IT SEEMS like only yesterday when life was frenzied, harried and we realize now, also rather excessive. With each day, our to-do lists grew longer and became more and more implausible to get done.

Almost like running a race with no finish line. Or like climbing a mountain that becomes insurmountable through time. No wonder we were exhausted.

We thrive in the hive of never-ending goals, tasks and activities. At the end of the day, we feel prolific, effective, accomplished but also beat, burnt-out and broken down.

And then, all of a sudden, coronavirus happened. And just like that—we stopped—we stopped running the race that had no finish line. In our wildest dreams, we never imagined such a spectacle.

But it makes you realize that nothing is impossible.

Overnight, our lives were overturned, our plans upended. The world stopped. Wildlife, unviewed, undisturbed, uninterrupted, reproduced. The skies breathed. The mountains became visible—once more. And if only for a brief moment in time, the streets were silent and free of fumes. For me, those moments were golden.

Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine being in the midst of a pandemic.

Sometimes, we need to push the pause button. The pandemic did it for us. And perhaps, we should be grateful. Because for what it’s worth, this pandemic has allowed us to pause and ponder—about what, in the end, really matters.

Sheltering at home, we went on cleaning sprees that uncovered a treasure trove of unused or barely-used stuff gathering dust in our shelves—irrefutable proof of our lives of excess. And this gave birth to the still growing number of barter and trading sites online.

We live with so much excess yet we can actually live with so much less.

I know it’s not for everyone but I love this unexpected and extended season of no socials. Imagine the savings in the last five months from a life of only essential shopping.

I can almost hear my business maven sister saying, “Are you mad? These austerity measures are unbearable for the economy.”

I know.

But from a personal standpoint, the savings generated by this season of regulated movement and prohibited socializing is just remarkable.

I am loving this period of austerity.

But this pandemic has also brought us great loss and heartbreak. No doubt, we will carry this pain with us for the rest of our lives. But I hold on to the faith that no matter what happens, we will overcome.

It seems like only yesterday when I was running a race with no finish line. For me, it has always been—so many things to do, so little time.

Maybe, I don’t have to do it all—after all. Perhaps, I should just do the things that become me—not the ones that break me.

After all, it’s not just what we do. It’s also what we become.