New Year, New Mind?
Screw the “New Year, New You” – 2022 is coming in hot with déjà vu!
This month marked the return to work – which for me, is my primary job as an Assistant Head of School – so into the throes of helping to manage a school with record number of absences due to the COVID surge, while praying my daughter received her negative PCR result in time to return to her college campus for spring semester…after two canceled flights…because, you know, COVID.
In the end, she made it to campus with her negative results…just to get a positive COVID test a week and a half later, which sent her to the “isolation dorm” for 10 days. She’s 4 days down!
While 2022 seems eerily similar to 2021, I am reminded of the biggest lesson I have learned during this pandemic (and apparently still need to keep practicing): All I can control is myself.
Controlling myself means accepting that I cannot change the facts, but I can change my thoughts.
Here’s an example of my May, 2020 line of thinking: COVID is plaguing us. --> There’s no point to making any plans since COVID will just shit on them. We’re all doomed. What’s wrong with people? Why can’t we get our shit together and stop this thing?! My job is going to be developing and modifying COVID return-to-school protocols FOREVER. --> Hopeless. Depressed. Apathetic. --> Stay inside. Rage against humanity. Mope. Repeat. --> Feel further depressed and bring everyone around me down, too.
Anyone else? Sound familiar?
That thinking didn’t serve me.
So, I let it go and worked on changing my mind. I’ll be honest – changing your mind is not easy. But with practice, you can more quickly separate facts from thoughts, and then you’re in a better position to try on some new ones.
Here’s an example of my January, 2022 thinking: COVID is (still) plaguing us. --> When this pandemic ends, I want to be in a better place than when it began. There are so many items on my “to do” list that are actually “COVID-proof,” and I’ve been putting them off. --> Excited. Empowered. Optimistic. --> I follow through on my plans. I start and finish my coaching program and certification. I launch a side business. I return to knitting. I fall in love with my Peloton. I double-down on my reading list. --> A happier, healthier me, ready to go – now, and when the world opens up again.
Regardless of how long COVID stays with us, 2022 will not be a repeat of 2021 because we are not the same people we were last year.
I hope the thinking you’ve done in the last couple years left you in a better, stronger, more centered place.
And if you’re not, there’s still time to change your mind.