March reflection + intention setting in abnormal times

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“Normal is gone. There will be a new normal. We’ll get there. We’ll get through this. But things will change and that’s going to be okay. Maybe better than okay. Maybe we’ll come out better in the end. But we don’t have to be better now, we don’t have to be better overnight. This isn’t work-from-home. This isn’t your time to shine. This isn’t time to be productive. If you are, embrace it. If you’re not, forgive it. Do what you can do. Be safe.” ~

Things are weird. Nothing about life right now is, in any sense of the word, normal.

March started out normal-ish. In fact, we were just uncovering our new normal as we passed the first-month anniversary of our SF move. True, we were on a little higher alert about what we touched, washing our hands a little more and thinking about canceling our plans to travel to Italy later this year. But, nothing could prepare us for what was in store and the world we would be living in when the month came to a close.

Sure, I’ve been busying myself with classes, playing games, reading and other activities. And, sure, all of those things fill the time, but that doesn’t change our reality. I don’t want to fill the time. I want to live the time.

I am continually grateful that we are the lucky ones — healthy and employed in roles where we can work from home — and I know many have it much worse than we do. But I miss choices and options. I miss the normalcy.

Above all, what I’m missing the most is connection. We were going to host our first houseguests in March. I had wanted to bring my family out to introduce them to our new city. And, if I’m honest, I’m terrified that it’s going to be quite a while before those opportunities become viable again.

There are ways to cope. We’ve been sharing memes and laughing with friends in group texts and family video chats. I’ve made new connections via weekly group video sessions for the course I’m taking, and, of course, I have a wonderful husband and super snuggly pup to be with. And, if coping is all we can do right now, then so be it. But I long for more.

As we say goodbye to March and the beginning of this new normal, it bears to question what does planning for a new month look like? Just like us all, my April plans look a lot different than a typical month — and strays significantly from my original plans. As I write this post, I can’t help mourn the fact that I am supposed to be 3,000 miles from here, writing with Cheryl Strayed.

So, how will I spend April? Much like we spent the latter part of March. Participate in activities I enjoy via the comfort of home. Connect with others in the ways we are able. Help, however we can. Stay active. Use what I have. Practice gratitude. Try to focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t. Dream and make plans for the after. Improvise. Compromise. Cope. Give myself and others more grace during this difficult time.

March highlights
started + completed 3 weeks of career exploration fellowship course
registered for Psychology of Leadership certificate program
read seven books
13 workouts / 39% exercise ring closure / 48% move ring closure
restarted WW
two watercolor creations
discovered Arch Supplies + spent hours exploring + purchased watercolors
seven blog posts
started using DSLR again
20 days of social distancing / quarantine
became a member of the San Francisco Public Library
joined local Community Ambassadors group (work)
explored the sap moon cycle
attended Week of Belonging activities (work)
celebrated National Grammar Day
reschedule a lot of plans/events/trips
accepted that many plans/events wouldn’t take place
finished to-do list for moving (dentist, optometrist, aesthetician)
finished E’s vaccines + prep for daycare
attended work happy hour
savored an extraordinary restaurant experience at Al’s Place
explored the Presidio via a hike
kicked ass at a senior leadership presentation (work)
completed Drawing as Self-Discovery course
rebooked “The Story You Have to Tell” event at Kripalu
completed Everyday Minimalism course
relished in the beauty of the tulip lifecycle
started using Habit app to track gratitude and other items
happened upon an amazing bookstore 
discovered Beside magazine
sipped many cups of Ritual coffee
learned how to play cribbage
participated in the absurdity that is “Tiger King”
continued weekly “three good things” practice + blog post

April intentions + what I’m looking forward to
read four books
write + post six blog posts
practice coping
complete career exploration fellowship
begin Psychology of Leadership certificate program
participate in 30 days of haiku challenge
continue experimenting with watercolors
complete four fun online classes (e.g., photography,
study for drivers test
celebrate three years of knowing my husband
connect with Denver friends + celebrate via virtual baby shower
daily outdoor time
80% exercise ring closure for month + on-plan for WW
make a plan to complete remaining 40 by 40 activities
continue moon tracking + intention setting (Lunarly)
quarterly wheel of life
anniversary planning

A few favorite resources for this time
That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief
Some Good News with John Krasinski
Action for Happiness
It’s Okay that You’re Not Okay
Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams
Half Baked Harvest recipes
Brene Brown

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