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What's stronger?

Hi, my name is JoAnn, and I'm not working much these days. Whew, that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Once upon a time, I would never have uttered those words, even when they felt true. Much less string those words together for public consumption. No way! How could I be so off-brand?? I run my own business, that's not who I am! (read: That's not who I want you to think I am!) There's more transparency and truthfulness around, that's my biggest unexpected pleasure in these Covid times.

I've been self-isolating, along with the rest of the planet lucky enough to do so, for about six weeks now. I charged into this lockdown, vowing to come out stronger than I went in. That vow still stands, but something interesting has happened along the way. My definition of stronger has changed.

In that first week, stronger meant being as productive and positive as possible. I was hyper-productive. I was reacting to the new strange reality. It was as if I had been dropped into the middle of a labyrinth and was single-mindedly focused on moving quickly to the exit. By that first weekend, I was bloody exhausted and had no idea where the exit was. So I stopped. I exhaled and realized that sprinting through Covid wasn't viable.

Each passing week has been different for me. Instead of endless pivoting and pondering how my business will survive in Covid, I've decided to use this time-out to think more and do less. To read more and watch less TV. To observe more so I can better process the lessons from this unique situation. I've shifted from short-term trying to survive to long-term trying to thrive.

One week I decided to back burner VATE and front burner my family. Like flip the switch 100%. What a luxury! When last did I do that I wondered. It was not without its moments of anxiety. At times, I felt unproductive and irresponsible. I decided to finally assemble a photo book from 2011 till now. I laughed out loud a lot while sifting through thousands of photos and the odd video clip. Here's a beauty that I came across.

Isn't the labyrinth a marvel from a distance?

What's my definition of stronger now? To emerge from Covid with new insights, practices and habits that will serve me personally and professionally, long after this quarantine is a thing of the past. What about you? What's stronger for you?


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