Every single one of my blog posts this year has started with an acknowledgment that 2020 has been a hard year. Regardless of our individual circumstances or the relativity of our suffering, this year has challenged us all.
Personally, there have been moments when it’s all felt unbearable, and there have been just as many moments when I’ve secretly relished the divine solitude.
Making the Most of the Pandemic
Early on, the mandates of the pandemic aligned perfectly with both my personal and professional goals, so I decided to make the most of every opportunity.
Kids are learning remotely and families need more tutoring? Amazing. I’ll accept more students.
Families are really struggling with remote learning? I’ll create and sell a course that gives families tips for navigating this difficult time.
I have to conduct all of my student sessions remotely? That’s perfect. I’ll save so much time not commuting that I will finally write a book.
Student loans are being deferred until further notice? Fantastic. I’ll hire a book coach with that money so that I can write the aforementioned book.
The government will give me a little extra money because businesses are hurting? That’s wonderful. I can finally hire someone to help me with marketing so that I can help keep others afloat.
My gym is offering online classes now because we can’t go to the gym? I couldn’t have planned it better. Now, I’ll strength train every day at my own convenience. And I’ll train for a marathon too, just for good measure.
Hitting the Wall
This was how it was from March until October.
At first it was exciting and exhilarating, but it soon became a slog. I was overwhelmed and exhausted, not to mention jealous of everyone who was baking, doing puzzles, and watching Netflix.
By the time I ran the marathon in October, The Remote School Survival Guide was posted, and I had finished the first draft of the book.
But once I crossed that finish line, literally and figuratively, I was DONE. I had officially run out of gas, and now, I had to slow down and recalibrate.
For two weeks, I did the bare minimum. When I wasn’t seeing clients, I laid on the couch, read, slept, and went for nice walks or slow, leisurely jogs. I didn’t do a single thing to sell my course or revise my book. I just couldn’t.
During this time, I looked at my foundational habits, and I discovered that I’d let some important things go. So I started meditating again, and I revamped my high-carb marathon diet to something a little more balanced.
Through self-care practices like journaling and meditating, I remembered that peace and contentment are more important to me than achievement even though I easily default into being “busy” when I get stressed or overwhelmed.
With this refocused intention, I have settled over the last couple of months, and by letting go of some of the larger ambitions that were driving me in the early days of the pandemic, I have found more peace than I have ever had.
I am truly grateful to be learning this lesson, though I have kicked and screamed every step of the way.
Lessons from the Pandemic
We all have seasons of our lives. Sometimes we are productive, and sometimes we must rest and restore ourselves.
Achievement is great, but it is not the only thing, and when we lose ourselves in the hustle, we diminish ourselves and the unique gifts that we have to offer the world.
As a coach, I often default to pushing myself to learn and grow and to be my best self. I encourage the same in my clients.
That’s ok. In fact, I’m proud of that. There is certainly a time and a place for that, but it is not the only thing.
This pandemic has taught me that there is also a time and a place for rest, recuperation, and self-care. The latter is not as celebrated or valued in our society, but it is equally important.
Sometimes, when things get hard and you’re holding on for dear life, the best thing you can do is just let go. Because sometimes, good enough really is good enough.
And when this pandemic is over, I hope that I will remember that.