One of my favorite things in life is a road trip with the Mister. I love discovering new things – new landscapes, new people, new cultures. I love the freedom of being temporarily off the grid and not beholden to strings of urgent emails and phone calls. I love the “just two of us time” – being the center of each other’s universe for a thousand miles.
Being sheltered in place for most of this past year, we’ve had lots of “us” time and the rate of emails and urgent phone calls has drastically slowed. It’s been pretty nice. Still, I’m really starting to miss new “stuff.” I miss the feel of sticky leather dinettes in funky little roadside diners, the smell of mossy hiking trails, and the feeling of the sun and breeze on my skin while lying on a beach I’ve never been to before.
I miss the amazement when the landscape turns from red rocks to sand to mountains to ocean in the span of a day.
My brain is hungry for discovery
It’s starved for stimulation. It’s so undernourished that this last week it started to shut down. On Saturday I laid down for a nap that lasted until Monday morning. Still, I was exhausted when the alarm went off Monday morning.
I spent most of Monday just numbly going through the motions.
Monday evening, desperate to pull myself out of the funk, I scanned my mental toolkit for any tip or trick that could help. I pulled out a new habit tracker I bought last week and wrote my core values on the front page. I wasn’t sure why I started there until I saw them written down… Curiosity was the first value to make the page.
In pre-pandemic days, curiosity looked like deep, intense conversations with friends, and professional development with hoity academics. Mostly, however, it looked like travel. All things which I have been sincerely lacking this last year. It’s no wonder I crashed… I’ve been living outside of what I most value for so long that I just couldn’t fake it anymore.
I forgot to pivot
Well, maybe “forgot” is the wrong word… because I’ve never lived through a pandemic before, so I don’t exactly have a guidebook. So, I didn’t so much “forget” to pivot as the realization finally hit me – I needed to pivot. I needed to figure out how to be curious when my normal go-to practices aren’t readily available to me.
I did a quick brainstorm and landed on four little ways I can get Curious right now within the boundaries of my current “normal.” Nothing too big… the last thing I need right now is to set myself up for failure and dive into a shame spiral.
I’m only on day two of my new habits, but I feel so much better already.
Does the pandemic have you living outside of your value system? I mean, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing ever if it did.
What might you do to pivot? I’d love to hear how are going to, or have, taken back some control. Shoot me an email or drop a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD