It’s been an exceptionally unusual few months to say the very least. Within days, Americans went from commuting to inner city 9 to 5s and after-hours lavish happy hours to commuting to the living room and hoarding every roll of toilet paper within a 20 mile radius. Overnight parents added “Homeschool Teacher” to their resumes and millions applied for unemployment due to uncontrollable job losses. Use of the term “new normal” is becoming obnoxiously routine and a crude reminder that things really are upside down right now.
This is weird, it’s different, it’s scary and there is so much that is unknown at this point.
In order to combat the panic and keep myself from spiraling into a nervous breakdown, I realized there has to be something I can learn here. If there’s anything life has taught me so far it’s that there is a lesson in each and every part of our lives. Each day brings at least one lesson. All you have to is show up and be willing to listen. So far, I’ve gotten an ivy league education with a concentration in life.
Looking out at the world, I find it so interesting how things that once were crucially important such as paying your bills and mortgage on time, travel, who has the best pictures on instagram, filling your calendar with events actually hold no value. Everyday is new, which is fun in a weird way.
I have two children, 9 months and almost 3. Patience and calm are two concepts I always thought I understood. Well, they proved me wrong. They both have actually exceeded my expectations of patience. While working from home I am sincerely impressed by my almost 3 year old’s ability to entertain herself. It’s as if she knows when I’m busy and that when I am done we will play. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of zoom meetings where the video is off, sound muted. For the majority, she has done a great job. This taught me to be more patient and “go with the flow”. I didn’t know it, but I really needed that.
For the past month, I have been repeating to myself ” Slow down in order to speed up”. “Do less and attract more”. All Gabby Bernstein’s best mantras. Some days I feel like I just cannot physically slow my body and mind at the same time. However, when I do, it’s wonderful. Having to prioritize work and fit it into my children’s schedule has shown me how to be more efficient. Like I said, there is so much out of our control right now. Rushing, worrying, and over doing are just signs I’m trying to control an outcome. I’ve decided to take full advantage of the slower paced life and sit down when I can. Like really sit. Mediation and reading are my nightly routine. My schedule doesn’t always work out, but this has helped me become more flexible as well.
There is so much happening in the world right now. People are loosing jobs, and bending over backwards just to get food on the table. I am beyond grateful for my job and my husbands, but I have recently learned to see a bigger picture. We base everything around our jobs. This often includes one’s identity, schedules, vacations, kids, doctors appointments, dinner times, daily routines, and sometimes personal well being. When the pandemic hit it was relieving to see big companies suspending payments and the government lending help. It was bazaar to think “So a week a go you would have a bad credit score and endless creditors searching for you if a bill goes past due, but now they have the heart to forget it all?” I hope we all can hold on to the vision of what really matters after all of this.
Each day has its trials and tribulations. Working from home and staying home is different for many of us. Being away from family and scared to hug loved ones is just unnatural. Instead of continuing to focus on all I can’t do right now, I shifted my focus to what I can do and turned on my gratitude lenses. Every evening I write down or go through what I am grateful for. Recently, when I’ve found myself in a funk or negative spiral I talk myself out of it by listing what I’m grateful for. It looks like this, ” Wait a minute Cara, this is your ego talking! Turn it around.” It has been extremely helpful. Doing things that bring me joy or I’d be to busy to do has become a regular ritual. Even if it’s small, doing an activity like exercise, writing, giving to others, making a dream board, coloring, etc. brings in great joy and those feel good feelings.
One day this will be a memory. Until then, we can all stay as positive as possible spreading love and joy one person at a time. We got this!