It was Tuesday, March 16, 2020 at around 7:30PM that I left my home here in NYC. I packed enough clothing to get me through 10 days, my computer, and my house plants.
There's no need to reiterate that it's been quite a year - unlike any other. Brimming with pain and struggle for so many; but also presenting important moments of joy and new discoveries brightening the edges.
Today as I sit here, there is real reason to have hope, and the light at the end of this tunnel is shining brighter every moment. All of us, collectively, walking toward it. It's an incredible time to live through, and I'm overwhelmingly grateful to have lived through it.
As we approach this light and run back to our lives, the instinct will be to just get out of this time and place; move on and put it all behind us. I hear that. But. It is in this very moment in time that we would all benefit from pausing and evaluating before moving forward, and so I'd like to encourage you to do that now. (I'll add that this pause is very useful any time which is right before a big thing happens).
So how should we approach it, and how should we be using this time now to prepare and squeeze everything we can out it, before it's gone? I'll offer a few thoughts.
First, we can approach this time as a valuable last moment to pause and be with yourself. Soon, when the world is more open, it may be more difficult to find quiet and peace and to really spend the time alone with yourself to sit and work through your feelings. If there are things you've been avoiding thinking about or working through - I encourage you to do that now, because you may not get another opportunity like this.
Second, put yourself a few weeks on the other side of the world being open again. Life is so busy. People are going every which way, catching up and working and traveling. It'll be a new kind of joyful exhaustion. Ask yourself, are there things that are still on your list to do or work through that you haven't gotten to yet? Are there things you can move forward? Are there things you will want to have done as you look back? If so, reinvigorate yourself and get to it!
We are in a unique moment of time - the in-between. We're inching closer to getting out of it, but we're not there yet. This moment gives us the rare opportunity to be safely present and mindfully approach the coming days.
So yes, even though it's the 52nd time you've had Sunday dinner with the same people, or by yourself; even though it's the 365th day you've put on a mask to go outside; even though it's the 12th month that you've had a zoom meeting - cherish it. Because it won't last and when it goes, the beautiful pieces of it may go with it, if you don't preserve it.
Simply, what I'm saying is that we are in a really beautiful time, this in-between. It's the moment before we all step out again on the stage of life and it's a really important time. It's an opportunity to get right with our selves and our life, so that when we step back, we are doing so in the best possible way. If we want to do that, the time to work on it is now. So be mindful and aware of each day. Keep on striving and making goals. Keep on being grateful for the unique moments of this time that you may not get back again.
Though I fully recognize that it's hard - appreciate what you can about this time and savor the good things. I promise you won't regret it.