The pandemic has forced us to slow down. And that’s a good thing.
One of the slow-downs has sped up life for many… delivery services are overloaded. A good friend drives for Amazon. He has been regularly been putting in 60-hour workweeks. Knowing him makes me very thankful to all the delivery drivers out there.
An upside to overloaded delivery services is that we have to wait. Amazon Prime used to mean next-day delivery. Now it can mean two-week delivery.
Some of the things we “need” we really don’t need.
We have some friends in South Africa. They live near Cape Town, a beautiful place that would be fun to visit. That’s on my list of dream destinations… if only the airfare was less. (Sigh.)
I sent them a letter last summer and received it back a month later. A stamped message on the envelope informed me that South Africa no longer has any mail service.
I take for granted the privilege that mail is.
Before the pandemic, one of my sons lived in Sicily, Italy. Two months was the normal time for my letters to reach his mailbox.
Living in America is a privilege.
You have to find space in your life.
Life has seasons. When our kids were seven, five and zero years old, we had little space in our lives to think, plan or relax.
Now that we’re semi-empty nesters,* there’s more space.
* Our college-age daughter is temporarily home on break and staying busy with work and friends. Our two sons are no longer living under the same roof.
No matter the season, I’ve always tried to carve out space to let my mind recover from the stresses of the week.
Saturday morning has been that time for many years. I wake up at the same time as on weekdays, so the house is quiet for about two hours before anyone appears.
I enjoy the newspaper. (Yes, we still have it delivered. There’s something about consuming information on paper that is more satisfying than looking at a screen, especially on the weekend.)
I love my coffee-press coffee.
I savor the quiet.
I would encourage you to carve out some space in your week. Let your mind breathe.
Maybe it’s just a five-minute walk around the block.
September is my favorite month.
After a long hot summer, the cool days are such a wonderful change.
Leaves are starting to change, at least in North America. (I missed that during the five years I lived in Africa.) Growing up in suburban Washington DC, I loved the rich variety of colors falling around me.
My birthday hits this month. Though I’m not huge on birthday celebrations, it’s still a fun day.
School starts. Or it did during my childhood… that was before school began in August. I always enjoyed going back to class and friends, even though it meant the pain of homework.
Enjoy your September!
We lived in Kenya, Africa for five years.
The most numerous non-African people in Kenya are from South Asia.
(There is some pretty awesome Indian food there – in fact, the best I’ve ever tasted.)
One day I went into a shop run by South Asians and found a poster – “An Ideal Boy.” I bought it instantly because of the reflection of a quirky part of India’s colonial-era past.
And all these years later, I found that poster in our attic.
I’m sharing it with you.
You can see a PDF of “An Ideal Boy” here. Download the file, enjoy it, whatever.
If you want to buy one of the panels, I’m selling them for $5 each, which includes shipping to US addresses. There are 12 panels, and there’s just one of each. I plan to keep one or two for myself (whatever is left). If you’re interested, send me an email at paul at pmerrill dot com, and I’ll be in touch. Send me your address too. We’ll exchange the funds via PayPal or Venmo.
First come, first served. (There’s only one “Salutes parents.”)
Each panel is about 5 1/2″ x 6.”