We’ve been in a Pandemic Hibernation for a month or so with another couple of weeks on the docket. Even as we return to life as we knew it, it won’t be life as we knew it.
A New Normal.
We won’t be able to do things as we’ve always done them. We won’t necessarily be the same people we were going into all of this.
I have friends who have lost friends. A friend who lost a parent. Their New Normal kind of stinks.
But there is also an opportunity and, for the brave, adventure in this new normal. Traversing uncharted territories. Blowing up the old ways of doing things because we can’t do them as we did anymore.
Getting rid of the “because we’ve always done it this way.” explanation of how and why we do what we do.
Re-thinking. Re-imagining. A whole new world.
This adventure could be our greatest adventure. We just have to start exploring. No map. No gear. Just time. And don’t we all have an abundance of that right now?
Not having a structure for my workday has been a little disconcerting. I like order. I’m not the free spirit I tend to like to believe I am.
But I am a life-long learner and being home with few demands on my time and an understanding school administration (because, let’s face it, being a stay at home librarian is not really a thing) has allowed me to take professional development classes to help me better teach and take care of my students when we get back to school. I’m not sure I would have had these opportunities otherwise.
My adventure? Changing the way I teach.
And after teaching? I’ve started to think about what I can do after I retire. Create or work for a foundation that focuses on educational equity? Own an old-timey seaside motel? Expand on what I do with Happy Fix? All adventuresome and all possibilities.
Self-Care? Now is a great time to think about what you need. Because we can’t take care of the people we love when we are in a deficit of self-care.
How do you like to exercise? What foods make you feel like Wonderwoman or Superman? How do you like to connect with others? On the phone, zoom or any of the many forms of mail we currently have? And gratitude. Even with everything going on, it is more important than ever to look for things that bring us joy and that we can be grateful for.
As a friend reminded me last week. we are all in different places in this pandemic. I live at home with my husband and two dogs. I’ve got quiet. I’ve got time. Maybe that’s not your situation.
If it’s not, I would argue that it’s almost more important that you intentionally set aside time for you. Take a few minutes to plan your adventure. To think about how you want to be and do things once this is over. And I promise it will be over.
There are few times in life when we are forced to pause. But if we do it right, we can use that pause to our advantage. To our benefit. To our exploration and to plan our next great adventure.
And maybe to find out that the things that make you, you are not just okay. They are great. Go ahead, get in touch with your roots, and plan your next great adventure. It’s out there just waiting to be discovered.