For months we’ve anticipated re-entry. That is, getting back to normal life. We think we know what to expect.
Seeing family and friends. Parties. Kids back in school. Eating in a restaurant. Breathing in public without a mask. Maybe, even, shaking someone’s hand.
In the beginning we thought by summer. Then fall. Then we had hope for 2021.
And now we’ve got a vaccine.
AND reports of a new strain.
What we expect keeps changing. That’s because we don’t control the circumstances.
So, if we want our expectations met, we must base them on what we control.
When I ask high achieving women their biggest concern about re-entry, they tell me this: “I don’t want to get back on the wheel.” I resonate so deeply with that. Simultaneously I wonder if it’s possible.
Of course, it is. But what kind of person do I need to be to make that happen? Will I make the hard choices?
Is keeping my commitments to myself and my well-being worth the discomfort of disappointing other people?
Am I willing to make the tradeoffs necessary to make ME a priority? Are you?
Right now, our experience is tinged with what we’re missing out on (e.g., in person connection) and what we feel we have to do (e.g., keep kids engaged in online school while also working 40+ hours).
But the time will come when the familiar threatens to pull us back into over-doing. Over-committing. Over-booking. Which means WE have to be different to make meaningful change.
Ask these three questions:
- What am I learning about myself during this time? “Good” or “bad,” isn’t relevant. Did you learn that you’re more of a homebody than you thought? That you love the gym way more than you realized? That you use food to procrastinate? Everything we’re willing to learn can move us in a positive direction.
- What will I incorporate into what’s next? There may be aspects of life during the pandemic that you’ve welcomed. For example, I think of all the people I know who have taken this time to de-clutter and minimize their possessions. It will take intentionality to keep these pieces integrated into your life as circumstances change.
- No matter what, am I willing to make myself a priority? This question is ALWAYS relevant. Some of you decided in 2020 that it was time to invest in your health and well-being. Others of you were challenged with exercise and found yourselves in the pantry a little too often, and you want to change that. It takes re-committing to yourself regularly when life is coming at you fast.
We don’t know what to expect of the world, the virus, or the realities dictated to us by others, near and far. Plus, when we have expectations, we’re usually disappointed.
What do we control? We control our thoughts about all the things. We control our response to all the things. That’s it.
And that’s A LOT.