Productivity these days is not like it was two months ago, and that’s OK. (Citizen file)

Sarah Simpson Column: Flying kites in a windstorm is not productive

I felt productive. I miss those days.

Great news!

The group running Covid Action Cowichan (Terra Lee, Gayle Hurmuses, Ryna Bridges, and Janice Smith) have announced they’ve had such massive success outfitting the Cowichan region’s medical professionals with scrub caps, headbands and ear savers that they are shifting their focus to “Masking the Valley”. The group is now in the process of making masks for everyone they can with priority recipients being childcare, group home, shelter, grocery, and small business workers as well as the immunocompromised and other high-risk people.

“We hope to continue to expand our reach to help protect everyone. We are all part of this community, and we are all important,” wrote Lee on the Covid Action Cowichan Facebook page, which now boasts more than 525 members.

Details of that project can be found by joining that group.

Meanwhile, as those amazing superstars are over there ramping up their productivity to protect citizens of the Valley, I’m over here struggling to keep clothes on my kids!

What’s more, my sliding glass doors are covered in a layer of greasy fingerprints. I’m sure if I looked more closely at my floors there would be much of the same film on them, too, despite my near-constant vacuuming. My ceiling fans are clean, however. But that’s only because my kids learned what would happen if they tossed their clothing up onto the fan blades and then turned on the fan.

Even with being at (or very near to) home 24/7 right now, it seems like I’m not getting much done around the house.

During the first real week of staying in, I did all of the organizing and rearranging I could handle. I felt great about it, too. My linen closet is still beautiful.

I felt productive. I miss those days.

Six weeks into staying home I realize being that in control of my household to that militaristic extent is unsustainable. I’ve got to work from home, run a household, home-school a kindergartner who would rather do anything other than pick up a pencil….and keep us all sane. It’s a nearly impossible task and that’s even considering I have a husband that does all of those things with me!

We’ve recently learned that being productive these days is kind of like trying to fly a kite in a windstorm. On the surface it seems like a great idea: there’s lots of time and space. When you get down to it, the kites are made for a certain level of wind and anything more overwhelms them and send them spiraling back down to earth.

I know this because my family has literally been trying to fly kites in windstorms lately. We walk over to the school field and attempt to get our cheap little kites in the air. Every single time we go out with high expectations, and get our kites aloft only to have them nosedive into the dirt.

But we keep trying. I feel like Charlie Brown.

It got me thinking though; maybe the conditions are too right. Maybe the expectations are too high. So much so that the pressure to get the kites high up into the air — to get the BIG things done — to organize the house, to grow the vegetable garden, to bake the bread, to start the book, to detail the car, blah blah blah, is overwhelming us to the point that we’re unable to get the smaller, arguably more important things done, like cleaning the sliding glass door slime.

Despite this incredible wind that the COVID pandemic has given us, some of us just can’t keep our kites in the air.

I don’t think we should feel poorly about that.

I read online somewhere the other day that “you’re only productive by the standards of the world we lived in two months ago and that world is gone now.”

Maybe these days, instead of flying the kites in a windstorm, we could simply be grateful we get to go outside during the storm and not have to work hard to get the fresh air blown into our faces, up our noses and into our healthy lungs. It seems like a lot less of an accomplishment, but it’s still a pretty big deal.

Maybe next time I try to fly a kite, I’ll go out in a breeze and not a gale.

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