Release the Future
Another week navigated in the pandemic. The news keeps coming in. The numbers keep going up. It’s more than just a bit overwhelming.
Alongside that, perhaps well-intentioned, has been a tsunami of opinions and articles about being uber productive and excelling (like learning a new language) during this enforced and extended “sick day” in which we find ourselves. More pressure to paddle through and it’s not helpful.
My video check-ins have now been refocused to address the continued challenge of maintaining our balancing act through this pandemic, but not add to the tsunami. To share one simple thing each week that I am using to help me manage my mental health in my solitary isolation.
This week, I want to talk about releasing the future.
My background is communications, public relations and marketing. Project management, with its lingo of “deliverables,” “goals,” and “frameworks,” is my professional oxygen. I have, off and on, for many years maintained a planning wall in my home to help juggle the multiple demands of my “day job” and my writing career, along with my personal life.
This past week, I went down to the 2020 planning wall and took every sticky note off. Then I left them in a pile on my dining room table and went to bed, sleeping soundly with a substantial release of pressure.
In our current lockdown, I am not writing my book (too hard to concentrate on big, lengthy things) and am unable to figure out the book launch sequence in the fall because we don’t know what the future is—and won’t for some time.
Trying to manage the future right now is trying to manage the unmanageable. We need to just let it go for now.
It does not resonate in our ordinary lives, the ones we have stepped out of. Fast-paced and overworked, we lived lives like circus performers just to keep up. That skill has no meaning right now, and it adds to the anxiety and tension of the current days.
Release the future. Just for now. It is not in our hands.
Embrace the present by dialling down your expectations. I took the pile of sticky notes and sorted them into two: the unmanageable future and the manageable present (for me, the next two months in terms of what I do have control over). Each week, I now take one or two sticky notes from my present pile and work on them over the days—when I can.
If I can’t, I don’t.
This is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Never run one myself but I know it’s all about pacing. So pace yourself.
As you are being kind to others during this unprecedented situation, remember to be kind to yourself. If all you can do on one given day is make breakfast and then sit out back in the sun with a second mug of tea, then do it. That’s absolutely okay.
It’s all about balance and maintaining our mental health.
If you are on Facebook, you can see the full video here:
Talk next week,