Nourishing passions in a pandemic

A few years ago, I decided I would try being a “Yes” person. I said Yes and got myself engaged in a lot of things – which led to me needing to re-learn how to say “no” in the summer of 2019. (Thought I published a blog post about this but can’t find it. Hmmmmm.)

Months later, I was deep in rehearsals for two plays, completing a 600hr Yoga Teacher Training, and had a number of work & social commitments still to uphold. I love my packed calendar, and I enjoy keeping active and busy. Come March, however, my calendar was wiped clean.

I fell into the “pandemic depression”. Without the gym, one of my biggest anchors in life, I turned to absorbing my podcasts while mowing down on toasted tomato sandwiches. Sure, there were some zoom board games in there – but I really just remember the tomato sandwiches.

Today, in my neck of the woods, things have improved a great deal. I’ve been steadily back at the gym with my trainer, I’m finding ways to nourish my passions, my professional and social life, and I’ve even managed to return to the pool for my weekly swimming lessons. This is a bit of a personal blog post, but maybe some of my ideas can help to spark an idea in you:

How I’ve been nourishing my passions lately:

I’ve got a deep love of travel, and I have a “someday, maybe” dream of spending a deeper amount of time in Greece. This Fall, I signed up for private Greek lessons over Zoom. My teacher Efi is so passionate and really meets me at my level, and we’re having a blast. I’m also hopping onto Duolingo daily to maintain my streak.

We know it will be a while before theatre productions can resume. In the meantime: I’ve done a play reading over Zoom with some local actors, I am volunteering to co-facilitate monthly, socially-distanced Teen Performing Arts Nights for the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, and I’m even dipping my toes into the local film scene through some self-taped auditions.

I nourished my decluttering & space design passions by redesigning my room. I’ve turned myself into a “plant dad” and am preparing to indulge my brain with some new reading materials on the subject. WOW – there are a lot of thought leaders out there in this industry! When I picked up The Interior Design Handbook and Outer Order | Inner Calm today, my niece commented “Aren’t you the expert already?” I said “I know a lot, but it’s through reading that I can make sure I stay an expert.” ?

Making my calendar feel more special:

My day in review 🙂

Between all this and my ‘day job’, my calendar is healthy and robust again. Last night, while trying to make the most of the iPhone’s new widget system, I found a new calendar that plugs into my google calendar and makes everything look really nice. I love to test out productivity tools, so here’s a super short review of Timepage, by Moleskin:

  • Love that you can play with colours and widgets. You can set up widgets to count down to an exciting event – I’ve got countdowns set for goal weights which is awesome.
  • The monthly “heatmap” is a really cool way of showing you visually which days are free or busy when making plans.
  • It’s basically the Superhuman of Calendar apps.
  • I hesitated about the CAD $15.99/year . . but I like how calm this app makes me feel, just because of it’s minimalist design – PLUS I spent more than that on halloween candy. I’m going to try it out for a year.

Hopefully this mini-review-within-a-blog doesn’t feel intrusive – just thought I’d share my current thoughts on a new tool I’m trying out.

What’s Next:

I am taking it day by day. Today, at swimming, I mentioned to a friend that I won’t dare miss a single class because we just don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep it up. I’m thankful for every day they are open, and I’m thankful I live in an area where there is an option to safely do some key activities.

Whether you’re mostly at home, or have also ventured out for small, distanced visits, I’d love to know what’s been keeping you busy! What’s sparking joy for you? Comment below!

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