This morning, we’re traveling in time, starting with a flashback. Six months ago, November 2019: you’re stuck in insane morning traffic, with a full workday ahead, and facing more traffic on your way home. All of this adds to your stress and to feeling your life is out of control. You’re dreaming of a distant future when you could work from home, instead of being stuck in traffic, then in a cubicle, surrounded by people who distract and interrupt you and have nothing better to do than checking on you when you should be working on the next deadline. You’re dreaming that working from home, you’d have more time for yourself, more time to be with family, less pressure, less distractions, and it’d feel wonderful. Sigh. If only.
Fast forward to today, May 2020. You are home, pandemic times. Everything you dreamed of back in November? It’s right here, right now. Maybe not exactly in the right quantity, but this is what you had prayed for. Except it no longer feels as wonderful. You have no control over how long it might last, no real space to work; and you feel overwhelmed by solitude – or by your kids, So now, what will you do with this time at home?
Fast forward again, to May 2021. You have fond memories of those months, just a year ago, when you were at home. Of yes, there were adjustments, but you could feel yourself learning new ways of being and living. They were good days, and after all is settled? Way too few.
In moments like this pandemic time, it’d be so easy to wonder why this is happening. There is no good reason, it simply is our reality -for now. And we can either accept it, have a deep appreciation that we are alive and safe and deal with this new reality, celebrating unexpected opportunities and making the best of it; or we can feel helpless, complaining that life is unfair, and wish things would go back to “normal”.
I’m not saying that you are not going through a lot of unexpected change and wanting to minimize the challenges. But we choose how we perceive this situation, and this powerfully colours our emotions, attitudes and beliefs. We choose to take control over what we can, and do what we can to make it easier.
So here are a few questions to help you step up to yourself and your family, to take charge and improve what you can. Write each question down, and brainstorm a few ideas.
- What can I do today to make my day a little better, hopeful or easier?
- What do I need to stop doing to make today better?
- How can I celebrate these unexpected moments and make this time at home an opportunity to be enjoyed and remembered?
Sometimes, the best ideas and memories come from having to change plans and open up to letting inspiration flow in. That’s what resilience is about – not about coping, but about committing to thrive in the real life circumstances we’ve been given. Enjoy.