It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in the centre of a raging shit storm is bound to get some shit on her.
For me (and most of the planet right now), that shit is the fallout from coronavirus.
And, last week, I genuinely thought it had broken me.
“Ma,” I texted, tears streaming down my face. “I’m deep in the spiral. I can’t see the light.”
Hell, I wasn’t even sure there was a light.
A quick snapshot of my life:
💣 I have three kids.
💣 Two of which I now need to home-school (and, yes, I’m using the term “home-school”, ‘cause there is no self-initiating study going on here, Karen!)
💣 The third of which is a rambunctious two-year-old that needs to be in the middle of everything, drawing on as many surfaces as possible, all the effing time. Oh! And she’s just discovered that if she whinges loud enough, mum will pick her up. Fun.
💣 My husband works night and sleeps during the day, which means I’m single parenting during the day.
💣 Did I mention he works in the booming (hahahaha*chokes*hahaha) aviation industry and has had his salary slashed in half. Yep. HALF. And before you ask, no, he’s not entitled to government assistance, and, yes, at least he has a job. But … it’s not ideal.
💣 I have a business in the midst of one of my biggest rounds of Design Biz Bootcamp ever which is awesome but I’m dealing with a billion tech glitches as I happily handle the eager ladies who want a piece of me. And while I’m grateful asf I’m able to serve and earn right now, it *does* drain me. Especially when I’m already feeling low.
With all of that weighing on me, I felt like I’d been plunged into darkness.
Three dots danced on my iPhone.
I waited, fist clutched to my mouth, trying to temper the sound of my sobs.
My girls were in the next room. I had to be strong for them.
And my mum could help me dig deep and (re)find that strength … Right?
Her message landed with a gentle vibration.
“Life could be worse, Anna. It IS worse for a lot of people.”
My heart dropped.
Just like that, a mountain of guilt crushed my shoulders. I felt small and unvalidated and wholly, horribly selfish. I lost it…
Has your mum, sister or friend ever pulled this line on you? The, “Things are worse for other people, get your shit together” line? Maybe even pulled it recently?
And, look, I get it. Given the state of the world right now, it’s hard to argue that others have it worse, because life is horrific for a lot of people right now.
But that doesn’t make your (or my) experience any less shit.
Our feelings and experiences are valid.
Even. If. Others. Have. It. Worse.
So, yeah, this is how I ended up in the spiral of doom.
And, right now, I’m craving control, peace and my old life back. My pre-corona life, where there was school, and full wages and time to work on my business. Oh, and my happy mind. Yep, I would love that back too.
But I’m not here *just* to whinge.
I’m here to find the lesson in all of this.
‘Cause we know in the fairytales and clichés, there’s ALWAYS good that comes out of these situations, right?
So, uh … What is it?
Well, I’m gonna be real with you: There is no Knight in Shining Armour in this story.
You’re gonna have to save yourself.
I AM awesome at giving pep talks. Heck, it’s my job! So, maybe, right now what we both need is one of my signature Anna Dower pep talks.
Ready for it?
⚡ We are not in this alone.
In fact, the whole damn world is in this together. And something small stuck with me this week. I was emailing my next podcast guest about our chat and she asked to postpone because she was up all night the day before because of COVID anxiety. This lady is vibrant, funny & extremely entertaining on her Instagram feed, but behind it all she was struggling. And it made me feel ok. Not that she was suffering (that sucks), but that we are all in this together. Community is everything right now, and, heck, we have a bunch of that.
Our fairytale lesson: It’s ok to struggle during a worldwide pandemic. It doesn’t make you broken; it makes you human.
⚡ Remember that you are in control.
Alright, this is deep shit. But the government and this nightmare virus might be controlling that I stay at home, but it cannot control my mind – that is all me.
And in all honesty, I’ve gotten lazy with my mindset. Which is okay, ‘cause there’s been a lot going on. But now is the time to get it back on track. Now is the time to start feeding my mind warm fuzzies and train it to see the good again. Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as flicking a light switch, so it will take time & concentrated effort.
Our fairytale lesson – You control your mind and that is super powerful.
⚡ You’re being shown what needs to be removed.
Oh, man, have you ever noticed that when your life is crazy busy you always get extra angry/annoyed/frustrated by the stuff you don’t want to make time for? And sure, it makes your head wanna explode. But it’s also great for highlighting what no longer has a place in your life. For example, I have a couple of design clients left and my heart seriously isn’t in it. I have tried to tell them ‘no’, but in the past they wouldn’t have it. Now, I’m done, and I’ve decided “no” is a complete sentence.
Our fairytale lesson – Remove the stuff that makes your life even harder.
⚡ Diamonds are formed under pressure.
Which means I’m a fuck-off sparkly pink diamond right now. And once I’m done wallowing, you can bet your butt I’m gonna shine, baby. ‘Cause when the going gets tough, my ideas start flowing. I have two big, life-changing ideas in the works and they’ll be coming to life very soon. Stay tuned.
Our fairytale lesson – You grow through hard times.
I feel a bit better – do you?
Now let’s shake off the shit and get to work.
All the love,
ps. My two big ideas will be coming to life in the coming weeks and I cannot wait to share them with you!!