Life is What Happens When You’re Making Other Plans

By Rob Shaul

COVID’s massive disruption forced focus and introspection on our day-to-day lives.

The Pandemic put all plans on hold. No more teeth-gritting through weeks of work drudgery knowing that a vacation reward was waiting on the other side a few weeks away.

No more daily escaping a troubled relationship by a trip to the office or work.

No more shuffling off the annoying kids to school or daycare.

COVID stopped the clock, squished us all uncomfortably together, limited distractions, and forced us to make do and in the process, take stock and ask some hard questions ….

  • Does my work match my talents? Does it challenge and push me?
  • Do I work with dignity? Is mission first? Am I a quiet professional?
  • Do I love the place I live? Do I make the best of it … or do I just tolerate it between vacations?
  • Am I near people I love? Are my relationships solid, or troubled? Is it my fault, or others?

In my own life and that for many others, COVID forced quiet simplicity: homemade meals together, constant time with kids, focus on work essentials, no rush so we could ease into relationships issues, and work through them, a greater appreciation for where we live, our work, and the people in ours lives we love.

For others, I know, when they answer the questions above, things need to change. The “life” they had while making other plans, wasn’t working.

As we begin to open up, already we’re seeing families flee crowded cities for suburbs and other places with cheaper housing, a slower life, and a yard for the kids and family activities.

What’s unclear yet is how/if our stay-at-home experience these past few months will affect professional development and relationships.

Will high numbers of people voluntarily change careers? Will there be a slew of post-COVID divorces and breakups? It’s too early to know.

Need more? See The Happiness Equation

John Lennon used this essay’s title for his 1980 song, “Beautiful Boy” dedicated to his son – but its true attribute goes to Allen Saunders, in a 1959 Reader’s Digest essay.

 

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