"I accept the reality of this situation, but not its permanence." ~Toni Stone
Last week I hit a wall.
For the first part of the Coronovirus Pandemic I had been relatively happy, considering everything.. I had been in awe at the shitshow of world events, but personally not too affected.
The first month I realized the privileged position I was in, to have savings/investments and reliable income. So I freed up some time to help start a homeless advocacy group. I gave away 20 free coaching sessions to entrepreneurs who were struggling.
And I was happy to do it! Giving away time, talents & treasures is part of my ongoing philosophy.
The second month the fact that my husband was not able to work started to take its toll. I still had income and thankfully our savings and investments keep us secure, and we always give 10% of our monthly income away. That hasn't ever stopped.
But nonetheless I started to feel the strain, and total exhaustion from actively "doing" 24-7.
There began to be some drama at my property management job, and cooped up family members started to get on each other's nerves. My work situation continued to deteriorate, as more and more people kept asking me for free information, advice, and help, and I was working around the clock as the primary breadwinner.
I began thinking, this is just a taste of the stress that the average American feels right now. Unemployment is at 25%. Most small business owners have been hit hard. I was insulated from it in the beginning, but I started to feel it.
I felt a loss of purpose, and depression started to creep in. I wondered, "who am I? what am I doing here?" I wondered how many people are asking themselves these questions, especially if they are out of work or their business has been shut down.
I started to feel pretty sad and depressed.
Until I realized the wall wasn't going to disappear.
It was simply there.
What I was doing was not working.
I saw that all my "doing"~giving, serving, acting, organizing, was not getting me happiness or easing my stress.
Something had to give!
I realized I hadn't budgeted in a few weeks. Budgeting is always a grounding activity for me. Back to basics.
(If you want to know how to budget like a single mom, see my previous blog post, PILE UP CASH! OR, If I Could Save $40,000 as a Single Mom, You Can Survive the Coronovirus!)
And as I balanced our budget, I felt lighter and more empowered. "This is like a game!" I thought. Let's see if we can make this puzzle work, make this budget balance.
Once I did the budget I felt freer, and more creative. I started to dive deeper into writing my book, a creative project I had been working on for a few months. I reached out to friends who could help me with it.
I started leaning into more self-care: taking walks, getting chiropractic care, spending quality time with my husband. We started a vegetable garden.
I began to let go.... of the work drama and some coparenting issues I could not control. I began to let go of my desire to have things go back to normal immediately.
In my business I set some boundaries with my clients on how many "freebies" I could give. I offered some affordable ways people can participate with me so that my time is honored.
I feel better now. More in control, but not in control, at the same time.
It helped to admit there was a wall.
Just as there is for many of us~the wall made up of external limitations due to the Coronovirus that are out of our control. The wall of job changes and economic challenge. The wall of physical distance and separation. The wall of stress and strain.
May we all find a way to deal with "the wall" in the way that works for each of us.
For me it has been the Universe's way of telling me "NO."
No to the busy-ness.
No to extraneous "doing".
No to too much giving.
No to trying to fix things that are out of my control.
I am reminded of the serenity prayer used often in recovery work. It seems appropriate for this Coronovirus time:
"God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."
Coach. Teacher. Author. Speaker.