By Michael Baughman
Life in the slow lane
We’re entering month three of lock-down, or at least some of us are. I’ve been working from my home office (a.k.a., my bedroom) for the past couple months. I could lie and say how wonderful this experience has been. Spending more time with family and having much less on my calendar are certainly some positives from the pandemic life, but the trade-offs have been difficult at times.
There are some simple things about my old life that I miss, such as: bathing regularly, having to be at my office by a certain time, only eating at mealtimes and of course seeing my friends, family, colleagues and clients face-to-face. Zoom, while efficient, is certainly not the ideal way to build relationships. It’s much easier to be distracted than when I’m with someone face-to-face. It’s also much easier to read the room when you are actually in the room.
It’s challenging being hunkered down with three young kids at home, isolated from our friends and extended family and the occasional babysitter! I realize we are the lucky ones. I still have my great job. We are healthy and have beautiful hiking trails and biking routes right our front door. There is so much to be thankful for. But it’s challenging to juggle work, family and personal health.
All of us are facing our own challenges as we try to balance living while staying healthy. Just going to get pizza at a local restaurant feels like we are suiting up for chemical warfare. I now look at everyone as though they are a carrier of Corona Virus, which is not a healthy way to maintain or build new relationships.
So, I’ve been spending a lot of time in my bedroom. There is only so much naval-gazing I can do before I start to get antsy. I’m an extrovert, I like being with other people. I love reading a room and being in a real conversation with someone. I love the deep connection I have with clients and friends which were established by face-to-face interactions and shared experiences. I miss going to The Bottle on a Friday night. I miss listening to and playing live music. I miss watching my daughter ride horses and my son play soccer.
I miss people.
However, it’s not all bad. There is plenty about my old life that I don’t miss. I don’t miss being over-scheduled and over-committed. I don’t miss running from one thing to the next. I don’t miss feeling rushed or stressed to get out the door. I don’t miss going through life like a robot from one commitment to the next.
I recently asked a few clients what they value in their own lives and what will they do differently going forward when we get passed the Corona Virus. The answers I got back were consistent:
Spend more time with those people and passions that you truly cherish.
Life is not measured by your busy-ness, it’s measured by your kindness.
So, I have two questions for you:
1. What have you discovered lately that you really value?
2. Based on this realization, what will you do differently going forward as a result?
I’d love to hear your answers, so if you’re willing to share please email them to me at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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