Simone Biles
Simone Biles (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

As the world continues to weigh in on Simone Biles’s sudden departure from the Olympics, there’s one thing that few people have taken the time to consider.
Biles said the following while explaining her decision and how her concern over her mental health had prompted the move.
“I have to do what’s right for me,” she told reporters.
As she shared more, she also talked about the stress of the Olympics, the difficulty in preparing for the competition over the past year and how her life had been changed drastically because of new ways of living that have impacted us all due to COVID-19. She also mentioned how much she has missed her family and friends who were unable to attend the Tokyo Olympics due to safety precautions related to the virus.
However, Biles is not alone nor is she an anomaly. We have all been impacted and forced to change our normal routines and adapt almost daily to new ways of just being in order to remain alive and healthy. We miss our family and friends. We struggle over being alone and isolated.
Perhaps we should all do what Biles has had the strength, wisdom and courage to do – examine our lives, our health, both physical and mental, and determine what’s best for each of us.
Over the past year or so, Zoom meetings have moved from optional to required. Workdays, once 9 to 5, never seem to end. Vacations seem to be a four-letter word.
And, instead of taking a few moments to call co-workers, family members or friends, we now rely on texting. At the same time, when we text, we expect an immediate reply to our comments, questions or concerns. We fail to consider what the other party is doing, nor do we seem to even care.
In addition, few Americans have concerns over delays with the U.S. postal system. After all, there’s always email. Again, when we email others, we find ourselves frustrated or outright angry when we do not receive an immediate reply. Didn’t you see my email? we ask with impudence.
Simone Biles decided to take time for herself. She realized that in this hustle and bustle that has become the norm in the new age of COVID-19, that it’s important to stop, to pause, to rest, to reflect – to smell the roses that are around us.
We hope that more people will heed the warning issued by Biles, Naomi Osaka and other high profile individuals. At the same time, just examine your own pace that you’ve been following over the past year. Technological advances have increased the pace for all of us. But we are not machines.
And because we are only human, we need to recognize that every now and then, it’s essential to simply exhale. After all, there’s always tomorrow. Unless you’re unable to face that tomorrow with all cylinders on go because you’re burned out from trying to keep up with the machines of the world.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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