Hard to believe we're already at the end of January 2021, a year we held high with so much hope, space and anticipation wanting things to "get better".
I've been listening to some of my favorite podcasts and authors speak over the last month while escaping for a run or walk with my mask to get out of the house and I loved how Glennon Doyle has described what has happened during this pandemic.
She describes our life before the pandemic as a snow globe. You know the Christmas decorations you pull out and shake and it looks like everything is snowing. Our lives, in a lot of ways, before the pandemic were always shaking, always moving and felt busy all the time.
When March 2020 hit and suddenly we were told to stay home for an indefinite period of time, it seems as though all that snow that was always shaking around us came to a halt. It settled at our feet. We were left looking at ourselves in the mirror, looking at our relationships within our own home. Suddenly we were forced to look our lives in the eye without all the distractions that kept us going in the past.
And I know for me, I have had to face that reality in many ways. So much of the hustle and bustle that kept me going before the pandemic with kids swimming lessons, ladies nights, going out for coffees or working from cafes, going to parks every day, our weekly date nights at restaurants, all the parties we had with friends on the weekends....all of that stopped suddenly and without us deciding to make that happen.
It was decided for us. In a lot of ways, I wonder if I would’ve “stopped” doing all the things had I not been forced to, do you know what I mean?
I don’t know if you feel that way or not.
But as I’ve said before life decisions are made with both your head and your heart. And when we’re constantly moving or busy we don’t always take the time to self-evaluate or check in with ourselves.
So today, I want to encourage you to take the time to check in with yourself.
Checking in with yourself may be asking yourself some questions, in the bonus episode 39 on Embrace la Musica I shared 7 questions that I ask myself on the regular to make sure that I’m doing ok and living a life that I want to pursue. (Here's the PDF if you want it).
But it honestly takes time. And takes intention, which I know it isn't always easy to find the time or take the time to take care of ourselves.
For me, writing things out opens my eyes to things I didn’t even realize I was feeling or going for a long run or walk is a way to process decisions or even feelings.
This past month in January, I’ve been reading a couple books that I highly recommend. One is a re-read for me, but it’s called “Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKoewn. I’ve talked about this before on the podcast and on the blog, but it’s such a good read to get your head in the right space.
It’s taking that concept of asking yourself “what is truly essential?” If you want to pursue something in your life, you can’t pursue everything. I think we often want to try to do it all or be it all for other people, but to truly pursue our goals we can’t say yes to every opportunity.
He says “Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do do. The reality is saying yes to any opportunity by definition requires saying no to several others.”
And in a lot of ways this past year has given us an opportunity to not “do as much” sometimes much to our dislike...when we’ve been told to stay home and places we would normally frequent are closed.
Yet by not doing all those other things we used to fill our time with, what are we choosing to spend our time on now?
I ask myself that question full well knowing that most days it’s a bit of a show around here chasing a preschooler and kindergartner trying to get them on Zoom classes and then constantly worrying about their Netflix consumption while Mommy is on work calls but also not knowing what else to do some days when we don’t have help at home.
In the quiet moments that I intentionally carve out of my day, whether it’s the 5am coffee and writing time or the 7am run or workout I try to squeeze in to honestly save my sanity, I feel so much more clarity.
I remember who I am beyond the roles I play at home these days. I remember what my dreams are and rediscover the purpose of these days.
I know it’s often easier said than done, but I think while the snow has settled at our feet it’s an opportunity for all of us to check in with ourselves. To see what we want and what we’re doing. There’s a quote from Nanea Hoffman that I just adore, she’s the author of coffee and sweatpants and is a writer I admire with her down to earth ability to look at life and what life brings.
But she says,
“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth you're carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There's no time for anything else.” ― Nanea Hoffman
And I think we sometimes need that reminder, almost that permission slip to take care of ourselves. To chase our dreams and to remember this life is all we have. We have the opportunity to say yes and to say no. Those words “Yes” and “no” hold equal weight in the whole scheme of things.
We cannot do it all and that’s perfectly fine, it’s not the point.
Another quote I love comes from Bonnie Ware author of:
The top 5 regrets of the dying:
"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not what others expected of me."
This was the number one regret as relayed by a nurse who took care of dying patients.
And so I guess the whole point of checking in with ourselves to see how we are doing is also to remind ourselves that though these days often feel long, especially during a pandemic and with so many of our former joys or things that made us smile such as mornings out at a cafe with friends or evenings spent laughing around a living room or even just having the company or knowing that there’s more to life outside the 4 walls of our home....whatever it may be for you that has you yearning for pieces of the past while looking with hope to the future.
Being in the moment is valuable, asking ourselves the questions is worth our time.
If you’re looking for encouragement, reach out, I love hearing from any readers of the blog. I’m also part of an incredible community of women from all over the world who are seeking professional and personal growth and checking in with themselves and their dreams every week. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in joining, reach out and let’s chat more!
In the meantime, take the time to figure out who you are, what you want and why....it’s worth taking a moment inside this crazy world where the snow has figuratively settled and figure out, because friend you are worth it and don’t ever doubt that. 💜