Last night I started to spiral as I thought about how much longer this quarantine could last. A year? A year and a half? Even typing that my heart starts to beat faster and my stomach clenches in anxiety. I can’t go there. If I start thinking too far into the future I sink into despair. I realize this is a business blog, but the reality is my personal life and business life blend – they always have. One affects the other as much as I’d like to keep them separate. What that means is how I respond in my personal life will also apply to my business life.
What I’m focusing on is taking things one day at a time. A quote that comes to mind right now is from Sarah Orne Jewett who said, “Tain’t worthwhile to wear a day all out before it comes.” Yep. When I spin out into worry over what will happen to me, what will happen to my business, how I will make money, I’m absolutely wearing the day out before it comes. Some planning is important of course, but I’m finding the only way to stay sane in this insane period is to take things one day at a time. Or even one hour at a time.
I think pretty much every spiritual teacher encourages people to stay present and in the moment. That’s never felt more relevant for us as a collective. I’m used to applying that principle on a micro level, but now we’re applying it on a macro one. If anything, COVID-19 has shown us we don’t know what will happen. We can’t predict the future – we’re all just guessing. In the meantime, what can we do here, now?
For me, it’s continuing to freelance as a writer. It means content writing for my clients, telling stories of transformation. It means contacting new people about how I can serve them in this time with my writing skills. It means keeping my finances up to date and billing the people I work with. It also means understanding some people will not be able to pay me right now, or won’t be able to pay me in full.
COVID-19 has taught me how to be nimble and flexible, to let go of expectations and surrender to what is both in my business life and my professional life. I am not in control of what’s happening. Not even a little bit. But I am in control of how I respond to what’s happening. I’m in control of how I’m spending my days.
The best way I know how to spend my days is to stay in the day. To be where my feet are. I feel more grounded and less anxious when I think about what’s next instead of what’s to come down the line. Because again, honestly, I have no idea what’s to come. But neither does anyone else. That can be a scary prospect or it can be empowering. Regardless, all we have is what’s in front of us: today.