The last day I worked from anywhere other than my home was March 13th. And, like many, I’ve been living life in a holding pattern ever since… for 63 days. Save the hours I am committed to be online working for my corporate clients and the SheHive, I’ve been staying up late, napping when I want, eating whatever I want whenever I want, shopping on Amazon to pass the time when I’m not binge-watching everything on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon combined, and showering about every third day (if my husband is lucky).
And it’s been working. I’ve been staying calm - haven’t freaked out on any large measure. There’s no dark cloud following me around. I’m not bored in the least. I’m happy working about half of what I normally work because there’s no more commute, or interruptions, and the work is simply limited. I walk the dogs once in a while, clean my house daily so it’s comfy and spend a lot of couch time with the Mister watching TV.
I’ve been ignoring many of my regular obligations, because… Coronavirus. I shouldn’t have to sucky stuff when the world is blowing up around me, right? So I promise myself that I’ll get to paying the bills, working out, washing my hair, or doing the laundry when everything is back to “normal.”
This is normal now
And then, about two weeks ago, it finally hit me… this IS “normal” now.
There will, likely, never be another time in my life that the threat of a virus wiping out the human race is no longer a reality. And the protocols and work-arounds we are instituting right now aren’t just temporary - they are likely going to be a part of life going forward.
Was “normal” working?
When we all began to Shelter in Place, the “experts” suggested that we stick to normal daily routines to maintain our sanity. Do your hair, get dressed for work, go to bed at your regular time, etc., etc. But what if the experts had it wrong? Instead of sticking to old routines, maybe this is a time to figure out what “normal” really needs to be for us?
Because, upon reflection, I don’t think my old “normal” was completely awesome - working myself to the bone to get a “leg up” on the competition, with little time left over to connect with loved ones and zero time left over to care for myself.
The old normal had a lot of rules attached to it that have turned out to be utter bullshit.
The new normal will be whatever we normalize.
So I made a decision… this is life now, so I better get back to living it. I enrolled in yoga classes, took a shower, ate a few vegetables, paid the bills and ordered a good chair for my home office because my butt is going to be see a lot more of it, I presume.
Minus the constant fear of death and donning the equivalent of a Hazmat suit to grocery shop, I quite like the new life.
I like that the whole family gathers on Zoom on Sunday night to catch up now. I like spending more time with the Mister. I like cooking at home (well, I like eating what the Mister is cooking at home). I like having pets and kids on video meetings, and napping on my lunch hour, and keeping my house really tidy, and only working in my home office so there is a separation of work and rest, and seeing into my clients personal spaces online, and not having to have a full face of makeup on and my hair done daily. I like taking more time to rest and relax. I like that I can “go to” yoga by flipping on the computer.
I really, really like not wearing a bra every day.
And when we’re all free to leave the house, I don’t want any of this to end. I want my new normal to be more self-care and more time with loved ones and less work.
The new normal is going to be whatever it is we normalize. What do you want to normalize? I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email or leave a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adam, MSPOD
P.S. Looking for some help in establishing your new normal? I’m facilitating a personal retrospective in SheHive LIVE next week to reflect on what has - and hasn’t - worked while sheltering in place.
SheHive LIVE is our new, members-only Facebook group. It’s a mix of networking, weekly classes and live and pre-recorded programming. Kind of like SheHive TV. Join me over there for a one-time fee of $25. Or, if you need a little help right now, request one of the SheHive LIVE scholarships being gifted to the SheHive by Sonya Mastick of Rise Above the Din Social Media Marketing.