Who could’ve guessed that our lives would be altered the way they were when Covid came on the scene 18 months ago? Yet, here we are; still dealing with it.
I make my living as a Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker. 18 months ago, my calendar slowly drained of work. Events were cancelled throughout the rest of 2020. I had such high hopes for 2020. Even the name of it! Like 20/20 vision: PERFECT.
It’s been said that “grief is the result of a change we didn’t ask for.” Well, I sure didn’t ask for this! So, I found myself going through the stages of grief.
1. Denial. “This can’t possibly be happening.” It all seemed so unreal, so surreal that I couldn’t believe it was happening.
2. Anger. “I had my whole year planned and now it’s all gone away!” I didn’t even know who to blame. It was just an unnamed, nagging inner rage.
3. Bargaining. “If I stay home for a month, this will clear up and disappear.” WRONG.
4. Depression. During this phase, I just curled up in a ball and sucked my thumb. Lots of self-pity.
5. Acceptance. “Well, it looks like this thing is here to stay for an indeterminate amount of time.”
Here we are, 1.5 years later, and I still go through these stages. After all, grief is not a straight-line progression.
I still find myself trying to “predict” when this thing will finally be over even though no one knows. But the brain likes something to rest on, so we just write stories.
One thing I’ve learned throughout this pandemic is how little control I have over just about anything but my own thoughts. Though I have to learn and relearn this lesson, the more I come to terms with this, the happier I am. Railing against something that I can’t control becomes crazy-making after a while. Or beating my head against a wall because it feels so good when I stop.
Once I realized that my calendar was empty of in-person speaking engagements and that wasn’t going to change, I decided to embrace presenting virtually. I dove into learning how to use a green screen and how the whole virtual process worked. I read books and watched YouTube videos and attended seminars. I converted my dining room into a studio with lights, cameras, the works (eating at the table is overrated anyway…) And, something unlikely emerged. I came to love it! I fully embraced being a Funny VIRTUAL Motivational Keynote Speaker.
I’m now back to in-person presenting, but I still do a fair number of virtual presentations. I’m so glad that I learned that skill set. It widened my offerings and my options.
Within any crisis are opportunities if we look for them. True, this pandemic created a fair amount of suffering in my life, but when I look at how badly some suffered, it puts it into perspective.
I learned to walk my talk; to let go of the worry and anxiety over things I can’t control. To stay in the present. Every moment we spend worrying about the future or lamenting the past is a moment not spent fully embracing the one we are in. And, that’s not fully living.