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Four Places at Once

Saturday night I got together with dear friends whom I haven't seen since before the Pandemic. We are each fully vaccinated and were eager to be in each other's presence, so we gathered around the sushi table and got caught up.

We talked about how we were thankful for the forced time at home. We slowed down, didn't over commit, and we embraced the bubble.

Now that we are vaccinated, and the world is opening up again, it's like those lessons from the past 15 months, the ones we were grateful to have experienced, on some level, just disappeared.

For many parents it's commitment to soccer and little league games, school functions and class parent outings that have resurfaced without missing a beat. It's also connecting again, getting back to things we did in person, before all this happened, and trying to "get back to normal". And all of these things on top of the other commitments we made during the pandemic to slow down and find joy.

I over-committed before the pandemic. I was given the gift the overwhelming sense of guilt should I not commit. I never cancelled on someone before the pandemic and I rarely said no to someone wanting to get together, because I didn't think my needing me time was a worthy excuse.

I'm selective with my commitments now and with whom I give up my me time. Friends whom I haven't seen in 15 months who once lived with me post Hurricane Harvey, I consider it necessary we time. Friends with whom were in my pandemic pod, I got a swab up my nose in order to have our we time every few months. I passed on offers with people who were within a two week window of me spending time with my parents or my family, because that was my time that I needed and craved so much. People were understanding of my commitments then, because they had them too.

To be honest, I believe that was always there before, I just never asked.

Now, I've noticed I'm selective with my calendaring. Before I would schedule it as soon as it was brought up, because I didn't want to seem too over-committed for someone else and I guess I had some type of fear the time to get together would pass if I didn't commit immediately. Kind of like how I handle breakfast buffets: my brain and stomach can't comprehend that I don't have to sample everything on the buffet and that I will get to eat those foods again. Seriously, invite me to a breakfast buffet at your own risk.

But we are over-committers, that's what we did before and the pandemic gave us a chance to sit still for a minute. Things are opening back up, people are vaccinated and ready to get out with others. Play sports, meetings in person, big lunches and group dinners out are coming back in full force. Sitting across from two very dear friends in my life, after setting this dinner up 2 weeks in advance, gave me the confidence to continue to feel okay to say yes to dinners, and not feel guilt about scheduling them immediately. Finally, I feel okay to work around my personal commitments. The ones I made to myself, for myself.

I could have before, I'm certain of that, but I just wasn't aware or maybe wasn't confident in making those choices.

Before the pandemic I felt like I was constantly being pulled in four different places at once. I was being pulled to my 9 - 5, to my entrepreneurial business, to teaching yoga and showing up for others. Now, I choose which direction I am pulled, because I consciously set the GPS. I set the final destination for joy, if dinner with friends is on the route, it's purposeful. If staying home to work on my book is part of the directions, it's purposeful.

I am committed to my relationships, the ones to my family, the ones to my friends, the ones to my employer, the ones to my students, the ones to my clients, but in order for me to show up and be there, and be truly present for them, I must stay committed to the relationship I have with myself first. Do you agree?

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