Reassessing During Your “Recessment”

I made up the word “recessment” to express my feelings — and perhaps yours — during this time of self-isolation, assuming you and your loved ones are well and practicing safe behaviors, and you aren’t an essential worker working outside the house.

(Granted, “recessment” does not address the added element of fear for one’s health and the health of loved ones, the grief over significant loss in others’ lives, possible uncertainty about financial security, and the anxiety about what lies ahead for you, others you care about, and society.)

Many of us around the globe are harboring indoors, in the safety of our homes, both for our own sakes and for the well being of others. This cocooning reminds me of growing up in Denver where in elementary school we would take recess indoors during snow storms. We busied ourselves reading, doing homework, creating art projects and playing games with our friends. We relished the freedom to do whatever we wanted for the duration of recess, even if we were limited to indoor activities.

As we grew up, we saw that this is how many people in retirement lived. They read, created art, and played games with friends. What a life! We counted the days until we, too, were retired.

Perhaps you have responsibilities while self-isolating — you still need to produce work, show up for conference calls, keep projects moving, home school, and/or entertain the kids. However, some of us have more free time because we’re not commuting, shuttling the kids to activities, or participating in other out-of-the-house happenings.

Now that many of us have experienced “recessment” for weeks — with weeks to go — some of us may be seeing are seeing it is not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. The first week or two we may have relaxed, vegged out on entertainment and got much needed rest. Then we may have itched to attend to neglected chores around the house, clean out drawers, closets, attics, basements, and garages, as well as pursue other long-overdue projects. It can feel great to get things done.

We may be using this “recessment” for reassessment as well. People might look at the part of this new life style they want to continue. may see that they don’t like commuting and want to negotiate working from home several days a week in the future. They might realize they like spending more time with their family and want to curtail some activities that take them away from family time. They may enjoy working in casual wear, finding it enables them to focus on their work and less on how they look.

Some people are reassessing their work all together, realizing that it doesn’t fulfill them as much as they’d like. They’re hatching plans to switch companies or careers.

People are examining their own life style and realizing they no longer have an excuse of not enough time to cook healthily, or get some exercise, even if it’s a virtual exercise session.

What are you reassessing during your “recessment”?