I have always been intrigued by what people do in the privacy of their own homes and how they live no one is looking. During this time of COVID, we have had a lot of time to spend solo or with people we know most intimately. Many are working from home for the foreseeable future, social lives have been curtailed, and gathering in large crowds is all but a memory.
As many women have work clothing collecting dust in their closets, lounging in t-shirts and yoga pants have become the go-to look because it just doesn’t matter. And it’s true, it doesn’t. Nobody will notice or care if you haven’t worn anything without an elastic waistband in months, haven’t put on more than minimal makeup, or even wear pajamas for most of the day. The lives of many working women have been reduced to a top 1/3 view on a Zoom screen.
But it does matter. It matters not because you should get dressed up every day but because it shines a spotlight on what you do when it doesn’t matter.
Solitude Gives Birth to the Original in Us
Thomas Mann said, “Solitude gives birth to the original in us” and the solitude of COVID has forced us all to see the original in us more than ever before.
COVID has taken away all the reasons to try or put any effort forth. It has made us realize that much of what we do is not for ourselves but for others. We dress to impress, concern ourselves with public approval, stay in shape not just to be healthy but to manage how we are seen. Social media is designed to publicly show the world the persona we want the world to see. In so many things we do, we do it for the acceptance and approval of others. We spend more time worrying about what others think than we do exploring what we think. COVID has also shown us how terribly out of touch we might be with ourselves and how when we only have our own standards to live up to, just how far we let ourselves go.
Here we are with this time that is ripe with room to explore who we are and what are we doing? We’re choosing clothing that bores us, slacking on self-care, not honoring ourselves, and not making time to develop and nurture what we love.
While this may all sound like a judgment call, I assure you, it’s not. This is the suggestion that you use this time to examine your truth and listen to yourself. What is honest for you? What do you care about, value, or want to take up your space and time? Your bored listlessness doesn’t necessarily indicate laziness as much as it possibly indicates the areas where you are out of touch or that you have put your focus in the wrong place.
If any of this feels true for you, take this time to layout where you direct your focus, how you honor your truth, and what matters. There is no right answer to this. If you aren’t happy with something, change it. If something works, be unabashedly unapologetic with who you are and what you need; whatever that looks like. The only thing you shouldn’t do is allow yourself to make something matter that doesn’t and not honor something that does. What that looks like is totally up to you.
“Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see.” -Bernard Baruch