We’re another week into this thing and I have some thoughts to share. Maybe some of this will be stuff you can relate to and maybe you’ll find a nugget to help you cope. Or maybe not and you’ll just chalk this up to another rambling (and slightly vulnerable) post. Here’s what’s rolling around in my head:
- I had a session with my Life Coach the other day and it was very helpful. All the stuff I’m committed to doing . . . writing my story, coming up with a program to help women in the workforce, working through the crap from my childhood . . . are sort of on hold as I try to just get through this time that we’re in. So she and I talked about anxiety and how I’m feeling and her suggestion . . . which is really so obvious but I still needed to hear it . . . is to make two lists when I get anxious or overwhelmed. One list is for the things I’m worrying about that I can’t control. And the other is for the things that I can actually do to help me cope.
- This session also illustrated very clearly for me how my response as an adult to a situation that’s out of my control is directly related to the things that happened to me as a child. When my parents split up, when the grownups drank too much, when my mother and stepfather fought and there wasn’t dinner, when all the things that made me feel unsafe happened, my response was to control as much as I possibly could. What I mean is, when things are out of control I feel unsafe so I do my best to keep things in control and safe, not just for me but for the people I love, too. I’d say this is what makes me a good manager, a good wife and mother, and a good friend. It’s also what makes what is happening right now harder for me to deal with.
- On the other hand, I have recognized that even when I think I’m in control of things . . . I’m not. Sure, we make plans to meet friends for dinner or go to a concert or take a vacation (all of those things were on our calendar for April and beyond and they have all been cancelled) but the reality is that it’s all out of my control. Things happen. Plans change. Events get rescheduled. Pretty much every plan we make is ultimately at the whim of the universe. This pandemic is an opportunity to recognize that and accept that and use it as a reminder that all we really have is the present moment.
And that’s where my head is this Thursday. I hope you’re doing well but even more than that, I hope you’re staying home. Really. Just stay home.
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