One and a half years into the pandemic and we still aren't out of it! Each time we get close and I think it is over, we have a set back. While I never expected this to last so long (which is kind of funny as who knows how long pandemics are supposed to last?) I am grateful for what I have learned. The number one thing I learned over the past 18 months:
Make your plans and hold them loosely
As I shared in my last blog "Jumping In? Look Before You Leap" it is important to consider a few things as we reenter parts of our lives from before the pandemic. It has been an interesting experience for me, as I decided if/when/how I will travel. If I am willing to meet with people who have chosen not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. If I am ready to go to a college football game.
And in some cases the plans I have made have worked out fine. For example air travel (while not enjoyable with a mask on constantly) turned out to be OK. Still I adjusted by traveling at non-peak times. However, my first outdoor event - a concert at a football stadium, was highly uncomfortable. So I put on a mask and then decided this was my last one for awhile. And what was clear for these examples and many others? I didn't know until I tried. Until I jumped in. And then adjusted. Make educated plans and hold them loosely.
This has been true for my recent workshops as well. They were scheduled to be in person over the summer. The June in-person workshop went well. All participants either wore a mask or were vaccinated or both. And sat six feet apart. While the other workshops were changed from in-person to virtual given company policy adjustments of my client. Make external plans and hold them loosely.
This was also true for the greatest gymnast of all time, who made plans to compete in the July 2021 Olympics but then realized for very good reasons, she needed to opt out (Simone Biles Olympics 2021). What incredible strength and courage.
Make internal plans and hold them loosely.
This learning may not seem revolutionary for you. For me it has been freeing. It allows me to still be responsible for my life, but flexible when the plan needs to change, regardless if the change is driven internally or externally. It also allows me to be more present, focusing on today and what is true for today. And leaving tomorrow to, well, tomorrow.
As we get ready for daylight savings time to end and "fall back," I am also ready to fall forward. And as I Fall forward to what is next, I gladly take with me a major learning from the pandemic: Make my plans and hold them loosely.
I would love to know what is one of yours!