By Linda Fisher Thornton
I have become aware – as I imagine you may have too – that trying to maintain a sense of normalcy isn’t possible right now. I realized today, as I read yet another event cancellation, that I would be better off focusing on all the things that are NOT cancelled.
If I choose to focus on normalcy, I can lament how many events have been cancelled or how many people are socially isolating in my house who hadn’t planned to be at home full time. If I compare what’s happening now to the normal routine, things look pretty bad.
But if I let go of trying to maintain a sense of normalcy and focus on adapting and just doing the best I can under terrible circumstances, here’s what begins to happen:
- I notice that the mock cherry in the front yard is in full bloom
- I am grateful that my next keynote has become a webinar instead of being cancelled
- I enjoy having time to make french toast for dinner, with the whole house smelling of cinnamon
- I enjoy game nights with the whole family at home
Slowing down to appreciate what we do have during the pandemic is hard. If we stop trying to “get things back to normal,” we will be better prepared to adapt to the challenge.
Here’s What Isn’t Cancelled:
I remember when Hurricane Isabel hit us hard in Virginia. Neighbors chatted across fences, and people slowed down to appreciate what they had in spite of the challenge. We were without power for days.
While we are dealing with risks and decisions that we have never faced before in our lifetimes, I still have plenty of things to write in my gratitude journal each night. We have electricity. The weather is improving. In spite of everything, flowers are blooming right on schedule.
The pandemic is a much bigger challenge than Hurricane Isabel and will take much longer to deal with. But there is something we can do. We can take a moment each day to think about the things that really matter – the things that aren’t cancelled.