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Thursday, October 28, 2021

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I’m So Not Ready For Normal

coffee and cake

I am so tired. It feels like for the past year I’ve been stretching to fill a void that didn’t have an end date. Now that the end date is has materialized, I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything with the past year, and I am simply not ready for reentry.

Anyone else feeling this way?

How can this be?

All the spaces I cleaned out at the start of the pandemic—the spice drawers, the pantry, the storage space—seem exactly as cluttered as they were before I started cleaning a year ago. I proudly shared pictures on Facebook with my friends and arrogantly endorsed using time wisely and making things a little bit better every day. Seems I surged through about November and since then have sort of languished. Now that I’ve got my freedom back, I’ve been visiting and presenting workshops for Girl Smarts and my new boys’ program Character Connectors. I’ve authored a chapter in a book called “Raising the Next Generation of Women Leaders,”  submitted answers for a book chapter someone else is writing about my life and did things with a couple of not-for-profit boards I’m on. When I took a minute to breathe about two weeks ago, I realized I’ve taken on too much now that things are opening. I can no longer fulfill my obligations from my computer in the corner of my living room.

Or maybe I’m angry with myself because I may have squandered my time at home. I am longing for that very slow pace in June of 2020 when I couldn’t believe how much time I had on my hands. Lord knows I didn’t scrapbook like I thought I would. How many times did I look at those piles of photos and think, “If I only had the time,” and now I look at them and think, “You had the time dummy, and look what you didn’t do.”

I don’t know what kept me from doing those things, but I know that while everyone is thrilled at getting back to “normal,” I’m wondering if my extremely extroverted self has been introduced to my pandemic introvert and now kind of likes her a bit more than I realized. Is it bad that the idea of putting on real pants is almost repulsive? I have to go to a doctor’s appointment this week and actually see the doctor. I don’t want someone weighing me, certifying my height, touching me, and telling me I’m too this or don’t have enough of that. People can be really, really irritating.

Many of my friends are feeling the same way.

The reentry to their workplaces, while not unexpected, are having unexpected consequences. Dogs who have had their owners with them for months are now left alone in their houses. Half-started puzzles and organizing projects sit on tables waiting for the next long stretch of time when they become a priority again (hopefully NOT a pandemic). And, we are all relearning to deal with the triggers of our workplaces. We have raised anxieties borne of uncomfortable face-to-face meetings, or stressors that led to overeating, fussing at our children, or reaching for that six o’clock martini.

It is a lot for all of us to handle, and I’m not going to wrap this up in a bow at the end to try and make it seem like it will be okay right away. I am going to try, for myself, to take as much good away from the pandemic as I can; if anything that has caused so much upheaval and devastating loss can have a good side.

I was able to spend more time with my children. I’ve watched their resilience. I’ve seen them face moving from job to job as pandemic impacts have thwarted their positioning and in every case, they’ve come to a much better fitting job in terms of their lives moving forward.

I am going to get back to the business of this blog in a more dedicated fashion. I have lots to share now that I’ve expanded the leadership program I run to include workshops just for boys. I’ll tell you there are a lot of differences I’ve seen already when I’m presenting things to groups of boys and I think those insights will help reinforce or illuminate the way you are working with your children.

Quick note:  With boys, EVERYTHING is a potential irritant to others. If it can be thrown, jabbed, extend the reach of a poke, or make an obnoxious sound, it is a potential irritant to a tablemate.

So, grab a cup of coffee and a slice of something yummy and get ready to read about the things I’m learning and sharing with you. Thanks to the Fredericksburg Parent Family magazine crew for keeping my blog alive. I know I’ve been lax in tending to it.  Thank you to my readers who are interested enough in these posts to return to them and let’s get this party started…or restarted. We’ve got a lot of living to do, and I want to throw open the doors and let the fresh air in.

It’s time.

d

http://girlsmarts.com

https://www.facebook.com/Girlsmartsllc

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