A Parachute shower curtain and a new CB2 towel rod. Right now, they have 25% off rugs and 50% off clearance items. More importantly, my birthday gift – a bathroom wall-painting project completed with Mike and my parents one summer Saturday. And for those looking for a shower curtain liner, this is the one. So in love, no signs of mildew or soap scum yet!!
– Lastly, this La Marzocco latte machine, giving us the coffee shop we’ve always dreamed of. We never go out for coffee now. Mike sold his motorcycle which was rendered useless due to his non-existent commute and used the money to buy a Linea Mini, the machine of his dreams. He has spent every day since enjoying it.