The Mind-Numbing Middle
Ya'll, we're stuck in what I refer to as The Middle. I hate the middle and I always have! My friend Jeanne used to tease me about this all the time. She'd say, "You love starting and finishing, but girl, you hate the middle". She could do the middle pretty well, where I'd pace back and forth like the sad, displaced polar bear stuck in a sweltering hot zoo in the south. I like to say, "I don't want to write a book, I want to have WRITTEN a book. I don't want to exercise, I want to have EXERCISED." The middle is hard and it isn't sexy at all! It's one-foot-in-front-of-the-other with no real adrenaline rush. It's doing the work, sometimes the hard work, to get to where you're going.
While I've never run a marathon, this crisis and sheltering in place makes me feel like I am. I feel like I'm in mile 7.2 in a 26 mile race. The thrill of the starting line is over and the finish line is a L O N G ways off. There are no crowds to cheer me on and I'm virtually alone. I want the finish line, baby but its nowhere to be seen. Argggg! I'm pretty sure I'd hate running a marathon and not just because I don't run. I don't think I could survive the middle! But that's where we are now, in the middle. The "new" of this pandemic has worn off, our cortisol levels have established their new normal, some of us have set up home offices, we've canceled everything on our calendars and are too afraid to schedule things into the future, we've cleaned and organized and learned Zoom. We're in the middle with no finish line in sight. You may feel like me . . . like you're not suppose to be here . . . but here is where we are.
You Can't Make This Up!
So, I stepped away from writing this post to get a cup of coffee. I returned to my desk and decided to draw a card from my "How to Love Yourself" card deck by Louise Haye before I started writing again. And this is the card I drew! Isn't that Divine!?!? (especially since I didn't know how I was going to end this email. Ha!)
Yes, this crisis is asking us, encouraging us or least giving us all an opportunity to grow in some way. To stretch ourselves, to have more time with our thoughts and feelings, to find new ways to nurture and grow ourselves, to right-size fear, to discover what really matters. This and so much more is what each of us can be doing in this crisis. We can stretch and grow if we choose to. This card begs the question . . . How are we changing during this crisis? How do we WANT to change as a result of all of this? What are we more aware of ? What could this time and experience be preparing us for? Hmmmm. Going back to the marathon example I mentioned before, you can't win a race if you don't actually run, right? Starting and crossing the finish line only matter if you do the "stuff" in the middle, as unsexy and difficult and mundane as it may be or seem. In truth, that's the impetus behind my work . . . how to make every day count . . . to live On Purpose, rather than by default. To spruce up the middle. To make peace with and LOVE the middle. (We teach what we most need to know, haha) My work is about how to make the middle as juicy and vibrant and inspirational and as thrilling as possible. I'd love to hear how this crisis is changing you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you need some help during this crazy time? Help to stay centered and grounded and, well, sane? Here are a few Shelter in Place Resources to help you out.