The pressure to do it all is nearly overwhelming and something has to give. We can’t simply work harder and expect to get everything done, especially when we’re juggling jobs, family, community AND our own needs during a pandemic!
Crina and Kirsten tackle the hard truths of what it is really like to work from home in this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work.
First up – expectations. There are expectations from all sides when it comes to working from home. There are expectations from our bosses (even if you are your own boss), but that is not all that happens when we are at home – add expectations from ourselves, from our family, from our friends and those expectations that we see as “normal” on social media.
Second up – pressure. There is pressure to meet those expectations, to perform, produce, caretake, solve – and do to it all as gracefully as a Zen Buddhist monk, but sexy. ARGHH.
These are things many of us have struggled with for years and even decades – and one of the things the pandemic has exposed is the depth and breadth of those things that just don’t work.
We need to examine whether we’re holding on to expectations that have never really worked for us. The experience of the pandemic has brought this to light in a way we had not seen before. We need a paradigm shift – away from what does not work and to something that allows us to be whole humans rather than freaked out and frenetic.
Crina thought it would be wonderful to take virtual tour of a museum every week during the Stay at Home Order. Kirsten envisioned on-line yoga and long walks. And the reality – Crina is still in the same clothes she wore yesterday and Kirsten is hunkered down on the brown coach pounding away on her computer and talking with clients before the sun comes up and after it goes down – working harder than ever. Crina and Kirsten share stories of friends and colleagues doing crazy $%&# to keep everything together for family, work and friends. Take away – this does not work – probably not in the short term and definitely not in the long term – and maybe it never has worked for women.
Here is the solution – from the author and thought-leader Glennon Doyle – throw away the memo! Recognize when the “memo” does not work for you. Recognize when the expectations others have for you deplete you in a way that is unsustainable and sucks joy from your life.
In the short term, the pandemic is not normal, and our reactions and responses are likely not normal either. This is an opportunity to be more humane to ourselves and each other – and possibly address some of the long-term issues that we have been struggling with that the realities of working from home during a pandemic have shown us.
We have a chance to lower the bar, which does not mean we do not want excellence, but maybe good enough is good enough with most things – particularly when so much excellence means giving up your humanness. Be kind to yourself, look at your patterns. Ask yourself if your behavior is the product of habit or is it full of intention? And how does it serve you and your values?
You got this!