Whoa did 2020 take a major detour!! When my full time job halted production and we were sent home, I thought GREAT! I will be able to really focus on my photography business and become the entrepreneur badass I know I can be if I just had more time.
Pffft – I spent the first two weeks enjoying being able to relax and do whatever I wanted when I so chose. And then weeks kept moving on and I wasn’t feeling inspired or motivated.
I had always told myself I would be on top of my business game if only I had more time. And now here was all the time in the world and I just wasn’t feeling it. And I’ve beaten myself up about it the whole time.
But you know what? Life is damn hard. And some times you aren’t going to measure up to your own “standards”.
So, here’s what I learned during self-isolation.
1. SHIT HAPPENS
Yep. Shit happens. Life hits hard and you aren’t always going to be the best version of yourself. But the one thing you can do in these times, make choices. Simple yet so fucking stressful.
At the end of each day, I would look back and either berate myself for not doing anything all day or I could list the accomplishments I did make. I might have watched an entire season of a tv show on Netflix, but I also did a load of laundry and a load of dishes. I was eating from home daily – which was something I rarely did before. I was saving money by the buttload.
I cannot say I was a fountain of positivity or that it’s the way to be. I can however say that every day I chose to look at the accomplishments versus looking at all the things I wasn’t doing I did better the next day. And I hope I can keep that mentality going after isolation is over.
2. REACH OUT
I am not so much a social butterfly. I’ve gotten comfortable doing things solo, so being in self-isolation wasn’t such a hard change. What was difficult, was not having the choice to go out and see friends and family. But what I did find was the community I was a part of were all working together to keep each other company. I was talking to people I was just Facebook friends with, on a more real level. I was video chatting with friends even without my hair being washed because life happens, and we were all going through something unprecedented in our lives. Reaching out to people used to give me anxiety – was I being needy or annoying? Do they even want to hear from me? And now, I reach out because we all need human connection. Maybe they aren’t in a place they want to communicate right now… but at least I let them know I was thinking of them. I reach out because isolation is fucking lonely and worse than anxiety.
3. ENJOY LIFE
How many times did I wonder what I would do if I had more time? Isn’t that what we all wondered day in day out, before?
Sitting on the front porch isn’t the same as it was before. Before it was just something to do when the dog was running around. I sit on the porch now and listen to the wind and the birds.
While I am not feeling like I am accomplishing all my goals for “If I had more time”, I feel like I am able to recognize the life and choices I am leading. That being groomed all the time and being busy isn’t everything in life. That some days I look like a bum but feel more accomplished than any other day because of where I am putting my focus.
I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. I usually try to learn quickly in order to implement the knowledge into my life. I learned to build a better website – so I immediately began tearing my old one down. I get a little a head of myself from time to time when I feel inspired, and nothing inspires me like learning something new. When I learn a new editing technique I begin re-editing EVERYTHING… it’s kinda a problem.
But then I have a goal and feel like ANYTHING is possible. Which is all I really need to feel like life isn’t just passing by.
Just enjoy it. Enjoy sleeping in. Not having to jump out of bed and rush somewhere. Take a nap during the day. Create an easy routine to get ready for bed when you are tired. Without a defined schedule to force me to go to bed when I am not tired or keep me awake way past when I am, I finally got to enjoy sleep in a whole new way.
Overall, when life came to a halt, I wanted to be the person I always said I would be if I just had enough time. Instead I embraced the person I have been while learning to build on her to become the person I want to be. Becoming this amazing person isn’t happening overnight (or over a month in isolation) and self-love is such an odd thing. It’s all about doing what’s good for you. Going for a walk, sleeping in, reading a good book, washing your face, or even binge watching the whole Netflix catalog.
Quarantine was a reset.