“Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free” ~ Paulo Coelho.
This quote rather dramatically sums up my life philosophy at the moment. I've used this quote or variations like “live like there's no tomorrow” at least once a day for the last week.
You see, I’m normally a planner.
I like to know what is coming so I can best prepare myself and my day to get the most out of whatever lies ahead. I have lists and notes and a paper diary that I’m constantly referring to to make sure that everything is running to plan. While this may sound stressful it actually makes me feel like I’m in control. I take my autonomy very seriously.
Over the last six months or so things haven't been going to plan.
I feel like the COVID has taken away so much of that self governance I love. I have lost about $25k worth of work because clients have been unable to commit due to uncertainty in their industries. Every time there is a snap lock down in Victoria, it is on the eve of a grandma weekend I swear.
Grandma weekends are so important, not just because the kids hang out with their grandparents but because Matt and I get to spend some time with each other. I often feel that we save up our ‘being affectionate and nice to each other’ till the kids are away so when they’re cancelled it can feel like months since we’ve spent some quality time together.
We have all of these things lined up - work, parties, visits, meetings then BANG. Lockdown.
I appreciate why the lockdowns are necessary and after talking to my friend in South Africa about her situation, I’m embarrassed to complain about them. South Africa has had over 78,000 COVID related deaths with a population size of 58.5 million. Australia's population is 25.3 million and we’ve had 971 COVID related deaths.
Lockdowns work and me losing control, money or chances to hang out with others seems like a very small price to pay. What I’ve come to realise is that I need to embrace the uncertainty and live like there is no tomorrow.
The only certainty is uncertainty.
This advice may not seem particularly helpful, especially to my friends and family who are stuck in various stages of lockdown right now but understanding that I might not have the same opportunities available to me tomorrow as I do today has given me a sense of action. Rather than dwelling on what I’ve lost, I’ve really started to embrace what I do have.
In my case right now, I have time and motivation. I have time to take people up on their offer of a virtual/real coffee. I have time to apply for jobs that are so far out of relim of expertise because why not? I’ve even had time to launch a new exciting business with a dear friend (more on that announcement later!) If I have nothing to lose then there is nothing stopping me.
The more something scares you the more you should consider doing it.
When life is running smoothly (which feels like a distant memory now) the risk associated with big change can feel like too big a price to pay but in uncertain times - like now, I feel less burdened by my expectations of myself and others. Embracing the moment and leaning into it, right then and there, right now, is all we ever really have anyway.
Don’t stress about being wrong or right, or embarrassed about what others think. If you lead with curiosity rather than ego you can't go wrong. Regardless of the situation!
Just remember if it's not good news then it's a good story.