I slept an hour later today. And felt a familiar anxiety as I awoke. When suddenly a 4-letter word popped into my head.
Probably not the word you’re thinking. The word was STOP
Stop trying to keep things normal.
Stop trying to work a full day.
Stop expecting that your kids can be kept busy, or don’t need your attention.
Stop hoping to get momentum when everything is slowing down.
Stop pushing a square peg, into a round hole.
There are so many other 4-letter words that occur to me right now. Good words. Slow. Rest. Play. Time. Talk. Pray. Ease. Home.
And there is another 4-letter word, work. It’s time we stop, recognize and re-evaluate what it means to “work” right now. Things aren’t ‘business as usual’. This isn’t the grind to which we’ve become so fully accustomed – even slaves to following. I wrote an article in 2015 titled “Stop Checking Your Email”. It was good then, and perhaps even more relevant today. But the most remarkable part is the start of the article, where I note my wish that the whole world would just stop. Stop and let everyone catch their breath. Where we are not working to keep up with, or ahead of, our competitors. Not rushing to keep our kids involved in a bunch of activities.
One might reference the importance of my ‘being careful what you wish for’…but, I am looking at the positives. There is a real gift in having more time, even when it isn’t on your own terms.
Here’s what I propose we START doing with our TIME:
Start making time for loved ones. Facetime, call, or should they live with you, give them your full attention.
Start giving yourself time to rest. Breathe. Stretch.
Start a new routine that requires time or energy you don’t normally have. Perhaps working out (from home), reading more, cooking healthy, gardening, learning a new language.
Start taking time to think about what matters to you, personally and professionally.
Start thinking of how you can be the person you most want to be…now and in the future.
The hamster wheel has stopped. You don’t have to run so fast. You’ve likely never had a better opportunity to take inventory of your life. Embrace this chance to determine how you want to live and spend your time; to examine what you truly want to accomplish; and to devise a plan for getting what you want (to give or receive) out of life.