It’s been an interesting few months, to say the least. COVID rocked NYC in the Spring and the way I conduct business has changed. I’ve gone through two medical procedures and to add icing on the cake, I’ve just had my mom in the hospital for hip replacement surgery—which became necessary in a hurry.
I’ve felt a kind of tired I’ve not known before. Between balancing the demands of my business, doing the normal things you do to maintain your home space, then adding caregiving responsibilities, by this past weekend, I was wiped. To add to the fun, we were greeted with a plumbing problem Monday morning, and the looming Tropical Storm just had me thinking, “Anything else? What’s next?”
The other night, I had just finished cleaning up the dinner dishes, heated a cup of decaf, and sat down to watch TV with my mom and sister. As I was sitting there, looking around the living room, it hit me that there was a silver lining to this. In fact, there were several silver linings. It seemed the last few years, our family was just hit with one wave after another. Putting COVID into the mix, along with its restrictions and fears, just added another dimension of exhaustion and overwhelm, on top of starting my business, and the financial insecurity which accompanies the entrepreneur’s journey.
At first, I lamented my mom having to have hip surgery. It was disruptive to everyone ‘s schedule, I would be bearing the brunt of the caregiving, and who wants to have a loved one go through surgery at any time? Then I realized if she didn’t have her surgery, I wouldn’t be sitting in her living room, spending time with her. It had been almost 6 months since I visited with my mom due to COVID. Her surgery now made spending time with her a necessity, and this surgery was a blessing in disguise. I missed her dearly.
For quite some time, before I started my business, I was upset about getting laid off. Now, with this surgery and the caregiving needs afterward, I was able to make my own schedule and adjust my work activity daily to meet my family’s needs and my needs, without talking to anyone and without any fear of consequences. What a gift to have this time freely, to do the things I need to do; the things that are important to me; the time with loved ones I hadn’t seen in months.
In talking with leaders both in healthcare, and in other industries, the same themes emerge: everyone has a lot on their plates, trying to juggle professional and personal, and the plates look different than they did before. Some have lost their jobs, or are doing different jobs; some have been reassigned to other teams or areas, and have been away from trusted colleagues with whom they’ve worked for years. Some are trying to put services and operations back together which were pulled apart or put on pause because of COVID, and they are finding it a challenge. The pieces aren’t the same anymore, and the processes don’t seem to fit. Others are attempting to make sense of finances and operations in this new normal of social distancing, masks and constantly changing guidelines and rules.
Yet one of my clients noted his silver lining was his opportunity to work from home while his children were doing virtual learning, and engaging with them in a way he had not engaged with them before. His children got to understand his work, and he got involved in their school lessons.
The point: whether you’re a staff member or manager; mom or dad; sibling or spouse; janitor or CEO; client or coach, there is always a silver lining, and as a quote I recently read stated, “Even the darkest hour is only 60 minutes.”
Have you found your silver lining in your professional life? How has it changed your perspective?