As 2019 came to a close many of us were eagerly preparing for a new year. Even more so, we had grand visions of what a new decade would look like.
We were excited. We were eager. We were ready.
January and February were off to a great start. We were making progress on our goals and feeling really good about the direction that we were going.
Then came March.
Never in our wildest dreams did we expect this decade to begin with a Pandemic. It’s like the carpet was pulled out from underneath us. As if someone was saying, “Nice try.” We weren’t just put on pause. We were asked to come to a complete stop.
For most of us who are so used to being busy, being on the go, being occupied and distracted by all that is around us this was a major adjustment. We felt all the feelings.
We went through stages of grief:
We continuously circle through the stages as we navigate the updates on the news. At times we’re hopeful, other times fed up, oftentimes pissed off and even depressed, then hopeful again.
The uncertainty of it all can drive us crazy.
Which is why we need to pause once more. No, we need to do more than pause. We need to stop. Stop the stories in our minds, stop the stories in the news, stop listening to the stories our friends are telling us and stop telling stories to others.
Instead of looking at what has been lost, what we are going without, worrying about things that are out of our control let’s turn that around and look at what we’ve gained or can gain when you choose to look at it differently.
What do you surprisingly enjoy on Quarantine?
Maybe you realize that you enjoy a slower pace.
Maybe you realize that you don’t need all of the stuff.
Did you pick up a new skill?
Learn something new?
Take a course?
Figure out how to exercise from home?
Maybe you rekindled your relationship?
Or realized that it’s a relationship you don’t want to be in.
Did you reconnect with your kids?
Did you try a new recipe?
Did you learn how to make bread? (Didn’t we all?)
Did you update your home with a fresh coat of paint?
Reorganize your closet?
Did you get to do all of those chores you’ve been putting off because you’ve had no time?
Did you go for walks?
Did you explore parts of your neighborhood you never knew existed?
Did you paint beautiful rocks?
Did you search for beautiful rocks?
Did you notice how connected we all feel to one another?
And as you take inventory of all that you’ve gained you can begin to think about what life will look like Post Pandemic. If you’ve enjoyed the slower pace, being more still, not rushing around, cooking, baking, family walks, bike rides, game night, working from home, feeling connected to others, zoom with family and friends, the new skills you’ve gained, then continue to do them.
Just as you sat down in December and set your goals for 2020 and this decade, do the same for Post Pandemic. Decide what you want things to look like, decide how you want to show up, decide what you want to do, and who you want to do it with. We aren’t going through this to just go through it. We are going through it to come out the other side stronger, smarter, more resilient, more connected and more aware that we need to appreciate all that we have and all that we are capable of and make the most of every damn day.
A few years from now we will back at this time and can hopefully say that this was a defining moment in our lives. We can say that we made some changes that impacted our lives for the better. The lessons weren’t lost and so much was gained.
I would like to end with a disclaimer. I understand that this pandemic has affected each and every one of us differently. Some have lost their jobs, their businesses, their loved ones. All of which are devastating. Many people are struggling to work from home with the kids at home, people who were dealing with mental health issues are now struggling more, I don’t want to undermine and underestimate what anyone is going through. If you are in a place of struggle my hope is that you understand that you are resilient, you have a strength inside of you that you may not realize. You are allowed to be angry and sad and pissed off. Feel those things for as long as you need to. And when you’re ready, begin to look for the good again. As there is good, always.