I have a friend, a public health nurse, who used to work with new parents. She would hand out advice on what to do, but it wasn’t until she had her own babies, that she realized how out of line her suggestions were. She wanted to go back and apologize to all those new mothers.
And that’s kind of what I want to do too. The first week of this social isolation, I was like the energizer bunny, full of adrenaline and pumping out articles, even finishing a book.
I was full of what I could achieve in this newly-found time. I was advocating for, what Aisha Ahmad called “productivity porn” in her recent article. Sign right up and do this, do that, were my suggestions. This is your time to learn a new skill. All I can say – “Mea culpa.”
By week two I had toned down a bit as the reality started to sink in and I realized this wasn’t going to be the action-packed two weeks in which I whittled through my to-do list. No – way better to pace myself for the long haul.
The basement can wait.
Week three – saw me reading and finishing a book – albeit a romantic novel. Haven’t done that in years, not my usual genre in reading material. Now is not the time to revisit War and Peace. As I talked to friends, I found I was not alone. It’s hard to concentrate.
I’ve learned in asking around most of us are feeling anxious. Not sure what the future holds or what will befall our businesses. Will they survive? And if not, what will we do? These are some of the dark questions we ask ourselves.
Certainly giving thought to how you could pivot your offerings to meet the new future is worth giving some time, but not all of it. Otherwise, you could find yourself totally consumed by it all and worrying about the worst.
It’s about making a mental shift to realizing our new world will be different. Nothing will stay the same, including ourselves. We will have changed from this experience, hopefully discovering our empathy and lighter side, the side where we slow down and feel gratitude for what we do have – friends, family and our health.
It is why I have been on a mission to sprinkle some humour on the situation, posting cartoons and jokes daily on social media. It seems to be working and now friends are delighting in sending me their favourite ones. Mind you if this keeps going until June, I will be hard-pressed to keep it up. No pressure.
Just like starting our businesses, getting to the finish line is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to bolster our strengths with exercise, healthy eating and a positive mindset. When we go with the flow, we are more open to the opportunities that may arise, and ever the optimistic, I believe they will. We just have to pay attention.
And when we are more accepting of what the future could hold, we are more ready to face it head on.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.