Right now, it feels like a thousand miles between my writing notebook (where I jot down lots of ideas) and this website (where those ideas have to turn into something). In other words, I’m filled with ideas, yet I’m struggling to get them published for you.
Sorry about that. It was March. March 2020.
March came in like a distant warning, and left like . . . well, March hasn’t really left. It just morphed into April, as so much of what we knew before is present to us only as memories.
Thinking about that last night (okay, this morning) before going to bed, I reflected on March. Despite the desert-like experience March brought, it tapped me on the shoulder to remind me of at least one gift it offered: the opportunity to identify the new important.
NOT the new normal.
Who knows if we will ever have any semblance of what we used to call normal?
Instead, I’m talking about the new important. Because, when everything around everyone feels as if it is disappearing, you realize the importance of those people, situations, and moments that did break through. These are all fundamentally important since they have proven their ability to sustain you in your worst days.
Some people can pull all those positives amid the desolation into themselves and hold them as essential parts of their beings.
Well, I’m a list guy. I have to work through questions and make an explicit effort to think about what was different and positive in March. Doing it from multiple perspectives helps me feel as if I won’t miss anything, even if I don’t answer all the questions.
Right now, being hyper-observant is a big thing for me. When so much of what we have depended on is taken away, I want to remember what didn’t go away and what emerged as things so pleasant that I never want to lose them, even though never might only last a few days before everything changes again.
Recalling your new important
Here’s the list of questions I jotted down in my writing notebook to help recall what sustained me in March:
- What provided moments of calm and peace?
- Where and when did I feel inspiration and creativity?
- What did I try and really enjoy (or find beneficial) that was new or different?
- Who reached out (in whatever way) with real needs looking for hope?
- Where was I able to help someone in an impactful way?
- Where do I think I made a difference for others?
- What sustained me?
- Who (or what) picked me up when I was falling behind (or already crashed)?
- Who reached out and was there when I needed them?
- Who showed that they are the people in my life who care about me?
- Who was cheerful, hopeful, or able to calm me at any point?
- What did I miss most that wasn’t present any longer?
- Where did I experience simple, easy wins?
- What regrets surfaced?
- What am I going to do about my regrets, or how can I finally let them go?
That was my 1:15 a.m. list to try to hold onto something of value from March 2020.
I hope it helps you.