The past two weeks were difficult.
It was like being in a fog – one friend described it as feeling really ‘flat’ and that is a perfect description.
Over the years of being self employed, I’ve gone through various states of motivation, de-motivation and everything in between but they were always caused internally. This flatness I’ve felt over the past two weeks was something else, caused by an external, intangible and imminent threat. It was a weariness and wariness that consumed huge sections of my unconsciousness. I didn’t realise I was so pre-occupied until I suddenly arrived at the end of yet another week with little tangible work completed.
The threat was not just the virus, but the ripple effects of it. In a very real sense, it threatens my beloved mother who is going through chemotherapy and now has to go through that journey without our hugs and kisses. It threatens my 9 month old daughter, even though I know the young are far less effected – there are always outliers and she is the center of our world. I miss the bear hugs with my nieces, nephews and siblings and I haven’t even met my gorgeous new nephew in Dublin yet.
It has changed the way my community interact, going food shopping now requires battle field preparations. I understand why, but every-time someone walks off the footpath and arc’s out around me on the street I ache for the easy smiles and close proximity of others.
Outside of the physical distance, work is like walking a tightrope. I want to help as many people as I can but at the same time, I need to keep my ever so imminent bills paid. For the first few weeks, clients paused, projects disappeared yet I was busier than ever just reacting to cries for help. I began to fear for viability as payments dried up, I considered government supports but for the self employed – that means effectively shutting down our business. I’ve worked too long and hard to get here and I have incredible clients who rely on me to keep them going too. I held my nerve determined that once the dust settles and potential clients finally get through the Government support red tape to access support, work would start to flow again.
So much of what I achieved over these last two weeks is establishing a new ‘normal’ in my little world. I was hard on myself by the end of last week but having taken the weekend to catchup with overdue work and review, I’ve emerged just a little more resilient. Work has started to flow again, I am back in my productive development schedule and thankfully so far, the physical threat of the virus has stayed away from our door.
Life is smaller and more insular right now, with little travel or movement on the horizon. We might all be in the slow lane but this limited lifestyle change has been mind-blowingly fast so we need to be kinder to ourselves as we adjust and evolve to deal with it.
Much love to you – you are doing an amazing job 😎
You the nail on the head. We all have to adjust our expectations of ourselves and others. There are a lot of subtle changes even though many of us are used to working at home there are differences. Managing interruptions and maintianing motivation is a key issue. Some days re beter than others!
In the words of some inspirational quote ” Keep on Keeping On!”
Absolutely Mark – and every day we show up at our desks and get going again despite the chaos outside the ‘office door’ – we are winning! I’ve had some very interesting Zoom calls lately while Ruby has a meltdown in the next room (with Phil of course – not on her own :-D!)