One time when I was dating my husband, we were driving to run an errand and got rear-ended pretty badly. When that happened, everything went into slow motion. Has that ever happened to you? It wasn’t until a good five seconds later, I shouted, “Oh My God!”. It literally took me some time to figure out that we’d just been in a car accident and we were fine. My hubs still reminds me of this and tells me I often react this way to things in life. I feel like this is how I’m dealing with Covid-19.
When we got the Shelter in Place order, I was like, “Ok, got it. We’ll be home from school for a few weeks, but I’m also home from work. We’ll make this work. We’ll figure it out. Here are some non-Pinterest worthy charts we can use to keep us semi-scheduled (and semi-sane). Have a great day.” We took family walks in the evenings. Work was crazy, but we’d been through crises before. I could handle it. Part of me even liked the fact that we could slow down for a minute, on the home front at least. That first weekend, I felt grateful we didn’t have to go to numerous activities and be separated as a family. We took a hike on our own time. We rented a movie. We leisurely went through the day. I honestly don’t remember the last time we were able to do that. It was…nice. And, really, this was all temporary, right? So, I looked at the positive and enjoyed it. I’m kind of an introvert, so being at home with my favorite people didn’t feel like a situation I necessarily disliked.
We’re now on week six of the new normal. It’s been six weeks and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m really getting it. I’m finally having my, “Oh My God” moment. I texted my friend tonight and wrote, “Hey girl-how are you? I’m losing my fucking shit. Love you.” It’s hit me. And I’m not saying I haven’t had bad days until now. I have. But I think the permanence of this has truly set in, and now-NOW, it is really time to start taking some new action.
A few things have caused me to start making some new choices here. It’s funny how you come across things sometimes just at the right time. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been pretty lax on my personal email lately. Like, I’ve got thousands of unread messages that I’m too lazy to delete and too uninterested to read. Today, I opened up one of the daily newsletters I’m signed up for. It spoke to me personally. It said, “Marisa-stop looking at the pandemic as a short-term situation. Think about it more long-term and make decisions with that in mind.” Interesting perspective. But, one I needed to read and I’m now implementing. I don’t know about you, but before this pandemic, I had some pretty good habits I was following in my daily life—habits that made me feel good, made me look good, made me more productive, made me happy. When I went into crisis mode, I dropped a lot of those habits. And, I kept telling myself I’d pick them back up just as soon as things got back to normal. Well, this newsletter made me question, “What if this is the new normal?” I don’t want to eat sugar every night and wake up groggy. I don’t want to wear clothes I don’t really like every day. I don’t want to not wear make-up and not do my hair. I don’t want to forgo exercising or calling a friend or having pedicured toes because I’m in denial that this may very well last a lot fucking longer than we all think. And most importantly, (and this one’s really gotten me in a bit of a funk lately), I don’t want to give up on my 2020 goals because some fucking virus unexpectedly showed up.
The truth is, because I tend to react late to the game, I’ve been finding it hard to muster up the motivation to get back to my regularly motivated self. I am seeing lots of incredible entrepreneurs out there pivoting their businesses to make it work during this new normal: photographers who can no longer go out on shoots selling silhouette art and jewelry with images on them, fitness instructors doing virtual classes, art studios creating at-home weekly art projects for kids doing home school. I’ve applauded these efforts, even supported many by purchasing their new products and services. So, why-WHY, when I thought of my business, was I so unmotivated and let the Covid beast make me believe all my 2020 dreams and goals would have to wait?
I needed to go back to my own words—words I wrote about last year and need to remind even myself of now. You are worthy. And even more importantly: it’s ok to feel low and unmotivated sometimes, but then you got to get your ass back on the horse and move on. For me, getting back on and realizing I needed to accept this situation and get back to what was important to me took a little longer than most, but I’m happy to say, I’m finally, FINALLY there.
Here are some baby steps I’m taking. I hope these encourage you to do the same.
-I painted my toes tonight. And they’re my favorite color too: PINK.
-I have a meeting next week to discuss a new, collaborative project I plan to launch this year-stay tuned!
-I’m asking for what I want for my birthday this year-even if it’s expensive: a treadmill so I can get my ass training for a half marathon-a goal I set for 2020, exactly 10 years after I ran my first one. Also, I really want to lose the final seven pounds of baby weight that my quarantine eating habits are not helping with.
-I’m writing this tonight instead of watching another terrible show on TV. I thought today about the fact that just in the past week I’ve spent over eight hours watching TV. Eight hours I could have been dedicating to something so much more fulfilling. While I don’t regret learning about the Tiger King, it is now time to move on and get back to business here.
What small change will you make to your new normal? While I sure hope our new normal isn’t this extreme for long, looking at it with a set of permanence has given me the kick in the ass I needed to prioritize the things that matter to me and de-prioritize the things that don’t, even if I am fashionably late to the party.