Posted in Pandemic Series

Pandemic Series (Part One–What I learned about myself)

Needless to say, this year hasn’t gone the way anyone planned. We all entered 2020 with high hopes, yet this current pandemic has turned millions of lives upside-down, and it’s made everyone adjust to a new normal.

I still remember the faint rumblings in the beginning stages. I was working as a dental assistant at the time, and truthfully I was struggling. As a recently certified graduate, I still had a lot to learn. After briefly working in orthodontics, I began working for a larger company that viewed my inexperience as a hindrance. And ultimately, it felt as if I was set up for failure. Luckily, management revealed their plans of shutting down due to the pandemic. And when I was officially furloughed in mid-march, I was strangely elated.

In the beginning, I relished the opportunity because it was a much needed break from a toxic work environment that was breaking my spirit. In fact, I believed it was a sign that I needed to take time to recharge my batteries. And it was liberating because I didn’t have the pressure of busting my back for a company that didn’t value my hard work.

Luckily it was a smooth adjustment for my family. My daughter still attended preschool (where the staff went above and beyond to keep everyone healthy). My husband maintained his work schedule by splitting his time remotely and on-site. And overall it felt amazing to spend more time together as a couple. Plus I was able to catch up on a ton of movies and tv shows while relaxing in my pajamas.

Unfortunately, there were days where I didn’t do anything productive and I became complacent. And it wasn’t long before every room in the house looked atrocious. I simply lacked motivation, and my only type of physical activity was walking back and forth to the kitchen so I could engage in mindless eating (which soon led to me becoming 40 pounds overweight). And because of these bad habits, I started to go downhill both physically and emotionally.

Even though I thought being furloughed was a blessing, it was actually a double-edged sword because I was in another toxic environment, but it was my own making. I didn’t take the time to truly reevaluate my life as a whole because I was too busy overindulging in unhealthy habits. It was obvious I was professionally unhappy. Plus I had other deep rooted issues that I refused to address. But because now I am a woman of a particular age, I knew I needed to make some changes. 

So if I learned anything while dealing with this pandemic, it’s that I need to stop my cycle of self-sabotage. I know that I want to make changes in my life, but I have to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have to accept that in order to have the life that I want, I have to do certain things that may be difficult but necessary. I have to learn how to stop repeating certain patterns and expecting different results. I need to try a new approach, and not allow my fear of failure or my impatience to hinder my progress.

And while I have a long ways to go, I feel confident that I’m on the right track because I am not rushing the process, but I am embracing the journey…