“Have we tried unplugging 2020, waiting 10 seconds and plugging it back in?” This meme nailed it! I mean, we can all relate to this quote considering all the losses and tragedies, thus far, in 2020. To top it off, social distancing and being told to stay home, brought our lives to a standstill and challenged us in ways, we never thought was possible.
For the first few weeks of the lockdown, I was convinced that I was the sole player in an intense, yet never ending, game of dodgeball. Each ball being thrown at me represented work, family, emotional breakdowns and of course loved ones, who needed support. At some points of this game, I felt like I was dodging 3 or 4 balls at once. Some knocked me down, others I dodged and a few I manage to catch.
Around the end of week 3, the game finally ended, only because I was done with trying so hard to “keep it together”. At this point, I had found some comfort in simply solving everyone’s issues.
Many of us habitually shoulder the burden of others, solve their problems and provide them support. We get so caught up in being the strength for someone else and simply let our own emotions, fears and struggles go, until we are no longer able to cope. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just a self defense mechanism that helps us cope with our own struggles.
I realized this in week 4, when e-learning began in my house. Monday morning came and everyone was busy in their own spaces working away. I didn’t have problems to fix or boredom to cure and I was so lost. Day 2 and 3 were pretty much the same for me. Despite the daily walks, meditation or locking myself in a room, I just felt overwhelmed and my emotions were getting the best of me. I think the hardest part was knowing all the things I needed to do, but not being able to focus on any one thing.
I bet that sounds familiar to you doesn’t it? I found comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. There are many of us on auto pilot mode being the backbone of everyone else’s endeavours.
I have no idea what the new normal will look like but I do know most of us will ramp up our businesses and work-life, simply because we have to. Academics and young minds will throw themselves into their education and try to make up for the lost time. Somehow everyone will try to regain what they feel they have lost.
However, what I have come to realize is that a 24 hour day doesn’t pass by as quickly as I always thought it to be. In fact most days, it was filled with what I chose to consume myself with. As we enter the umpteenth week of this pandemic, I know that along with my daily work and family routines, I can focus on many things which include my sleep, health and “me time”, whether through exercise, meditation or just reading something, because I want to.
Some days may get more of one vs the other, but it is up to me to remain committed to making time for things that are important to my well being, consistently.
Waiting for the day where we can resume our “normal” work and social life, feels like waiting for new years day. In fact, for me, it will be the first day of a renewed year and my resolution is to be consistent with the committment to looking after myself, while continuing to being the support system for others.
So in the spirit of this feeling, “Happy Renewed Year”. What’s your resolution?