2020 was to have been a milestone year in the Bernstein/McBride household. At the beginning of the year, our calendar displayed a fun-filled, jammed-packed year of once-in-a-lifetime events. My oldest daughter would graduate law school, my younger daughter would graduate college, my stepdaughter would graduate high school, my other stepdaughter would turn 21. Summer trips to Europe had been booked to celebrate our daughters’ amazing achievements. My husband and mother-in-law would celebrate big zero birthdays! At the beginning of the year, we often discussed how there would never be such a memorable year for our family. How right we were; but for all the wrong reasons.
Our digital calendars now show “cancelled” after each of the graduations, parties, and trips. I guess I could just delete them but since I partially use my calendar as a journal. I want to be able to click back to this year and remember the cumulative impact and disappointment.
Of course, we have much to be thankful for. We are all healthy and my husband and I still have work. I didn’t realize, however, how much satisfaction I derive from planning (and this was a year that required a minutiae level of planning). I created several Trello boards just to keep me on track (which I highly recommend).
While I can’t share any great tips on how to deal with disappointment (but if you have any, please do send them my way) I read somewhere that while we can’t plan and organize future events for the time being, it’s important to focus on what we can control. This piece of advice has been a game changer for me these last couple of months. As someone who is highly motivated by accomplishing tasks, I created a list of items I loathe doing or have been postponing (because I loathe doing them). Then I broke these items down into small time allotments. Items on this list included:
I combined these dreaded tasks with more pleasurable activities, long walks, at home workout classes, daily afternoon tea with the family. I also reduced the number of items on my daily “to do” list to practice self-kindness.
While I may have been forced to re-tweak my planning for the year, I have managed to find satisfaction and fulfillment in activities that are within my control. Feel free to drop me a line or comment on how you are managing your planning during these uncertain times.
Stay healthy and safe!
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