We are all a little bit “not ok”. And that’s ok.
Even the strongest among us are cracking. It’s to be expected really.
When this first started in March we conditioned ourselves to believe that this was going to be a phase we only had to endure for a short period of time. That several weeks were required to flatten the curve. And then….
It’s not that the information we have all come to deeply understand wasn’t available to us. The information that this could drag on for a year or more….
It’s that none of us wanted to hear it. We were stocking up on toilet paper, feeling cute in sweats, monitoring case counts, ICU admissions and death counts.
For many the crush and devastation came early in the process. Restaurants, gyms, travel and their employees got pounded. Businesses lost, dreams died and a reliance on government funds by people who never imagined it would come to this.
For many professionals and desk jockeys though things just petered along. Different. Zoom calls. Grilled cheese lunches in the kitchen. And we were able to construct a narrative around the “everything is FINE, this is just the new normal”.
Well “f” that. This is not the new normal. It’s the middle point of a global pandemic.
The world will not be like this forever.
It never is.
History might not repeat itself but it does rhyme.
As we now retreat back indoors (especially back up here in Canada) and stare into a winter devoid of the usual Holiday Season extravaganzas there is a deep sense of worry. I feel it. And I know my friends and family are feeling it too. The cracks are showing and folks who thought they were impervious to the impacts of this pandemic are realizing that their increased irritation with their kids, their mid life crisis, their inability to focus, their loathing of their partner, their house, their job, their friends….is all pretty normal right now actually. We all want this to be over.
I have found myself deep into conversations with a lot of people who are staring into the void and wondering what now? This is the place I have come to on this and this is the advice I have found my dispensing more than a few times:
Accept that there are limits and that we are all living with them. There isn’t a magic place where everything is ok right now.
Think of this winter as a period of hibernation and preparation.
What do you want to accomplish next year and the year after?
What will it take to do that?
Is there a course you want to take? Sign up online.
Is there a fitness goal you have in mind? Build a mechanism for you to be able to accomplish it in your home. (If Linda Hamilton can get ripped in a jail cell, you can do a few squats and push ups beside your bed.)
Learn to meditate.
Learn to dance.
Dig into your work. Hard.
Write the book. Paint. Draw. Create.
Lay the groundwork. Survive. Be kind to yourself and others. Don’t expect perfection. Make a plan. Set some goals.
But with the understanding that you aren’t doing these things as a distraction from the pain and discomfort of now - but that it is in preparation for things to come.
Because when this thing breaks there is going to be a party of all parties. The world can still be your oyster but it's giving you time to get ready.
(And, yes our pants still feel like sweats so dig in.:)