Every day we have the opportunity to redefine ourselves, I have been knowing this for a while and I do work daily on positive personal development. Practicing awareness with our surroundings as well as internally allows us to detect parts of our daily thoughts and beliefs that interfere with the goal of just “being a better person”.
During my interaction with friends and family for the last three months, it has come very clear how differently people are reacting to these challenging times as we try to consolidate the external worldwide chaos with our neurotic, monotonous, boring, and scary household life.
Some friends and family will clearly state out the commitment to take this mandatory “time-off” to re-evaluate themselves, take the time to look inward, to take upon projects and goals unfinished and get them done. From improving our communication (and patience) with our children to becoming a better baker or to read more books or simply cleaning that forgotten drawer you’ve been avoiding for years…
I personally found myself on this side of the balance, especially at the beginning (yes nothing remain the same after three months of constant uncertainty and immobilization). As soon as I realized that the kids were not going back to school and as we followed the stay-at-home orders, I sprung into thinking how I can use this time positively. I soon became discouraged as my work from home completely consumed my day due to the lack of “fast and easy technology set-up” I had in my office. That combined with two school-aged children doing all their school work at home and having to feed the family three times a day plus snacks did not help.
So I slowed down the list of goals for self-improvement, embraced my new days as they came, and put my mind into making my husband happy, my kids smarter, my boss content, and my parents relaxed. I did learned how to sew masks, I did continue with my never-ending life coaching learning, I did become a better baker (thanks to the Great British Bake-Off), I did continue to exercise as I would normally do and improved by nutritional intake, however, there where other items I have yet to complete, and I simply don’t care.
As the days (and weeks) progressed I saw how my friends and family switch from being positive and getting personal goals set up to straight up complaining about why now we are in this frenzy of improving ourselves… like one friend said: “I have enough not to lose my mind thanks to the extra anxiety I have with kids, and unemployment, and not getting out of the house, and making and remaking budgets, I don’t need the pressure of redefining myself so at the end of this ordeal I come out a better person which of course includes for some weird reason being on a better physical shape too. Idon’t want to be a better person, I just want to survive this in one piece”. I deeply sympathize with this feeling, and I do get it, however, it was hard not to hear the fear speaking out, the solid acceptance that we are in a deep hole, that all is dark, that is hard and difficult, that the way out looks impossibly far away.
Although I do understand the refusal to take this moment to look inward, when outward is going ballistics, it’s for that same reason that we should take time to analyze ourselves, our feelings, and our thoughts. Perhaps not with the purpose of redefining ourselves, but surely with the goal of finding our center, our own personal stability, our balance, and our hope.