“The pause is as important as the note”

–Truman Fisher, American composer.

How often do we really allow ourselves to enjoy a pause?

To take a time out. To slow down. To just breathe.

In the busyness of life, work, and family responsibilities, we occupy ourselves and our minds every waking hour of every day. And, sometimes the hours we should be sleeping, too! Even vacations can be go go go and see see see. We focus on where we’re heading, often neglecting to slow down and simply enjoy where we are.

One of the gifts of this pandemic is we’ve been given an opportunity to slow down. To pause in our lives. To reflect.

If your job has been taken away, or, if you’re like my husband and chose to walk away rather than put yourself at undue health risk, you now have an opportunity to reflect on whether that’s the job you really want. And, if it’s not, to start thinking about what you do want. In my husband’s case, his decision to quit his job opened up an opportunity to help others in our community with his handyman and landscaping skills. He’s finding he’s much happier than in the job he thought he needed. Even our biggest concern, health insurance, turned out not to be such a concern after all.

If your business has slowed, it’s a chance to think more deeply about the work you’ve been doing, instead of just trying to keep up or get ahead. You get to decide if you want to continue on the same path, or make a change. New opportunities are emerging daily for those open to thinking creatively about how to do business in a post Covid-19 world.

If you can’t go see family, it’s an opportunity to reflect more deeply about what family means to you. Perhaps to stop taking them for granted, as we often unintentionally do. Or, to find new ways to connect and care for them.

Life as we know it is most certainly changing.

We have a choice in how we deal with it. Instead of focusing on what’s been taken away and wishing for life to return to normal, what if you endeavor to enjoy this little break? To, dare I say, take advantage of it.

What if you use it as a time of reflection about your life, your work, your relationships, your self care?

Yes, there are a lot of negative consequences of this pandemic for many people. I do not mean to minimize that people are hurting.

At the same time, because most of what’s happening is beyond our control, dwelling on what’s been taken away only serves to make us feel worse. Wishing things were different doesn’t make things better. Because as we all know, wishing doesn’t make it so.

What if we view this time as a reset.

A chance to remake our lives, our work, and our relationships. To make our life more fulfilling. To find a way to serve more in our work. To make our relationships stronger.

We don’t have to come out of this pandemic the same way we entered it.

If we’ve been letting life live us… if we’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle… if we’ve been trying to just keep up or get ahead, we have a chance now to step out of that mentality and into a life that more deeply reflects our values and desires.

We’ve been given time to pause, reflect, and emerge differently.

We’ve been given an opportunity to wake up. Individually and collectively. To make things better, to be better.

While you may not feel you have a choice in your current circumstances, you always have a choice in how you choose to deal with them.

You can choose to feel frustrated, unhappy, and complain. You can wish for times gone by. All of which do nothing to return you to those times. Or, you can choose to look for light in the darkness, opportunity amid the chaos, and eventually a new beginning that may actually be better than what you left behind.

What are you doing with this pause? I’d love to hear. Please post a comment and share.

3 thoughts on “The Covid-19 Pause”

  1. “While you may not feel you have a choice in your current circumstances, you always have a choice in how you choose to deal with them.” Exactly. And, what a good, needed reminder especially with the deluge of negative news assaulting us daily.

    As a retired guy I was feeling quite paused prior to the pandemic. So, unlike with most, my life-style changes have been minimal. However, I have increased my volunteer time … helping immigrants learn English via Zoom. Via Zoom, it’s easy and gratifying. It also has helped me deal with my feelings of social isolation. So, I highly recommend it to anyone who shares that feeling.

  2. John,
    I love that you have increased your volunteer time. I find when we can shift our focus off of ourselves and onto serving others, it helps. We did that years ago when we got into volunteer pet therapy. Sadly we can’t do that work now because of the pandemic. Although we did do a Zoom pet therapy visit on Monday, with an assisted living facility. Not the same as in person, but the residents seemed very happy to be able to see the pets via Zoom, to learn more about them, and to talk about the pets they used to have.

    It’s a tough time for sure, with no clear end in sight. But the more we can do small things to help others, the better off we, and the rest of the world will be, in the meantime.

    1. Such great insight, Debbie. Btw, I would love info on how to help immigrants learn English via Zoom😊

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