Not to be Captain Obvious, but it seems the universe has put us in a big, fat timeout. Everyone: Me. You. Every American, Parisian, Italian, German, Israeli, Sierra Leonean…. No one in this great big world is NOT in a timeout. It’s both mind-blowing and fascinating.

You know what else it is? It is a gift. It’s like the universe said to each and every one of us, “You are a runaway train. You say you have no time, but guess what? You must take a MUCH-NEEDED time out and figure out your priorities. What kind of human do you want to be? How do you want to take care of yourself, your families, your communities, our planet?”

Our daily routines have been ripped out from beneath us, much like a magician does with a tablecloth on a fully set table. It’s a lot to take in and there is MUCH to mourn, for certain. One day we were running around like chickens without heads and now we are forced to stay inside our homes, with our families, at a complete and utter standstill. It’s remarkable if you think about it. We have been FORCED to stay at home with our loved ones. We have to cook our own meals…Clean our own homes…Delve back into our favorite hobbies…Cut our own hair…Do our own nails. We have to simplify like we have never done before. As one article I read stated, “We get to Marie Kondo the shit out of it all.” It is SO true. However, if we can’t see this unprecedented moment as a tremendous gift, then it’s been lost on us all.

For the first time in our lifetime, we have TIME. Frankly, we have nothing BUT time. For once, we cannot use time as our excuse. We finally have time for self-care. For exercise. For meal-planning, meal-prepping, cooking. For hot baths. Meditation. Stretching. Yoga. Journaling. Self-reflection. Facetiming friends and family who mean everything to us. Playing guitar/learning a new language/learning to knit/fill in the blank. For finally attacking the pile of books that has been collecting dust on our bedside tables. For playing board games with our kids. And also, time for absolutely nothing. We are finally allowed – encouraged, even…. to take naps. To sleep in. To rest. Don’t you think this is incredible?

The question is, when life goes back to “normal,” what will that look like? Will you go back to ordering in meals most days and nights of the week? Will you go back to leaving yourself no time to sleep, nap, rest? Will you leave your guitar or knitting needles in the back of the closet? Will you keep up superficial relationships? Will you neglect your mind, body and need for self-care?

What will your new normal look like? What will you take with you from this great, big timeout? Now is our opportunity to shine, to come away from this experience with a new perspective. I, personally, intend to embrace this slower pace and to focus more energy on my family and myself. What will your renewed perspective include?