Doesn’t it seem that many are in transition right now? Friends are changing jobs or starting new careers, others are taking sabbaticals and time to figure out their next steps, neighbors are selling homes and moving away, and businesses are reinventing the way to work.
The new normal is looking quite different as people emerge and reconnect trying to figure it all out. Some are invigorated and eager to move on with plans they developed while sequestered; others are cautiously crawling and waiting to see what the future will bring.
But one thing is certain, many of us have changed our way of thinking – here and throughout the world – and those changes are painting the picture of life moving forward.
We found courage
Over these past several years, we have lived in a constant state of uncertainty. Each day presented new challenges. We said goodbye to old routines and learned to ebb and flow with the changing tides. Often, we didn’t think we could do it, but we did it, and we learned mentally and emotionally that we are capable of handling more than we ever thought we could.
Many say it is fear and uncertainty that keep us from taking risks, but living through them can make us stronger and more courageous than ever before.
We don’t want to settle
Through it all, our priorities have changed. While we may not realize it, we have experienced a lot of good as well, and don’t want to settle for what used to be.
A Pew Research Center study in January found that two-thirds of U.S. adults who lost their jobs during the pandemic have seriously considered changing their occupation or field of work. A third have already taken steps to do so through job training or education.1
People throughout the world share this sentiment of change. In a global survey by Microsoft of over 30,000 people in 31 countries, 40 percent said they are considering leaving their employer this year.2 An article on Forbes.com notes that the pandemic has succeeded in highlighting the things workers value most — and they don’t want to compromise. A better work-life balance is at the top of the list followed by flexibility, company values that align with their own, the opportunity to learn and grow and benefits for health and retirement.3
We are not afraid to be happy
With the global reopening, it’s like we each get a clean slate from which to start, a new canvas upon which to paint. Some are dabbling with journals and pens, and others are colorfully painting their own Jackson Pollock.
The wonderful thing is that in the quiet of quarantine and stillness of isolation, many have come to appreciate their less hectic schedules and time for self-reflection and plan to preserve them.
We are all reassessing our lives, and personal happiness seems to be leading the way. Life is short, and people are no longer afraid to be happy. In a way, we’ve all been forced to accept change and to move on, which, ironically, is a primary practice of mindfulness:
“Mindfulness teaches us to accept all that life presents and to trust that nothing is permanent. It teaches us to approach life with acceptance, recognizing that all things eventually pass,” says Tamara Levitt of Calm.com, adding that this is no simple endeavor. “Nothing in this life remains the same; the seasons change, our body ages, our relationships end. So, we have a choice; we can either resist change or surrender to it, and the more we practice surrender and openness to change, the more easily we flow from one situation to the next; one stage of life to another.”4
The Daily Calm ends with this apropos quote from poet Judith Minty, “I give you this to take with you. Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again with pure joy in the uprooting.”
Now is the time, and anything is possible.
Editorial by Publisher and Founder Lauren Del Sarto. For more from Lauren, visit her blog on this site.
1) https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/02/10/unemployed-americans-are-feeling-the-emotional-strain-of-job-loss-most-have-considered-changing-occupations/; 2) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/work-trend-index; 3) https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2021/05/16/why-millions-of-employees-plan-to-switch-jobs-post-covid/?sh=2698dce311e7; 4) Calm app; Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt. June 24, 2021: Sand Castles.