Are You Really Standing Still?

Ink on Watercolor Paper – Words: Chinese Proverb

After these last few months of social distancing it can feel like life is standing still. It may feel that way yet in reality we are all growing a great deal simply in ways we did not expect. Some things are slowly starting back and others are still on hold. The real questions I talk about with people are about what will things be like once we are back to normal?

First of all most people I speak with realize there will be a new “normal”. The life we all lived before COVID-19 has changed forever. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. People are spending more time with family and realizing how much they enjoy the people they love. Dinner time has come back into fashion and being together over a meal is where real conversations happen. Kids are spending time with parents no each other and activities have become a part of life not the entire focus of life.

Secondly, people have gone back to the basics of what they need versus what they want. Less eating out, less social spending, less luxuries that became the normal that we have since learned we can live without. And less need to dress for others as we are dressing for comfort and utility. All this means most people have more money in their pockets and have learned that the things they thought they had to have or do to enjoy life have become not as important.

And finally, the big questions are around what will our new “normal” look like? Will we quickly go back to our old scheduling and spending habits? Will we again take our loved ones for granted, or will we reflect on the benefits of these months and adjust our new life to highlight the better parts of ourselves that we have rediscovered? These are the questions each of us will need to answer and then implement as time marches forward.

In my opinion, this is all really great learning and reflection. It may feel like we are standing still yet we are simply growing slowly. Sort of like trees that add a ring of life each year, some years produce larger change than others. Most of us won’t notice the changes this period has allowed us to make until we look back years later and appreciate the smarter, wiser more compassionate version of ourselves that we have become.

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