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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

What To Do When “Normal” Vanishes

What a difference a year makes! Last year this time, we were with daughter Holly and her family in the mountains of Washington.  This year, we watched the same family at virtual graduations: Clare from So. Oregon U with a degree in Environmental Science and Alicia with a Master’s in Public Administration. Our hugs are but a distant memory from Thanksgiving.

Last year this time, I signed a contract with Berrett Koehler Publishers for my next book (see below). This year, the book was born on August 4 and the desperate need for moving from burnout to balance and building resilience has never felt more critical or complicated.

Last year, speaking and consulting dates packed my calendar. This year, emptiness abounds and “virtual” is the password.

Here’s the point. The unprecedented convergence of a global pandemic, severe social unrest, and a dramatic economic downturn can prompt feelings of anxiety, confusion, depression and even despair.  We want “yesterday” to come back.  It will not. Instead, our ability to grow through these times rests on three key things:

  • Seek multiple alternatives and possibilities for what you confront TODAY… not yesterday or tomorrow… TODAY!  A virtual graduation was surprisingly intimate, personal, and more special than a crowded auditorium. I’m discovering “found-time” to give podcast interviews, write guests blogs, and reach out to past clients.

  • Control the controllable. I can’t control Covid-19 but I can follow the advice of medical professionals.  I can’t control the anger and hatred that bursts across screen and newspaper. But I can control how I reach out to others, how I invite conversations to understand, and how I choose to learn more of a history I know little about.

  • Laugh. Laughter is truly perspective. It tells you what is extraneous and what is truly serious. Laughter was Abe Lincoln’s escape valve in the middle of the Civil War.

Small steps? Yes. But remember, a rain drop over time can take down a mountain.

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