The Great Pause

The last few weeks ushered in a major slowdown in every part of life from our work, school and social activities for almost everyone on the entire planet.  The best phrase used to describe this period has been “The Great Pause” because it has truly forced us to shutdown many of our daily routines.  Whether it is running errands, coffee with friends, dinner out with your spouse or happy hour with co-workers, all non-essential events have been suspended indefinitely across a good portion of the globe.  If you enjoy being with people like I do, not being able to see my work family, clients and friends can be a difficult time.  This realization hit me when I missed my March coaching class in Chicago.  Over the last fourteen years, I spend one day each quarter at Strategic Coach surrounded by growth-minded entrepreneurs and spend the day focusing not only on business growth but also personal and professional development.  This quarterly pause has been life changing for me and has allowed me to gain perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise.  One of the best exercises we complete during my time there is called Positive Focus.  It is a look back over progress we have made over the last 90 days.  Keeping with tradition, I decided to complete the exercise this week.

At first, the only thing I could think of was the Coronavirus.  It was difficult to go back to January and February because the recent news and stress clouded out any progress made during Q1 and honestly, it felt like a lifetime ago.  Eventually, the good started to cascade in from my oldest son’s wedding, a few trips I made early in the year to my middle son accepting a job upon graduation and many more.  By reorienting your mind, it’s amazing how your thoughts and perspective changes.

A second thought occurred to me as I completed the Positive Focus exercise.  Although there are many things I do miss about life prior to the lock down, there are just as many I don’t miss.  You might laugh but I don’t miss going to the gas station, picking up dry cleaning, my commute and the busyness that comes with a hurried life.  As a good financial planner, I also reviewed my credit card statement and asked myself, what is truly adding to my life and what is not?  We all have signed up for gym memberships, massages, wine clubs, etc. only to find they really didn’t deliver as expected or the season of life has changed.  On the flip side, it’s easy to see how going to church on Sunday’s, spending quality time with friends and running with my triathlon buddies are things that will always be a part of my life.  Evening walks together as a family and tossing a football with my boys have been a blessing as empty nest is rapidly approaching this fall.

My question to you is, “What will you carry forward and what will you let go?”  This “Great Pause” is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hit the reset button and make a conscious decision on what truly is “worth it”.


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