Life In The New Normal

Some days are better than others in this “new normal.” I create my daily list of things to accomplish and work through them with little difficulty. I’m inspired, creative, and enthusiastic. The sun shines, cool breezes waft through my window, the dog takes naps during my phone calls and online training sessions, and I’m working as efficiently and effectively as I can. Life is good.

Rewind that blissful video to two weeks ago. It was a day full of activity and positive outcomes. And then I tripped on the sidewalk in front of my house and began a period of lost days and head pain. What I thought was a simple tumble turned out to be a concussion. I can’t remember hitting my head, but I did.

When your daily activity is reduced to lying around and trying not to upset the delicate balance of head and stomach, you spend a lot of time thinking about what matters and how to get back to some semblance of normality. I pushed myself to get on Zoom calls and participate in a team meeting, but my body revolted. Back to bed! it said quite emphatically.

During this time of enforced rest, I had to cancel a class I was supposed to deliver online. I realized that there was no way I could deliver a three-hour continuing education class without incident. It’s one thing to fight through a normal headache to do your job. I’ve done it and managed well enough. It’s an entirely different situation to try to ignore a head injury and give students the kind of training they deserve. I missed the income, for sure, but I’m glad to have recognized that I was in no condition to be an effective speaker or trainer.

As time from the injury has passed, I am recovering my ability to make to-do lists and accomplish the tasks on those lists. I feel a real loss of time, though. Yes, I have days when all I want to do it go on vacation where I can escape the mundane. When inactivity is enforced, it’s a different situation altogether. Now, I want those hours and days back when I could have been working toward my goals. I want the joy of accomplishment. When someone asks about this period I want to be able to say I did more than catch up on listening to podcasts and “read” audiobooks. Those kinds of activities don’t necessarily advance my career or business. I feel very unproductive as a result.

I have come to recognize that this drive to always be doing can be dangerous. We get sucked into the idea that only certain activities count and that everything else is fluff. Although I was in pain, I was able to appreciate this enforced inactivity as a time to consider what I want to do with my business and life. I’ve found that I actually enjoy delivering training online. I love to write and produce content people might find helpful. The “new normal” has allowed me the space to consider how to move forward.

I am still recovering and will probably need more time to feel like I did before the injury. Things will get back to “normal” slowly, but surely. It’s hard to wait for that to happen because I have plans and ideas I want to pursue. I guess that’s a good sign that recovery has begun.

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