By Haley Kennedy, Recovery Coach – 3.12.2021 —
March 10th marked one calendar year since Governor Baker declared a state of emergency to respond to Covid19 in Massachusetts. Wow. Can you believe that an entire year has passed, because I certainly can’t..
A year of uncertainty, worry and fear. A year of isolation and waiting. A year of emotional discomfort and exhaustion. A year of cancelling plans and staying home. A year of learning how to slow down. A year to take a deep breath. A year of fewer expectations. A year to remind ourselves what is really important. A year that opened my eyes. A year of learning that was undoubtedly significant and surprisingly special.
Looking back, it feels like the time passed so quickly, but I vividly remember that when we were in the thick of it, time seemed to stand still.
It was a year of constant chaos due to losing routines, that constantly tested my patience and left me feeling alone AND crammed together in the same moment. A year of learning how to let go of my expectations, change my priorities, and realize it is okay sometimes to just get by. Many of us were given a speed course on balance; a new role of full-time teacher/personal chef/housekeeper/master zoomer was forced into the “normal” life of a full-time employee, boy and dog mom, recovering addict and significant other. Living a “groundhogs’ day” left me so physically and emotionally exhausted that there was absolutely no way I was going to get through it… With white knuckles I held on and struggled through every. single. day. because someone was going to wave their magic wand and life was going to “go back to normal.” After countless, and I seriously mean countless, sleepless nights spent alone, on my couch, obsessing over what I had zero control over and allowing dread to breed panic and misery, I gave myself a choice… Continue on as I am and likely suffer a serious mental breakdown or USE the tools/skills recovery has afforded me to take my life back! When life gives you lemons right?
And here we are! This trying time has proved that we are far more capable and resilient than we ever thought!
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
So, I stopped thinking that my glass was half empty or half full and became grateful for the fact that I had a glass. And when my gratitude returned, I didn’t exclude the challenges… Because at the end of the day, those are opportunities to learn and grow and are exactly what has gotten me to where I am today. What I have learned about myself, others and my perspective this year is truly IMMEASURABLE.
When this all started, I was a rigid uptight perfectionist who equated her value with productivity. I just went through the motions of life and failed at being present. I believed the years of work I had done on myself meant I couldn’t possibly need to ask for help (boy was I wrong!).
Through it all, I learned that growth is a process not a destination; to embrace change and go with the flow; to compare less and create more; that sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together; to celebrate strengths and acknowledge flaws; that I was given the chance to get to know myself again; to look at life through a different lens; that the time with my son was an absolute gift, even when we were tired of each other; that I am only human, and it is okay to ask for help; that I am more of an introvert than I thought; how to sit with self again; to truly believe that we have nothing to prove to others; to take advantage of every opportunity; and that life is what we make of it.
There is a quote that’s commonly thrown around and this unforgettable moment in time taught me to respect it on a whole new level… “Life is too short. Time is fast. There is no replay, no rewind. So, enjoy every moment while it lasts.” So many moments, so many things, happen within a calendar year, and when life is turned upside down, it’s easy to revert to auto pilot… So, pay close attention to the little things and try your best to enjoy them, because one day you might look back and realize they were the big things.