We wish life was linear!

Nothing is Linear. This a truth that is so frustrating. There are a million times in our lives that we wish were linear that are not. We can pretend they are, but in reality there is so much we don’t have control over and linear is not promised to us.

When we’re young we go from grade to grade or level to level, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have set backs. Failed tests, negative auditions, sickness, or maybe a pandemic!

Job searches bring the same. We hope that there is a ladder to climb, so that when we get on that first rung we can safely assume we will reach the top, but we know that isn’t true. People get let go, office environments change, and sometimes there is even a pandemic!

Speaking of the pandemic, also not linear.

For one, adapting is not linear. Some days we have it figured out and some days We.DO.NOT. That doesn’t mean we failed and it also doesn’t mean we won’t get back to the good times.

I like to have a mantra for this. “That (hour, day, activity) is in the past.” I developed this mantra for myself during my postpartum days when naps, nights and feedings were all a source of stress. Instead of dwelling, I worked to remind myself: “that is in the past.”

Aside from a mantra, we need to bridge to our successes. If you did have any successful moments, that means you can do them again! You really can! I promise! It wasn’t a fluke that something went well. It was you! Isn’t that great! You have the strengths and skills you need. So create your mantra, remember you successes, and on to the next.

Secondly, we are learning that the pandemic process is not and will not be linear. We might have had some hope that we would quarantine for however long, a solution would be developed in some form, and then a plan would be made and rolled out. We are seeing that the quarantine is much longer than (I) anticipated and the solutions are far off and the plan is, can we say, vague at best.

As humans we hate uncertainty. If you are currently thriving in the uncertainty, you probably grew up in chaos and that is a post for another day. Many people find certainty comfortable. And we like comfortable.

For me, the only thing harder than the initial stay at home order, is this next phase which feels even less certain. I have felt an increase in anxiety and have heard from colleagues and clients the same. As the phases of reopening begin, we are being asked to live in even more of a gray.

Now things might start to open, so should I go to these things? Small groups might be allowed, so should I be part of these groups? If camps open, am I sending my kids? I have no idea.

I have started to feel safe in my bubble. Enjoying knowing we hadn’t been anywhere and also knowing I wasn’t missing out on anything. This next phase will bring up choices and more feelings and judgement. While, I welcome progress, I admit I am anxiously anticipating it all.

Robyn Isman is a therapist focusing on befriending our anxieties. Robyn is also a mom of 3, business owner, and tie dye enthusiast.

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