On Monday, my kids went back to school full time. Normal school, or well, as normal as school can be when everyone is still masked up, spaced out and limited interaction with friends.
The day marked nearly a full, exact to the day, year where we have been living with the global pandemic. For those in my house, this year has been hard. Every single aspect of our lives was impacted. We were challenged as parents, as employees, as managers and as spouses. It seems somewhat insane to sit here writing and reflecting that so much as changed in that year.
What I think it important for many of us to reflect on is how the challenges we faced and how we managed through them were not all bad. Yes, things were hard. Yes, am speaking to the circumstances I was must familiar with. I am fully aware that not everyone has come out on the other side of this with positive stories to share. If there is anything we at Growth Dynamics can to help you if you are those individuals, please reach out.
Here are a few of my reflections about what has transpired over the last 12 months:
- Change in your life that you cannot control forces changes in the parts of your life you can control. This seems simple, but sometimes big changes can cause chaos and that chaos can spiral if it is not managed well. I will not say I managed all the change and chaos well. Yet, chaos and change can make you look hard at what is happening in your life and if you want to keep spending time on certain things. Finding value in the chaos and change in your life is something that can help make it easier to process all the change and chaos.
- Asking for help when needed is important. How cliché is this statement? So very cliché. Yet, I probably did not realize this until April of last year. School was a no-go for my kids in the spring. My anxiety spiraled. After encouragement from my husband, I talked to my doctor and found relief with my anxiety through medication. We rallied the troops at the elementary school and pediatrician and had a path forward for the kids. It was not an easy path, but we at least had resources to manage through. I was honest in speaking with my family and we had to decide to do what was best for us and get together after 8 weeks apart. It was all a big help.
- Be ready to do things differently. Maybe this falls into my No. 1 above, but like so many of you reading- Growth Dynamics had to change quick to stay in business. After years of in-person trainings both local and at client sites, it was time to go online. We had one local session in progress when the world shut down. We, like so many, hoped we would be back in person after a few weeks. Our venue, a local university, shut down and there were no options- even still today- to be in person. Our ability to change with the times has allowed for us to find clients we would not have been able to have prior to this year. It will be very interesting to see how the world changes as Covid becomes less of an issue.
- Be forgiving and understanding. This is one that I believe many people though they practiced before the great shutdown. I think I probably believed that too. Yet, I also grew frustrated easily by those who did not respond quickly or maybe worked in a non-professional setting and that impacted our meetings. Not anymore! It is all good now. Dogs barking? Kids popping in? Questionable internet connections? ALL GOOD NOW. I believe I have much more empathy for others after this year.
- Take time for you. Again, another cliché? Yes. Work-life balance is so important for so many areas of your life. How many of you reading found it harder as you started working from home? Now, we are all home with our computers and no commute. Many of us could not go out for lunch or have meetings. Work, work, work, just keep happening. Maybe you even canceled your vacation plans and did not take time off since you couldn’t go anywhere. The burnout was and is real. Take this as your reminder to sit and look at your calendar and block out some time for you. Be sure to do something you enjoy.
Please share your insights after the last year. Are they similar to mine or did you learn other lessons?