There’s so much to say and digest about the pandemic our world is facing, it’s almost too daunting to put into words.
Livelihoods are being lost, human lives are being lost, and nothing will ever be the same again. It’s a scary, uncertain time, and I firmly believe most of us are doing the best we can in a situation we’ve never experienced before.
That being said, this is also our biggest opportunity for change and growth, and we’d be foolish to waste it.
Our One Shot
Everything in our lives has turned upside down and right side out.
Our busyness, our relationships, our commitments…all those things we have put our energies into have been tumbled out on the ground before us. Everything is on pause.
This goes for those things we value, such as our work and many of our relationships. And this also goes for those things we have held onto out of fear or obligation, including unnecessary commitments and draining relationships.
In my own life, I can see this most clearly in hindsight.
My family of four spent a lot of time running from activity to activity. Most of these things brought real value and joy to our lives, but some did not.
I see this also in those situations I said “yes” to when I should have said “no.” “No” is a complete sentence, where explanations and justifications are never needed, and it’s a sentence I’ve never said nearly enough in my life.
This is an opportunity for change, if only we embrace it.
The Silver Lining
When this uncomfortable season of our lives is over, marketers and advertisers will be vying for our attention once again. Shiny new things to supposedly make our lives better and happier will be thrust in front of us.
People and event coordinators will, again, ask for our time and our money. Draining relationships will request tending to, activities and events will demand whatever we’re willing to give them.
And this is where the silver lining comes in. We get to intentionally choose what we let back into our lives. We are, in a way, starting over, and with that comes a lot of freedom. We just have to recognize and act on it.
This is where the hard questions come in.
What is no longer serving us? What relationship feels harder and more draining than it should? What time commitments are better left on the cutting room floor?
What have you gained over this past month or so that you want to intentionally carry over into the rest of your life?
Have you been able to exercise more? Are you talking more on the phone to friends and family? Have you spent time writing letters or cards? Did you pick back up a favorite, neglected hobby? Have you discovered a new hobby during this time?
It’s a matter of letting go as well as letting in.
Letting go of those relics from the past that are no longer serving us, as well as letting in those new habits currently enriching and adding joy to our lives.
For us, we’re taking a good, hard look at the hobbies and activities we filled our time with. We’re also recognizing which relationships and people we want to be more intentional about in the future, and which we’re finding ourselves happier and lighter without.
It’s about recognizing that we have so much choice in how we spend our time and money, and there’s no one path to a meaningful, fulfilled life (despite what marketers want you to think).
This pandemic has changed virtually every part of our lives, but it doesn’t have to be all negative.
There’s a silver lining here, if only we are determined to make the most of it.