What Happens Next?

What Happens Next?

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It’s clear the world is in great transition right now. We are living in what could arguably be described as biblical because a pandemic has covered the globe and political and social strife saturates the daily news.

Even so, one of the gifts this time has given us is the ability to really slow down and think. For better or worse, we can no longer push aside the big life stuff we have grown accustomed to ignoring by busying ourselves with school, work, extracurricular activities, social media or FOMO (because there is no going out)!

Moreover, COVID has forced all of us to ride the waves of the unknown because there is no way we can predict what school or work will look like in the upcoming months and who knows when we’ll feel completely safe gathering in groups again? Furthermore, these massive shifts in our comfortable (dare I say mind-numbing) routines has shined a light on what really matters to us in life.

Pre-pandemic, we fell into a seemingly comfortable routine: go to school, get a job, find a partner, get married, go to work, get a promotion, start a family, buy a home, grow the family, buy a larger home, get the next promotion, take a vacation, buy a fancy car, plan for retirement… and the hamster wheel goes on. While we’re going through the motions of life, we lose sight of what really matters. Why? We stop critically thinking about our life because we’re scared of the answers we will uncover and doing the hard work of living a truly authentic life requires time and energy. It’s easier to stay on auto-pilot with no end in sight… but then a global pandemic comes along.

I have said jokingly (and the truth is said in jest) that this pandemic’s tagline is “COVID: find out if you married the right person or not.” I know more than a handful of couples in the process of getting a divorce now because being home forced them to look at the reality of their life and see they are not happy. Now they are taking the very brave step toward making a real change to bring happiness and joy into their life.

COVID has shaken our world and introduced great change in our daily routine. Accepting the unknown and complete lack of control is something I am very accustomed to (it’s a lesson I learn repeatedly, most recently by having twins). Nevertheless, as I do with any challenge with which I am presented, I look for the gifts because I believe major scary life events are not happening to me, but for me. It’s a personal growth opportunity.

My list of gifts:

  1. A whole new appreciation for teachers
  2. Mindfulness around overscheduling my kids (I really do not like rushing my kids off to extracurricular activities)
  3. A newfound love of working remotely
  4. Feeling thankful for the opportunity to work remotely
  5. Loss of vanity as I have gone sans make-up since mid-March
  6. Appreciative of technology allowing me to still feel connected to my friends and coworkers (albeit through a screen)
  7. Spending an exorbitant amount of family time I would not get otherwise (the only other time I have spent this much time with my kids was during my maternity leave)
  8. Spending enormous amounts of time with my husband and enjoying it (confirming I married the right person — woo hoo)!

What comes next?

“Hamilton” reference, anyone? Okay, getting serious now — after having all this time to sit with ourselves, think about what matters most to us, and compare this to the life we are currently living, I see great change in the future.

I am sure there are readers shaking their heads right now thinking, “You’ve gotta be me kidding me, lady, I don’t have time for this.” This may be true, but remember that time for reflection begets self-awareness, and you may in fact be on the cusp of reevaluating your major life choices and concluding it’s time to redirect and course correct.

Give these questions some real thought:

Am I using my time and energy as wisely as I would like?

Have I found the gifts this time has given me?

If your answers are in the negative, do you feel compelled to take action?

Are you on the verge of making really tough choices and bringing about change for the better — personally and professionally?

Do you see how this time is your opportunity to step into the unknown, toward living a more honest and authentic life?

Admittedly, these hypothetical questions feel scary and intimidating, but I wouldn’t pose them if it wasn’t important. If you want to take real action in defining your values, and you are ready to take real steps toward reaching your goals and living your dream life, contact me for life coaching. I am here to help!

Visit michelledickstein.com to learn more about how I can provide guidance, and help you break free of dreary monotony and begin living your most authentic life. Better yet, set up a free introductory call to answer your questions and help me learn more about your needs and goals.

About the author

Michelle Dickstein is a Midwest transplant from the East Coast with her husband. Michelle wears many hats as a life coach, writer, public health professional, certified lactation counselor, and certified project manager. Her most rewarding role is mother to three young daughters — two of whom are identical twins — who all get their curly hair from their father, but more than enough personality from Michelle. Her real passion is helping others by sharing her life experiences and she has made appearances on CBS 19 and Fox 8 news as a lifestyle and parenting "expert" (whatever that means). Learn more about Michelle Dickstein Life Coaching, LLC at michelledickstein.com.

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