I am a serial list maker. I have 3 chronous ‘to-do’ lists: ‘Do Today’, ‘Get done soon’ and the more liberal ‘Long Term To-Do’

I have been adding to the Long term list since 2010 without ever stopping to do the heavier Doing. With which end would I pick a mammoth that promises to be too big to fit my arms? So things piled: ASL, yoga, Photoshop…till I had myself a Long Term list so long that it would take a lifetime to just begin.

Then 2020 turned everything on it’s head and made me Rapunzel. It took away my coping mechanism of Escaping. I couldn’t run into the cozy arms of Pune cafes every time this family became overwhelming. It took away my mental reset buttons and asked me to figure things from within. (Look how I talk now?)

This brought to surface anger issues, unhealthy attachment patterns and so many new triggers. I cried on so many work calls I could bathe babyR in my tears. I grit my teeth so hard, I bet it’s called exercise now.

So I took a sabbatical from work. started doing Yoga and Pranayam, the suggestion of which in therapy had brought 2018 P to tears. I worked WITH my PTSD, not in spite of it. A better way of putting it is I listened to my body-mind instead of pushing it to live up to Neurotypical standards.

Suddenly these neurotypical standards of survival dropped. So, I could get virtual classes for everything and discounts for the world’s newfound distress. 2020 made therapy, fancy movies, comfy clothes, kind cosmetics and pottery classes more accessible. It was the only time in my life when the world didn’t try to squeeze me out of my tiny town for “better” opportunities. It helped me start on my Long Term list with the energy I saved from escaping, calming Neurotypical fomo and fighting distress. So what was a demotion for neurotypicals looked like thriving on me.

I, now

  • Learn Pranayam, meditation, yoga. Have an Excel sheet for keeping schedule. That’s how you know that shit is serious.
  • Can sign alphabets and basic questions in ASL
  • Have a Harmonica on which I can play Amitabh’s Sholay tune
  • Have found and read non-fiction books that I liked
  • Finally started working on my website
  • Left my childhood, bad associations with painting and drawing and began again
  • can cook
  • Write more, but not out of compulsion
  • Teach writing
  • Know Video editing (saying J cut and L cut makes me feel fancy)

The aim of this post was not to make anyone feel small or big for what they achieved or didn’t. I hope we don’t judge ourselves by our productivity. The point I am trying to make is for accessibility. Can we please not take these optional virtual classes, accessibility discounts, alternate modes of communication, new standard of success away from those like me when this is over? I am sure we’ll do much better than we are told to expect of ourselves.

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