As I begin to write this newsletter, I am realizing that it is already March 2021. How? It was just about a year ago that Rhode Island, essentially, shut down. Individuals and businesses were suddenly scrambling to figure out how to bring their offices home, how to teach school online, and how to keep essential businesses open. Some were afraid, some were skeptical, most were just trying to go with the flow as restrictions and guidelines were constantly changing.
I found there were basically three types of “pandemic personalities.” There were the ones who suddenly became super creative. Whether it was remodeling/reorganizing the house so that everyone had a place to work, finding new hobbies, or learning to bake people were becoming creative. I have seen lots of painting, drawing, and reading. And lots and lots of sourdough. One of my colleagues completed two – yes two – children’s song albums last year. For them, 2020 was a boom. Then there were the do-nothings. These were the individuals who were afraid to be around people, afraid to go to the market. Many for legitimate health reasons. Some just didn’t trust that they’re fellow humans were unable to follow the regulations to keep them safe. Many became quite isolated, especially early on. These folks may have felt that 2020 was a bust.
The third type of “pandemic personality” was something in between. There were bursts of creative energies, followed by depressive episodes. There was meeting for coffee in the park, followed by meeting for coffee over Zoom. There was outdoor dining at restaurants, then deciding not to go out to eat when the weather got colder. I believe that I fall into this “in between” personality. There were projects that got finished, but there were things that never got started. I had times of great inspiration, and times of deep solitude (not of the desirable kind) and a sense of separateness.
So, perhaps overall 2020 was more of a bust for me. However it was in those darkest moments of solitude that healing and direction came, even though I didn’t see it then. And although 2021 hasn’t been the boom I was hoping for, all the shattered pieces of 2020 are coming together. I am working to bring my wellness services into the virtual world, and to expand those offerings. I am now leading yoga classes in two states, one on the East coast, one in the middle of the country. I am actively exploring my next book project as I also prepare to launch my first book into the world. I still sit in quiet solitude, and I limit my outings and the people I’m in contact with.
I believe that many of those “Creative Pandemics” are going to need to take some time to rest and reset in 2021. If you’re one of those individuals, 2021 is your pandemic reset time. If you were the type to hunker-down and hide away, 2021 is your time to begin to take all that internal focusing and release it in some way – this is your year to shine in the pandemic. And if you’re one of those “little-bit-of-both” then you’ll likely continue to be a little bit of both, but you’re likely going to see a bit more of the side you didn’t see as much in 2020. Whatever your “pandemic personality” is, let’s continue to move through 2021 with a positive outlook, with fresh eyes, and an energy that we have never experienced before. I’m expecting 2021 to bring some exciting shifts, and I think we are ready for it.