Essential

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I spent the last few weeks painting and finishing projects around the house. After repainting my bathroom vanity, I realized the wall color no longer matched. I looked at paint samples online, chose the perfect color and then I stopped and asked myself, is going to the store to buy paint essential? The answer was no. Instead, I went to the basement and mixed my own with partial cans of leftover paint and created a color that matches perfectly. I named the color ‘essential’. It is a word I never gave much thought to until recently. Now I think about it every day.  Everything has been at my fingertips without interruption my entire life. The grocery store shelves were always stocked. Everything I wanted was a click and two-day shipping away. Stores had everything I could possibly want, and they were always open. Growing up, I didn’t get everything I wanted instantaneously, but Amazon and technology altered the way I thought to the point that I unconsciously adopted a mindset that I should never go without anything. I replenished snacks and drinks before they ran out so that the kids had an endless supply of their favorites. They have grown up never truly understanding the difference between need versus want. Then Coronavirus happened. The pantry is no longer full of a magically endless supply of snacks.  It turns out, an endless supply of snacks is not essential. We have everything we need, but in the short term may not have everything we want.  It’s funny to look back now at the people who talked about having a clear vision for 2020 in January not knowing how much life was about to change. The pandemic has provided me with a clear vision that I never would have had. Life was so busy I wasn’t taking the time to stop and think about what I was doing or why. On pause, I have had time to reflect. My vision is clear. I am making deliberate life choices and relearning what is essential. It is a change I hope I can sustain when life returns to normal.