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I came across this word in an announcement for a conference, and I thought--wow--what a word to describe the past fourteen months! Disruption doesn't cut it though. I think this past year has been a hellish upheaval in every way imaginable, i.e. physical, financial, emotional, mental, spiritual.

Let's count the ways your life looks different than it did before Covid? How you shop, work, socialize, interact with strangers, workout, watch netflix, go to medical appointments, attend funerals, honor milestones, travel (not), sleep, eat, wear a mask, think about your existence, pray... it all changed.

We were forced to rearrange our lives because we had no choice. In some respects, the doing part of the pandemic was the easy work. Once, we figured out how to get groceries, and go on zoom, we got what we needed to survive--food and people to connect with, even if it was virtual reality.

Now the disruption is seemingly coming to a new stage--a return to what you did before. We are in the midst of another change--another disruption, and it's time to consider what it is you want to return to and what you can easily give up.

When I had a major upheaval in my life when my infant daughter had cancer, I found that I couldn't return to the life I lived before she got sick. I couldn't return to the job I had bossing people around and making decisions. I didn't have time for anyone who wasn't "there for me" when I was living in the hospital with her for six straight months facing down life and death in equal parts. This time in history reminds me of that time in my life.

As we anticipate a return to "normal" let's gaze inward and ponder some questions--are there relationships, acquaintances that you don't want to put energy into? Are there new opportunities, hobbies, activities that you do want to explore now that you have a second chance--(you survived)? Have you thought about what matters to you the most in your personal life, your professional life? What are your new priorities? What will you do now that it is time to re-engage, re-emerge?

We are not the same people we would be had this pandemic disruption not occurred. I believe we have a unique opportunity to take this seriously in our hearts and minds and rewrite the next chapter of our lives. We are at another crossroads in our shared humanity. Now is the time to show up for yourself, as yourself, for what you care about, for the people you care for and the ever-evolving life you wish to lead.

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