As I write this short paragraph, it has now been two full months since Belgium went into confinement. The days run into each other. New ways of living have taken on the scent of routines as I stuff my freshly washed mask into my purse next to my wallet and keys. Reading the news is no longer a haphazard event, I now read it as part of my morning routine. As Belgium, and the rest of Europe slowly tries to emerge from stricter confinement measures, we watch the numbers and percentages with batted breath and hope there is no resurgence or, God forbid, spike so we do not need to backtrack and return to lockdown!
On the business side of things, when my dad (my business partner) and I entered confinement and our business, essentially, screeched to a halt, we were propelled into the world of virtual meetings and online learning. Once a distant “futuristic” option that we had been considering and thought we had plenty of time to work on now became a necessity for survival. We started working on it right away and Zoom became our closest ally. Our coaching clients braved the wave with us and all our sessions were moved to the virtual world we now call home. We are grateful for their flexibility. We developed an online seminar which we now have added to our services. The first one we ran counted two participants and their feedback proved invaluable.
We have learned as we went along and, as the weeks and months go by, I am no longer thinking that “This too shall pass!” but rather “This is here to stay!”.
As I reflect on this, I believe it is for the better. We were forced by circumstances to stretch and grow and learn and we have added more ways to connect and learn to our business. I remember the prayer of serenity …
COVID-19, am I right??
When we went into lockdown (#hibernation), I did the typical stuff:
– signed up for a newspaper app so I could follow the evolution of this thing, whatever this thing was…
– watched tutorials on how to use Zoom for family and business calls
– discussed strategies with my business partner on how to keep “doing” our business but differently
– went into “frantic” mode to try to hold on to what I knew and considered normal…
At the beginning of this lockdown back on March 15th, in an effort to keep to my optimistic make-up, I tried to maximize the potential of this unprecedented time. I suppose I believed that I could, somehow, “ride the wave” and come out the other end for the most part unscathed. I still believed, in those first couple weeks of bewilderment, that things would go back to normal. I guess I might not be the only one.
It was not to be the case…
It has now been 6 weeks! And in the last weeks, I have heard a phrase – “the new normal” – mentioned over and over again and I am not sure what it means. I am not sure anyone really knows what it means. Can’t we go back to the way things were?
Can’t we go back to the way things were?
It seems the answer to that question might be a resounding no. And I do see some positive (#optimistic) things have come out of this strange time, but, when reading the news a lot of negative has been experienced also. So how do we move on? Maybe, one way to do that is to take stock of what we learned at this moment in time…
I think the most important thing I have learned is that busy-ness is not the answer. Instead, when after the first two weeks I realized it was going to last a whole lot longer, I decided to take some time for me. I asked myself when was the last time I had truly given myself permission to focus on me… And I couldn’t really remember.
I have made exercise a part of my daily routine. I have enjoyed walks, quick 15-minute workout routines in the safety of my apartment, and creative ways of moving (#sillydancing).
I am taking time to start my time with reflection, meditation, spiritual connection, and quiet.
I am carving out time to get back in touch with my creative side and have pulled out my colored pencils, drawing books, and watercolors from storage.
The business is still very much there but in its rightful place, as a part of my life and less in the driver’s seat.
I don’t claim to have it figured out but I do feel energized, more at peace, and hopeful about what the future holds.