Summer break has officially ended: Why is that thought confusing?
First of all, it is confusing for us, and even more so for our kid, because we did’t physically go on our usual summer holidays. With quarantine in the air, we laid it low instead, which seemed the pragmatic thing to do.
Secondly, and more importantly, we never managed to let go of our to do list and always felt busy. That one is totally on us, and I sincerely hope you did better than that. In our case, office work got partially replaced by organising our lives. So the only thing that clearly ended was home schooling.
Finally, and most importantly, I am unclear around what exactly is beginning.
NOW feels a bit too much like the past six months of planning one week at a time.
For these reasons, the end of summer does not feel like a reset to me. After all:
What are we resetting into?
Many people don’t yet fully understand what’s in store for them. For some, nothing much will change: They are unemployed, on short labour, in their remote office, or at the front line in hospitals and caring homes, food production, security.
Are you one of the many who are entering a hybrid of remote and socially distanced office work?
Like many people you might still be unclear about how working alongside one another under social distancing measures will work out – for health as well as for collaboration and connection.
And thirdly, I am curious about what public life will develop into within the next month or so, with rising numbers of Covid-19 infections everywhere.
Reset lives from transitions.
There is a flavour of certainty in it. A shake of excitement as we imagine what we will gain from starting afresh.
Yet, right now everything and nothing seems likely.
But is that true?
It might be true for the circumstances we live in. We will live with collective uncertainty for a long time yet.
Luckily it is not true for our response to the circumstances we live in. We have so much more control over our lives than our limbic system response suggests. It may have successfully sent us to buy toilet paper, to overeat and to overdrink and what not in our fight, flight, freeze response. But it is our brain’s rational part, the prefrontal cortex, which allows us to create what we want, building on our good judgment.
So my way of resetting is to recreate habits which have served me well in the past.
I am resetting into choice. And I choose to focus on what I have certainty of.
For me, the two most important things are my daily habits of meditating and writing.
Over the summer I have slipped out of these two bedrock habits of mine, after having written consistently and meditated pretty much daily for 2 or 3 years. And boy was it easy to just let go of them and instead sleep longer and treat myself to not having to write (which I actually quite like doing in the first place).
Now is the time to return to setting myself up for clarity, creativity and discipline.
To do that, I meditate half an hour before breakfast, and I start my work day with a bit of writing to make sense of what is swirling in my head.
I’m not gonna lie, there is a “relax” voice inside of me that just wants to let go and drift which seems a natural response to our time. But what I know for sure is that ticking my daily boxes for my key habits brings stability and joy into my life, and makes me resilient in the face of uncertainty.
Which habits help you stay resilient during times of uncertainty?