We humans, are all creatures of habit, and yet the last few years has messed with a bunch of our habits. Activities like going to the movies, or out for a meal with friends went away. No going to the library. No visiting the zoo. No in-person visits with doctors. Zoom calls which were great in some ways by keeping information flowing for business, became quite awkward when it came to showing I could do the suggested postures in my desk area for my Physical Therapist!
My time was spent mostly reading and watching TV. I have averaged several books a week. Somehow the idea of doing creative things just never worked out. I was frankly depressed and freaked out for most of the time. Covid, Fires, Politics, Ice Storms, People Dying, Mass Shootings — all that piled up to the point where when I wasn’t anxious… I was numb. The everyday problems that come up in life seemed much harder to cope with.
I’m doing much better now. Fully vaccinated, the sun is out, and I had 5 (yep, five) live lunch dates with real people in restaurants in three weeks! Wow!
The interesting thing is that I actually don’t want my life to go back to where it was before the Pandemic, etc. I’m choosing to go forward and build new dreams for my life. Going forward I want to apply some of the things I learned during all that isolation. See, for most of the time it was me and the cat. Although she can be vocal that doesn’t mean we can actually converse. Without daily human interaction, I had the space and time to really reflect on how my life was, is, and I would like it to be.
It’s like that old line about “You can’t go home again”…because what was home has changed. Instead of trying to recreate how it was, we need to find the value in how it is now. In 2019 I went back to Wyoming to visit my cousins who live in the house my great-great-grandparents built in 1900, after having settled there in 1882. I had spent many summers there as a child with my Grandmother, Cup Cake. Of course, some things were the same — the wallpaper in the guest room comes to mind. And yet many things had changed both in the house and the town. I had the idea in my head that this would be a ‘farewell visit’ — That I would be saying ‘good-bye’ to all that had been. Instead, I found that I actually liked many of the changes. They made things more livable. There is a Walmart, Home Depot, Albertson’s, Ace Hardware, and a Japanese Restaurant! The best improvement yet, the landline at the house is no longer on a party line!
Change can be good! Especially when we choose what we want to change. That’s where drawing the line comes in. What do you want to be different as you come back to the hustle and bustle of life? I want to honor myself by being careful and protective of my time and energy. For me, the “Build an Empire” stage of life is in the past. Helping people and making a difference through my coaching practice, has been satisfying and I will continue to do it. However, I’m less intrigued with the pushing to find more clients part of business, and I never liked ‘networking‘ so that there is a line drawn for me. I’m enjoying the semi-retired phase that I’m in. There is a money piece to that. I have fewer clients and make less cash. At this point in my life, that’s just fine with me. The line may be a bit wavy, but it’s there!
I’m noticing that many people are wanting to make different choices around their work. That working from home thing isn’t all bad. I think with miss a bunch of opportunities to actually create connections by not being in person. Less time driving, and getting dressed may be worth it?
I’ve drawn some personal lines too. Ones about who I want to hang out with, and who I want to let go of. I just don’t seem to have the energy or enthusiasm for those that I don’t ‘click’ with. When I was trying to build my business I was more willing to spend time with people I had little in common with. I would pretzel myself to continue the connection. My guess is that you might have done something like that in your life too? It takes a bunch of energy and patience and seems silly to me now. There are plenty of folks who I can click with, and plenty of people that I don’t have a great time with! If you’d like to make a similar change, my suggestion is that you don’t actually have to tell the person you don’t want to ‘play‘ with them anymore. Just be less available, and let them naturally drift. They aren’t wrong or bad, they just aren’t your ‘cuppa tea.’
Where are you in your life? What line or lines would you like to draw? What areas are working for you? Where would you like to make some changes? Give it some thought. It’s a perfect time for you to consider your options, and make some choices.
Shell Tain, The Untangler