I’ve heard that Alexander Solzhenitsyn chose to his time in the communist gulags (besides writing) in reflecting on his past sins. While I’m no Solzhenitsyn, and the relative lull of life under the new normal of the pandemic is no gulag, I’ve found the shared thread.
I have luxuriantly long stretches of time to imagine, plan, regret, hope, disqualify, research, and think. For a lot of reasons (not all related to this pandemic), I’ve used this time to reflect on past sins and to think about my future, both sometimes challenging activities. It’s a hell of a process but it’s also a privilege and a kind of wealth I haven’t had in years.
It’s easy for me to lose connection to my past and to close my eyes to the future when I’m busy with life. My appointments, commitments, and social activities can keep me spinning. It’s harder to do that when there’s a pandemic, I’ve exhausted most of the interesting movies, and I’m staying around the homeplace.
This is life-enforced time to do the thinking and planning necessary to an intentional life. I hope that I can use it well. Chances like this come along every so often, and usually not through pleasant means. But for the fact that I can sit down and think (without the suffering of personal illness) I am grateful.