The COVID Credo!
Lowering the bar has NEVER been in my vocabulary. Until recently it only equated to failure. This is where you can insert any and every cliché about Type A++++, Over achievers, etc. But in all honestly, sometimes I don’t want, wait no, now at this stage of my life, there are many times, I don’t want the responsibility, I don’t want the control, I don’t want to always succeed, and be the “Savior” for the “lesser” performers. Could this be because high performers are the one’s people go to when low performers slack? This is not the time to debate high and low performers, but to say that it doesn’t happen is BS. When sh!t needs to get done, it’s the doers that are looked at. And because I have had the kind of childhood issues of questioning and searching for value, I do it. I defined who I was based on the performances and accolades, the addaboys, and “you’re the best”, the “Thank You’s so much” and the “You rocketh muchly’s”
Well that starts to build the foundation of your failure threshold and tolerance. The more of that, the smaller the failure tolerance gets. You tell yourself you are less than, if you fall below the highest line. You are less than a human, you are less than a wife, you are less than a friend, you are less than a parent, you are less than fill in the blank.
This pandemic of COVID-19 has been interesting for me. Not hard, not easy, but interesting. Another word for interesting is curious. I found myself more curious day after day, time after time, (Ode to Cindy Lauper), “squirrel”, sorry back on track…..with each day brought curiosity and questions. What would today be like? Would I wake up and it was all a dream? Would I have enough patience for all the things? Would I finally find “sessy time?” Would I find myself in the midst of the chaos, or would I get buried under all the feels? Would I survive? Literally and figuratively. Would I catch it and die physically? Or maybe I would let myself catch a different kind of pandemic. Some call it Grace. Maybe this is Gracelike Growth. Its microscopic and invisible when you contract it. It enters through any of the senses, the touch of my daughters embrace, the feel of the lick of my dogs tongue on my cheek, the sounds of my husband snoring, (sorry babe), through my eyes as I read a text or a social media post, and the smell of the food I couldn’t eat for a week preparing for a surgery.
Grace-like growth comes when you realize you can be more by allowing yourself space to be less (fewer) of all the things and expectations, but not less than (beneath) Grace. I never thought that lowering the bar, saying no, reducing expectation, and even openly admitting all the things that normally would have a negative connotation are actually positive growth for me. Being able to admit these shortcomings is growth and that is what makes me more stronger, more of a person, more “real” and more that I was before.
Most importantly, I accept this feeling. My anxiety of acceptance, appreciation, mentor to mentee, friends with XYZ opinions, high expectations of self, oh geez you know all those things of mask wearers. I accept this because I have made friends with my anxiety. I welcome her into my home. I invite her beyond the dark, hard, beaten concrete exterior that is my “presentation” to the world. She is welcome in my life, and I want to get to know her more. Hi Anxiety, no hide and seek here, I see you and I want you to see me. I will show you compassion, and I ask you to do the same with me. I am sorry I did not acknowledge you before. Please forgive me. I forgive you and I forgive myself. You have a bad reputation but really, I have to thank you. Thank you for being the real pandemic of my soul and teaching me I am no less because of you. I am more because I allow space for less. It’s like being in a holding tank, the more water that fills, is like expectations and that bar raising. Eventually you run out of space to breathe and drown. Fear is what drives this. To this I tell my Anxiety, don’t drive fear drunk.
My COVID-19 CREDO!
I am not less for saying no.
I am not less for not being in control.
I am not less for not being the best parent (what ever that means) The best, what a joke!
I am not less for delaying things.
I am no less of a wife.
I am not less because I will not get “this” right.
I am not less for lowering my bar.
I am not less for reducing expectations.
I am no less of a daughter.
I am not less for not being productive.
I am not less because I admit to not knowing.
I am no less of an employee.
I am not less because I am confused (and ok with that).
I am no less of a mom.
I am no less for not responding to current events.
I am no less of a friend.
I am no less if I don’t take a stand (yet).
I am not less if I choose prayer, facts, waiting, and all sides of information to be released, and even still I am no less for whatever opinion I derive.
I am no less if I do not agree with you, and no more if I do.
I am no less of a sister.
I am no less if I chose silence.
I am not less if I chose joy of ignorance over debates.
I am no less for redirecting.
I am no less for blissful ignorance.
I am not less because I accept the words “I can’t.” (#adulting some days I just can’t)
I am not less for learning when I have the mental and emotion capital to. (because what needs to be heard must also be valued enough to listen not just hear)
I am more because I allow myself space for less.