What to do when you can't make plans
Very little has been going as planned this year - even my writing!
I needed a bit longer of a break than I realized at first. After a restorative week away with family in northern Ontario, I came back to the inevitable post cottage let down. I found myself floundering last week. I decided to do what I would tell you to do. Listen to yourself and trust that the necessary things will get done. Getting a newsletter out, while important, could wait.
I've been thinking about all the projects I'm working on like podcast episodes, Instagram posts, newsletters and my book proposal. I’ve been thinking about exactly what I want to accomplish with my time. Like everyone else who made plans or set goals for 2020 I had no idea that things would change so much.
Do you remember back in February when the news of the coronavirus first started appearing consistently in our newsfeeds? It seems like such a long time ago we were deciding whether or not to follow through with our March travels. And then a few weeks later everything started shutting down for a two week ‘flatten the curve’ initiative. We’ve come a long way from those days! I just heard from someone they won't be back in the office until Spring 2021.
Planning and goal setting work best when life is stable and predictable. Life is not stable or predictable right now. So how do you make plans when things are uncertain, unpredictable and chaotic?
It may be tempting to throw your arms up in the air and resign yourself to another six months of Netflix and Hagen-Daz. It’s hard to look forward when you don’t know what the future will be like.
I think the solution is to set metrics based on your valuesa and how you want to live your life.
You also need a learning community. Everyone intent on making changes or getting through this crisis in a healthy way needs to have people around them that are working towards the same goal. You can't do it alone. I think one of the hardest aspects of pandemic life has been the isolation we feel.
I've learned the value of having an online community. I started a Zoom discussion group 18 months ago. We began with a book on Celtic spirituality and looked at one chapter a month. By the end of the book, we had really connected and decided to keep going. During the pandemic, we started meeting more frequently. It probably took us about six calls before we really started to bond but now I consider these women friends and I know at some point we will meet in person.