2020. A year without the demarcations of time, ritual, or routine. I fall into bed every night, exhausted and unsure why.

I got a haircut in June. Went camping at the end of July. Haven’t been to work on a film set since February.

No weddings, no graduations, no summer trips. Five months of days blending into weeks into months and the questions persist; Where does the time go, what have I done, and how can I be so exhausted?

I was startled to see and smell Hatch Green Chile being roasted as I drove near a downtown market in Albuquerque last week. That delicious smell is one I associate with back to school shopping, cooler nights, and the return of routine after a summer without. And here it is… a new (so far mostly virtual) school year, the return of the monsoons, and roasting Chile. The seasons do their thing, flowers bloom, vegetables grow, and nature carries on.

I find it hard to do the same. Too much time in my head, hanging with the what if’s and the uncertainty. This does nothing but lead to lethargic low grade panic and stress. With each passing week and month, the reality of my/our current predicament(s) sinks in a bit deeper and the hole in which I/we find ourselves needs that much bigger of a shovel.

I am attached to my productivity. Without my doing and achieving, who am I? Without a schedule, a routine, accomplishments, or the need for a calendar, what do I have to show for the past six months, or for myself?

And then I remember the antidote to my fear. Find the beauty, have gratitude, and look for the helpers. There are so many beautiful things happening in the midst of our chaos; new leaders using their voices for the first time, neighbors helping, and creativity bubbling. Find something you believe in and just do that. You don’t have to know or do anything else.

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