April 7th, 2020
A Note from Catherine
Working from home I feel isolated from the challenges of the pandemic. I sit in my office and focus on work and I can’t tell that anything is wrong outside my house.
I’m settling into the new normal. Until I’m not, when I remember that I still don’t get to hang out with my grandchildren. I remember all of the people who have lost loved ones already, and the many millions who have lost their income. That’s when the tears flow, when I allow myself to feel the sadness over the loss of the life we expected to be living right now.
There are three stages in each person’s experience of something chaotic like the pandemic:
- Chaos: things feel like they’ve been turned upside down, we’re looking for a sense of security and stability.
- Acceptance: We are able to function and take care of all of the basics. We start doing what we can towards whatever is most important (work, educating children, etc.).
- A new normal: Things begin to feel more natural and comfortable. We remember this is a marathon and settle in for the longer term. Depending on your situation, this may feel positive or negative.
Like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief, these stages don’t end once you’ve gone through them. You may start to settle into a new normal, then have moments where what you feel is the chaos, and times when you feel yourself moving from chaos into acceptance again.
When Italy first went on lockdown, the singing gave everyone a sense of much-needed comfort in the chaos. Once they began to settle into acceptance, the singing quieted down.
Notice where you are, pay attention to where your family is. We will each cycle through these stages at different times.
And when you’re feeling the stability of the new normal, use the energy to come back to the life you most want to live, the experiences you most want to have. Find creative ways to have those experiences – in a new way – even from home.
Start with one tiny step. If what you’re wanting is more fun, pull up Google earth and go for a picnic by the sea. If what you’re wanting is to feel more love, call a loved one and tell them something you love about them. Just because.