Balance during a global pandemic. Sounds impossible doesn't it? It doesn't have to be. It certainly may be more challenging than if life was moving along at a normal pace. But what is normal?
Today's world is the new normal. And there are a lot of good things about it. Don't get me wrong. It's been a very difficult transition. But let's look at the positive.
Our planet is doing better. Why do we care? Because we live on it! I know it's hard to think of anything outside our own four walls right now. But the earth is healing. And that's good for us.
There's no pollution. Although we may be facing a disease that harms our lungs, the air is actually cleaner than it was before the pandemic. There are fewer cars being driven emitting less carbon dioxide into the air. There are fewer planes flying. There is an over all shift in travel. This is good for the air we breathe. It also slows down the effects of global warming.
There’s even a bright side to the economic shift. With fewer manufacturing plants in operation, nitrogen dioxide is less profuse. The overall quality of our air is improving.
I'm talking about wild animals here. There's a new freedom for them to come out of hiding. Perhaps populate again more freely. Why is this good for our planet? And why is this good for us? Evolution. The animal kingdom is vital to the balance of humanity. What would it be like if there were no squirrels running up trees, collecting nuts; no birds waking us up with their song; no deer to fawn over; no snakes to make us jump back. It would be a lonely, quiet world.
Our water is purifying! There are less contaminants being drained into our water supply. Fewer boats such as cruise ships make a significant impact. And it’s quieter. The marine life are able to swim about more freely.
Now let’s talk about home life.
Of course there are challenges we are all facing. Like being in the same house 24/7 with the same people. It can be annoying. Maybe a desire to have your own space. But it also offers a new opportunity to reconnect on a deeper more personal level.
The demands of our lives pre-pandemic nearly consumed us. We spent more time in the busyness of our lives versus with family and loved ones. The stress of full-time jobs didn't necessarily give way to quiet attentive time spent at home.
Many of us are now working out of home offices. Our children are being schooled from the home. It's taking us back to a time that was, perhaps more wholesome. When priorities were focused not as much on how much money we earned, rather on how healthy our family was.
This is an opportunity to bring that family bond to the forefront. Whether there are only two of you or ten.
I'm noticing another shift, where adult children are returning home. Again, it offers challenges and gifts. As adults, they may not want to be told what to do. They have developed their own routine or lack thereof. As much as they may challenge us with their independence, they may fall back into a comfortable routine of wanting to be taken care of. It’s a balance we are all teetering on. This new normal.
When the challenges seem overwhelming, consider the gifts.
Career. Work. Business. How’s that going for you?
Anxiety is at its worst in this realm. Business owners are closing shop; laying off good employees; and wondering what's next. Property owners are wondering how their tenants will keep up with rent; banks wondering the same regarding mortgages. The economy is in shambles.
This is ample time to be creative! There's really no choice. Roll up your sleeves, pull up your socks, and come up with a solution.
We are Americans. Born and raised with the motto of freedom and democracy. With that comes responsibility to make things happen. Shake things up!
Entrepreneurs are doing just that. They are scribbling at their desks, erasing and re-creating ideas on their whiteboards. They are brainstorming how to move to the next level in this new seismic shift called the global pandemic.
Take out a piece paper and colored pens if you have them. Draw three columns with the following headings:
Under the first column, jot down anything you notice about mother earth. Are you noticing the trees blossoming? The sweet scent of flowers? The green grass?
At night, can you see the stars more vividly? Hear the croaking of the frogs? Or the chirping of crickets?
Have you noticed more wildlife? Spotted an eagle? Held eye contact with a wandering deer?
Under the second column, write down five things that are annoying you. Let it all out! You're welcome to throw this out afterwards to avoid offending anyone.
Then list five things you're grateful for. For instance, your 26-year-old daughter may have returned home after being away for a year. You may be getting that extra sleep you have been desperate for. You're spending quality time with your partner. Note whatever comes to mind.
Now begin listing all and any of the issues you are facing around career life, work and money. List these until you’ve exhausted the subject. Then begin a new list with everything that’s going right. It may be that you’ve been thinking about switching jobs and now have the perfect excuse. There may be a business Idea you’ve wanted to launch but never had the time. Write down everything that’s going right for you.
In times of transition, stay open to seeing both the gifts and the challenges being offered. Receive the gifts with grace. Tackle the challenges with boldness!
Alana writes her monthly column 'Mind, Body, Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.