It has been an interesting couple of months. April and May were filled with a bunch of opportunities to meet people in person and lots of events have returned with a swell of excited attendees. All of this is such a positive sign about how we are moving forward from the influence of the past two years.
As I’ve been talking with clients, colleagues, friends, and family I’m seeing a trend. We are returning to our tendencies of busy, busy, busy. We are trying to make up for what some would say is lost time. We aren't picking up in May of 2022. We are celebrating all the occasions that we couldn’t and taking trips that had been postponed since March of 2020 and the sooner the better! Could there also be a heightened awareness of the fragility of life that is showing up as unconscious pressure to do more now instead of waiting?waiting?aiting?iting?ting?ing?ng?g??very invitation. I remember thinking about this potential impact for parents. I asked friends who were parents of school-aged children if their kids would go back to the hyper-scheduled weekdays once the pandemic subsided. (I may not have used the words "hyper-scheduled" because that could be construed as a judgment.) Most of the parents, said yes. clients,
So here we are. Many of us have survived the past two years and the challenges that it has brought and continues to bring. We’re attempting to return to “normal.” My current contemplation is centered around these questions:
What did we learn over the past two years that will help us continue to be who we want to be as we move forward?
What does a “normal” life look like now?
How would returning to a “normal” state of life serve you and I? (normal in this question is in reference to life pre-pandemic)
As I’ve been talking with colleagues, friends, and family I’m seeing a trend. We are returning to our tendencies of busy, busy, busy. We are trying to make up for what some would say is lost time. We aren't picking up in May of 2022. We are celebrating ALL of the occasions that we couldn’t and taking trips that had been postponed since March of 2020 and the sooner the better! Could there also be a heightened awareness of the fragility of life that is showing up as unconscious pressure to do more now instead of waiting?
While being uncomfortable with the overwhelm, I’ve really started to pay attention to two areas as I move forward. The first is my boundaries. We talk about this a lot in financial coaching, especially when it comes to spending and saving. What the past two years gave me was an opportunity to strengthen my muscle of saying, “no” to invitations or things that I didn’t think would bring me joy. I continue to learn that I don’t want to do everything and sometimes I need to say that out loud for my own wellbeing.
Secondly, my worth and value as a professional woman and wife has nothing to do with my productivity or busy-ness. Scheduling networking or social events every weeknight does not serve me well overall. It’s not that I don’t want to see people or go to events, but I don’t have to do or go to ALL of them! Shockingly simple, right? My life coach recommended the book Laziness Does Not Exist written by Devon Price, PhD. Devon calls out the laziness lie. Devon addresses how we are conditioned to believe that what we produce (do) is directly tied to our personal value. My take-away…take care of me. Sometimes that means taking an unapologetic nap. Sometimes it means asking for specific things like alone or unscheduled time.
Admittedly the idea of self-care was one of many takeaways in 2012 when I completed Leadership Spokane. It was a similar take-away from 2018 when I completed Gonzaga University’s Women in Leadership Certificate program. And yet, here I am…4-10 years later, still trying to take better care of myself without shame or guilt. The awareness around the laziness lie is also helping me with this practice.
I challenge you to spend some reflective time thinking about the questions above and what you do to take care of yourself. If you need some cost-effective suggestions, let me know! Here's one of my favorite daily practices...