Two weeks ago, if you’d asked me how I’d feel about working from home, with a significantly lighter workload, and tons of time to write, do house projects, and hang with my family, I would have said “fantastic!” and I would have jumped at the chance.
Color me surprised, now that this exact scenario has unfolded, I just can’t get my head around it. I understand we’re all suffering from a little whiplash. How is it even possible that two weeks ago I was in St. Louis, working out at my gym, shopping, eating in restaurants, and flying? I was in an arena about to start a large scale event when we were told to “shut it down” ten minutes before start. That was March 12.
Today is March 24 (although I’m not even sure what day it is anymore) and the speed at which all of our lives have changed so completely is shocking. And the changes we’ve all witnessed, experienced, and are still getting used to, are life altering. Maybe not long term life altering but certainly in the short term and the foreseeable future.
And what’s most difficult to comprehend is that we have no idea when this might end. What the next week, month, six months, or year will bring. The uncertainty and ambiguity of what comes next is almost suffocating for someone like me, someone who likes a plan.
I find myself with so many different things to say that I don’t know where to start. So many ideas and thoughts about what this is, what it could turn into, the amazing things that can come out of this, and the terrifying things too. I’m paralyzed with an overwhelming amount of stuff swirling around in my brain.
Rather than take the time I’ve been given (this is putting it nicely – I work for an events company and when you can’t gather with more than ten people – you can’t have events. Thus…no business.) to articulate all of this, to write wonderful thought pieces, to work on my book, to start a project my husband and I have been discussing for years (and this might just be the perfect time), rather than do any of that, I find myself looking around at my family wondering what the f-ck just happened. I find myself running to the grocery store like it might be my last opportunity, like, ever. I find myself trying to figure stupid sh-t out like…how in the actual f-ck do I get dipped nail polish off of my fingers when there’s not a lovely woman that can do it for me?! #firstworldproblems #Ididfinallyfigureitout
I’m also having to work some things out in my brain that, if I were still working a ton and coming home and focusing on homework, and activities, I’d be too busy to worry about. But now that I have time, I actually have to figure some sh-t out. I’ve got blockers and resistance at play and they are making it impossible for me to pivot into this new reality successfully.
My new meditation practice, out the window. My successful diet and gym routine, shot.
And I know, I know, I am not the only one. If I learned anything in the virtual wine night I did last Thursday with some of my girlfriends, it is that this is a trip for everyone and we’re all just doing the best we can to figure out how to find our way forward in a time that is completely unprecedented and bizarre. I’m not being too hard on myself, I get that this is a whackadoodle time for everyone. But, yo. I have to figure it out. We could be here for weeks.
Right this second, the best things I can do are force myself to go for runs even when it’s windy and cold. Being outside is necessary for my sanity. I have to keep writing each morning, even though most days it’s something like “day four of the pandemic. This is crazy!” Because, truly, there are no words for this. Well, there are, but I haven’t quite found them yet. I can keep doing virtual wine nights and #ClubQuarantine on Instagram Live with @DNice (if you haven’t checked this out – it is EVERYTHING – next one is tomorrow at 5:30pm CST). I have to read books – because a sister has to escape the house somehow. I have to connect with my people and show compassion, empathy, and encourage humor. And I think I have to force myself to spend some quiet time alone to figure out what the next right thing is for me.
I do believe this is going to be a defining moment for many of us. A time when we figure out important things. Whether it’s something we learn about ourselves, or our communities, or how we’re supposed to actually serve the Universe. You know – the small stuff.
I’m trying to balance being gentle with myself because, you know, once in a lifetime world event and all, with pushing myself to find out what I’m supposed to do next. Some days that may literally be not eating half a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, and some days that might mean two hours of writing mixed with some meditation, reading, and a three mile run. It’s going to be a day-to-day thing, I’m quite certain.
One day at a time, friends. Keep your head up and spend a little quiet time alone. We will figure this out and, hopefully, come out on the other side knowing ourselves just a little bit better.