23 Apr 2020

Spring Revelations

The spring is in full swing, as well as the quarantine here in Lithuania. It's already week 6 and, apparently, we're going to stay at home till the 11th of May (if the quarantine wouldn't be extended again). The days of sheer panic, buckwheat hoarding (the Lithuanian equivalent of the toilet paper), and lack of hand sanitizers are in the past. Now, I'd say, we are in this "well, this is how I live now" stage, where putting on a mask before leaving home is the new habit, and silently praying not to meat anyone while landing down the stairs is the new mantra. And, yes, I am exaggerating, but the fact that this whole situation had an impact on how we carry on with our daily lives is undeniable. Nevertheless, as I am continuing to spend my days (mostly) in our flat, it got me thinking that my life is finally having a pace that I am happy with. And let me explain why.


As I was crossing out meetings, conferences, and other events from my planner when the quarantine begun, I noticed how many hours of my time was, well... not actually mine. And don't get me wrong, I like being busy, traveling, attending scholarly events, working in libraries or archives, etc. But sometimes it was just too much, and I felt like I am not doing my real job, just going from one meeting/event to the next. So this quarantine has put an end to it, at least for now. Finally, I am able to have more time to generate thoughts on my future research projects! This pause gave me more time to read books that I've wanted, both academical and fiction. I am also able to further explore the topics that I've been working on.


Being able to work from home also gave me couple of additional hours since I don't need to go to my workplace, have lunch, etc. And although I miss my colleagues terribly, I have found more time to cultivate my hobbies, like drawing, learning new languages (currently practicing my Italian), or even cooking. Yes, cooking, and when the quarantine begun I understood, how long it was since I cooked a proper meal! I've been experimenting a lot, and one of my goals now is to make a proper ramen (yes, the egg in this one is not marinated, don't @ me).


What I've also noticed, that my head became... cleaner. When I take our dog for a walk, I can hear and see the birds that live in the nearby forest (and I'm taking this birdwatching buisness seriously), and it's been a long time since I've been this attentive to my surroundings, usually always thinking about something (mostly - work related business). This is a really nice change.


Thus, I'd say that there's the bright side in all this sudden halt. I do hope that I'd be able to manage my time once it's over, since I have completely forgotten how valuable it is to have some breathing space and just let your thoughts roam freely. 




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