You Don’t Have to Justify Your Response to This Crisis to Anyone
Let’s set the tone first, shall we? Before you read on, please watch this charming Instagram post for an instant mood boost.
Now that you’re back, here we go!
I wake up, fired up, motivated, and crush it. I have a zillion Zoom calls and do what I can do every day to make the world a better place. I make all the kid’s meals as healthy as possible, work out with the family, walk the dog, schedule time to see sunrises and sunsets, and check on friends, family, colleagues, and clients. There are a lot of haters out there actively despising the fixers. Toxic Positivity is a term that has entered the mainstream.
Some people hide under the covers when the world gets crazy; I suddenly tackle everything on my to-do-list with a vengeance — to each their own.
I coach all day, on business, life, motherhood, and happiness, in between homeschooling and face masks. Not because I’m trying to prove something, but because under stress, I like to see tangible evidence of progress and achievement. I prefer to inspire others and stay in motion. I also drink half a bottle of red a couple (or few) nights a week, but that’s the beauty of being an adult; we can find our path forward, and we don’t have to justify it to anyone.
Many of you are getting heady about this quarantine stuff, and I have to admit, I am right there with you. It’s almost like a game. How many hours do we devote to online grocery shopping vs. Zoom or doomsday scrolling? Which stores have what we need in stock, what’s next to sell out, what will we need long-term? Should we order a chest freezer or join a wine club? Yes. When everything seems so uncertain, certainty can be comforting, so yes to everything.
Our mortgage broker was talking to us about his friend. Both were big-time D1 athletes in baseball and football. One was a college quarterback who didn’t play until his senior year of HS. So, if his senior year didn’t happen, he wouldn’t have been recruited to play college ball, which means he wouldn’t have made it to the pros, and then what? His life trajectory would have likely changed. Maybe for the worse.
Many of us feel that urgency and sense of loss, especially for the kids. We are sweating missed connections, missed business opportunities, missed milestones, and missed moments. What are the long-term implications of this experiment?
It’s ok to be curious, but you’ll drive yourself mad if you focus solely on what you are missing. It’s a slippery slope and way beyond our control.
Stay in gratitude as often as possible. After all, to be on-hold is a certain kind of privilege, isn’t it? To be stockpiling and rescheduling vs. starving and canceling? Let’s keep it real for a minute; even if it sucks, it could be a lot worse. It may worsen, but we can’t know, so we have to appreciate what we have.
I have another friend who embarked on a fertility journey about five years ago. She didn’t want to miss her window, and although a guy wasn’t in the picture, she decided to have a baby as a single mom. The last five years have been a dream for her and her little girl. Except in the previous few months, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, laid off due to coronavirus, then a freak 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit near her house.
She’s wondering what it all means. I suggested she stay in the mindset of “this is happening for me,” not “this is happening to me.” Easier said than done, right? She’s feeling vulnerable and open-hearted, and it’s hard. I was feeling protective and angry about her situation when I called my mom, “She has no family to turn to, Mom. WTF? If every family just took care of each other, it would solve half of the world’s problems. I’ll never understand it.”
“You’re right, honey. Maybe you should write a Medium post about that.” Here it is, Mom. I have the feeling I’ll address it again.
Toxic Positivity vs. Productivity
Right now, no one wants to hear “capitalize on this time by A, B, C” or “now is the perfect opportunity to X, Y, Z.”
I don’t blame you, but I see the opportunity in this, and Netflix and a bag of chips, isn’t it. The chance to love on your family a little more is right in front of you. The opportunity to re-evaluate what’s working in your life or not and decide what you want and move towards it is here. It’s the perfect time to press reset and consider your family’s consumption, habits, and mindset and ask, “is it still working or are we on cruise control?”
At home with three kids, two jobs, and a dog is hard. It’s hard for the obvious reasons and because, like many families, we are typically on the go. Experiences are our splurges, and not having a trip on the books is unnerving. But, it also gives us time to ask important questions and be still. So that’s where we are, balancing what we have with what we must postpone, contemplating “life in the meantime.”
I posted our family’s Big Three goals on FB today (1-sunrises, 2-sunsets, 3-dog walks), and what I didn’t say that we also are drinking too much wine, contemplating “corona cuts” (buzz cut for the boys), and yelling more often. That’s implied, isn’t it? Aren’t we all?
Now is a time to be tender-hearted and accept others for who they are and how they’re coping. It’s a time to shelter in place and surrender to your humanity. And, if you are a fixer, like me, you’ve got to stay in motion. You’ve got to help and coach and fix and give. Keep making those lists and keep crossing them off! That doesn’t mean you are running from something, avoiding stillness, or faking it. It just means you have your way of dealing with things too.
Keep an eye out for the fixers who are incredibly generous right now given the state of the state. Most areshowing up big time every way they can. I know it’s a meme how many people “found” the IG Live button during this time, but if you’re paying attention, your favorite people are bringing you pure gold. Here’s my high-value free thing if you’re into it.
No pressure, though. I’m not trying to tell you what you need to do, how to show up or motivate you to do anything. All of us are dealing with this in our way.
Unless you are in a dangerous situation, endangering others, or need help, your way is ok even if you want to hide out under the covers or clean out the garage for the fourth time. Whatever works. Don’t run from who you are in trying situations. Feel it, move through it, carry on.
And, if you are half a bottle of red deep, no judgment. If you want to talk, I’m here.