Not much has changed since my last post….written with great sarcasm.
I will be honest, only in the past week have I had the mental capacity to consider writing again.
When the world seemed to stop with the spread of the Coronavirus, I was solely focused on my family’s health and well-being. Everything else seemed trivial. I was glued to my phone and the news (out of sight from my kids) because things were evolving at such a rapid pace. When my husband and I would wrap our heads around one thing, that would change and be replaced by an even worse piece of information or statistic. It was a lot. Writing would have to wait.
While we got off to a rocky start, we are doing really well in our new normal and I am grateful for that. We may be unemployed, but our family is healthy and we are together. This is the most time we have ever spent together as a family of four. To watch the relationship my sons have with their father grow even stronger with him being around constantly has been a blessing.
We are incredibly grateful to the medical professionals, custodial staffs, grocery store employees, delivery drivers, USPS workers, and all other essential workers who put their health and safety on the line so we can live the best way possible during this time.
It has been beautiful and moving to see people’s kindness and generosity shine through during this dark time.
Our fight or flight response systems have been activated and we are all handling this pandemic in different ways. For some, it has encouraged them to thrive, for others, they are simply doing their best to survive each day.
While people’s responses to this pandemic is another entry, today I want to share with you what has helped me move from paralyzing fear to positive focus.
I would like to introduce you to the concept of PAUSE. REFLECT. RESET.
How many times have you said to yourself, “If I just had a break, I could get xyz in order so I could xyz”? Sure, that plan probably didn’t involve a pandemic, e-learning, being furloughed, and fearing for your health, but the opportunity is here.
As I said, during the first few weeks of the pandemic, I struggled to get anything done creatively. My husband had lost all work through the summer, I was furloughed from teaching my fitness classes, and our kids were home from daycare and school. All I had the mental capacity for was my family’s well-being and rightfully so.
Once we started to understand the information being presented to us (and I say understand very loosely), we were able to put a family plan in place. We created a schedule, divided up tasks, and ensured that each adult would have some time to themselves every day.
It was then I realized that I had been given a gift during this scary and uncertain time. I was able to pause. There were no bus stops to rush to. No swimming lessons to pack for. No playlists to make or choreography to learn. There was no solo parenting to prepare for. My family would be together under the same roof with minimal expectations. The pause I had wanted was here, albeit in a very scary and inconvenient way.
This pause allowed me to catch my breath and gave me a coveted opportunity to reflect.
Do you ever take the time to reflect or provide yourself with an opportunity for some introspection? I highly recommend it. Get ready to feel excited, inspired, and uncomfortable all at the same time.
If you are a list person, make a list of all the things you are thinking and feeling. Think about where you currently are; physically, mentally, and emotionally. Really think about it and reflect on it. During this pause, you have the opportunity to reflect on the good, bad, and ugly of your life. Where are you now? What are you now? Who are you now?
After you complete the list, ask yourself, “Where do I want to be when this is over?” “What do I want to be when this is over?” “Who do I want to be when this is over?”
Now, it is quite possible that you are exactly where you want to be, doing what you want, and have grown into the person you wanted to be. If any of these questions give you pause, please take the time to reflect. We aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (unless you are reading this in Georgia).
Reflection is hard. No one likes to admit what they aren’t doing well, what they could be doing better, and how they are not achieving their potential. Please remember, reflection is not meant to be a negative practice. For every criticism you write, please note something complimentary about yourself. Reflection can be an opportunity to recognize what you are doing well, but encourage you to see ways in which you have the potential to excel.
Once you have completed your reflection, it is time to hit the reset button.
What are you going to do to get to where you want to be, do what you want to do, and be who you want to be? You have the power. You have to make the choice to go for it.
This is a crazy, unsettling, and scary time. It is HARD. But, we have an incredible opportunity to end this pandemic as different people than we started it. We can have new goals, new outlooks, a new sense of purpose. We can press RESET. You can start over. You can start new. You can begin with a clean slate.
There is so much that is out of our control right now. What we can control is our attitude. We can decide if we are going to remain the same people, in the same place when this is all over. Or, we can take this pause to really reflect on ourselves, our lives, and what we truly want. If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s that tomorrow is not promised. Now is the time. I encourage you to try it.
PAUSE. REFLECT. RESET.