I’m grateful for my life. Truly, I am.
I am still as in love with my husband today as I was 15 years ago when we first met as young college kids (honestly, even more in love). My two sons are amazing and are growing so healthy and strong. I am surrounded by three loving kitties in a safe, happy home. I find fulfillment in my work and love my co-workers and job. My church has given me a strong foundation of faith and a family of friends who I know I can always count on.
And yet I often feel empty or lacking.
Maybe I’m not enough for my family. Maybe I should do more at work. I need to be better at praying and taking time with my faith. I really should have gone for that run yesterday. Why didn’t I answer that text from so-and-so two days ago? They must think me a terrible friend.
I’ve never thought of myself as a pessimist, but this season of life definitely is leaving me in a “glass is half-empty” mindset.
We are living in the middle of a pandemic that completely wiped away what normal is. Then, here in Iowa, we got slammed by a derecho. As if dealing with COVID-19 wasn’t enough, we now had a natural disaster to recover from. My glass seemed to have a leak somewhere and the level was getting lower and lower by the second.
So how do we come back from this mindset? From this utter exhaustion?
I’m not entirely sure. I keep wishing for normalcy, but I am also starting to accept that this is probably the new normal. The masks, the social distancing. This is a new normal. Working 50+ hours a week is now a new normal for me. I’ve been at this for 6 months now, and as much as I can yearn for what used to be, I’m quickly realizing that I need to sit in this moment.
It’s in the small moments that I am finding the leak is slowly being patched on the glass. That drop by drop, my pessimism is turning into optimism. Feeling lonely and lacking can be so disheartening and overwhelming, but choosing to reframe and refocus is what my new normal has become.
Reframe and refocus:
- This time has caused me to slow down. I may be working more, but when I am with my family, the time seems more meaningful and less rushed than it used to. I’m finding that I am more than my work. I’ve found more time to read and do other hobbies that I once thought I was too busy for- in spite of working even more than usual.
- I find myself treasuring my friendships more, even though I may not be the best at expressing that. Despite the distance, the friendships I have are deeper than before. I think the saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” is definitely applicable here.
- Rest is okay. Rest is good. I’ve always been one to judge myself by productivity, but in this case, in this time, productivity is not the answer. It’s not how I should deem my self-worth. I need to care for my mental health and acknowledge that during these trying times, that being still is still being productive and self-care is essential.
This is reframing your mindset. I may still feel overwhelmed, but I’m going to accept that there are many changes and accept that I’m not always going to handle things gracefully- and that is perfectly okay. The important piece is that I continue to grow and evolve.
After all, this is our new normal and I don’t want to survive in it, I want to thrive.
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