I got an email earlier this week with the subject line, “what would you do if COVID ended today?” Intrigued, I opened the email from NPR StoryCorp talking about life during COVID. The life we’re collectively experiencing right now.
The question has stuck with me. What would I do if this pandemic ended right now?
As I pondered the question, my first response was physical. I felt my body exhale for a moment in a way I haven’t in over six months. Then I thought about the to-do list. The first thing that popped into my mind was holding my niece. Next, hugging my pregnant best friend. She’s pregnant with my not-by-blood-but-still niece, and I want to hold that baby too.
Surprisingly, the list pretty much stopped there. I’m an Achiever personality - very Type-A, driven. I always have big goals and more to do. I’ve always felt like I wasn’t doing enough to have the life I want. I chased the events and in-person meetings pretending there was some glory or badge of honor that goes to work and road warriors. I experienced a sharp pang of envy when I’d see hotel pictures and happy selfies.
Yet after six months without even one in-person event, that’s not what I would do if COVID ended today. I’m not craving that time.
I keep asking myself, “But why? What changed?” My business is the same. I still love to teach and speak. I love a good hug and late-night catch-ups with friends. After thinking all week, this is what I figured out.
What changed is that I have finally accepted there is no perfect track or timeline. There are no places you must be, and no manual for life benchmarks. I’m not behind or left out - I’m living my path. It’s unhealthy to always operate from a place of feeling left behind, envious, or off-track. I worry that many of us, myself included, were living that life before this disruption.
By disrupting the chaos of the life I thought I should be living, I’m learning that I can do a lot more from home than I ever believed. I can be enough and be happy right here at my desk. I don’t need a plane or a meeting to take me there.
Most importantly, I don’t have to live someone else’s life to get what I want. I have to make the plan. The only thing I control here is the energy I bring, the love I give, and my operating values. How that energy manifests is out of my hands.
So here’s my question for you. What would you do if COVID ended today? Is it different than what you may have said six months ago? Go ahead and hit reply. Let me know what you’re thinking. I love hearing from all of you.
In recruiting, we’re continually chasing best-in-class practices when the reality is that best-in-class doesn’t mean best for you. Hell, best in class doesn’t even mean it’s the best approach. It just implies we’ve always done it that way.
I took on one of those broken best-in-class models this week when I wrote about creating a human EEO statement. I don’t understand why you’d use legalese on this topic. Why can’t we write like a human when we’re writing for and about them? Examples, advice, and my POV are in the link below with a few more posts you should check out.
Have a great weekend, wear a mask, and take care of yourself. You only get one life. Live it.