As we see the glimmers of normalcy returning, I am going to push you to be brutally honest with yourself about what you want your new norm to look like. Are you looking forward to returning to your previous life?
So who is taking care of you? You and only you!
Our focus is your health and well being. I have a simple ask. I want you to find 30 minutes a day for ‘me’ time. Why? Because you are worth it!
When we started this conversation, many of you didn’t even attempt to find 30 minutes because you were ‘too busy’. You sent me snarky texts or messages about why you couldn’t do this.
Well, the universe took care of that problem, didn’t it?
It shut us down and it told us to slow the f#&$ down!
I know that many of you are essential workers and are not home bound. But I want you, too, to look at what you are doing and make sure this is how you want to spend your time.
My journey through this process:
I left my last job in December after spending 15+ years working as the Medical Director at the Gaston County DHHS. I was involved in emergency preparedness planning for things like Ebola and COVID-19. So many hours are spent behind the scenes preparing for events like this. I was determined to find a job at the state level to continue to advocate for women’s health and to improve how public health is delivered. I had not taken a break from work (other than maternity leave) in 30 years so I promised myself that I would take a break for 6 months to decompress.
Then this happened.
I am caught in the middle. On one hand, I cannot help in the clinical setting since I am not part of a medical group right now. I cannot help in the hospital setting since I haven’t worked in a hospital since 2014. I am so happy that I am not in charge right now. Did I just say that out loud? I did sign up to volunteer through several agencies but right now, ob/gyns who only work in clinics are not needed. Dang…
I then look at my peers working at the state level and see that they are going on 50+ days without a day off, except for Easter weekend. I have offered to help them out but no one needs me. Dang….
I have found that I am truly enjoying my down time. I have my days when I am down but I have decided that I am not going to return to my previous normal of working 50+ hours a week. I don’t have to be running full speed with my hair on fire. Working 2-3 days a week is more like it. I think.
What does your journey look like?
Use this time to figure out what that will look like. Do this for you first. Then figure out how to do this and still meet the needs of those who depend on you. Your routine may not change at all but at least go through the exercise this time.
I stalked your social media pages. I see you taking walks. I see you making some amazing meals. I see you playing with your kids. I see you teaching others. I see you working remotely. I see you making TikTok videos. I see you enjoying your newborns. I see you starting new side gigs. I see you making YouTube videos. I see you taking on many new roles as a parent. You all are amazing!
Your kids are surviving without 100 activities. They are surviving without hanging out with their friends 24/7. They are surviving without playing soccer at age 3. And yes, you are surviving as a parent. Could this be your family’s new norm?
Many of you are alone. Many of you have too many people living with you. Your words.
Some of you are employed. Some of you are unemployed. If you are struggling financially, what will your new normal look like so that when an event like this happens again, you will be in control?
Can you live off of less money? Look at all of the things you are not buying right now. Do you have to resume those expenses? Maybe working 3 or 4 days a week is doable.
I can go on and on. Think about it.
What will your new norm look like?