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  • Erin Conlon

The Ultimate Both/And


The world is grinding to a halt. AND life goes on. I don’t say this to be blasé. It’s an incredibly confusing experience of life where many seemingly opposing concepts are playing out together in real time. We have more time than we’ve ever had before, and life as we know it feels like it could end in a second. We get to spend incredible amounts of time with our families (should we live with them) while also feeling extreme social isolation. We’re okay; and we’re staring down the barrel of an unprecedented world-wide public health and economic disaster.

We are literally in the unknown; and we’re doing it alone and together.

I don’t know about you all, but SHEESH. This is a LOT. I am trained and train others in just being with people in uncertain times, and I don’t know what to do or say or how to be half the time. The other half the time, I’m just trying to stay healthy, connected, and sane.

I’m supposed to be in Hawaii right now. It was intended to be my first vacation in 15 months. With all of the saving, planning, and executing I was up to last year, I didn’t give myself the luxury of travel and prolonged relaxation. When I canceled the trip a couple of weeks ago, I let myself feel disappointed for a few hours, and then got back to work. It wasn’t until I was supposed to be landing in Kona that I really started to feel the loss of what I’d looked forward to and planned.

I suspect a lot of us are feeling similar feelings. I know of some very beautiful weddings that had to be canceled. What a huge effing bummer. Some of us are mourning jobs, events, and celebrations that we were looking forward to. Others are relieved that something they were dreading has been canceled. I’ve heard that many people are super excited to be able to spend time with their kids! AND – They want their kids to go back to school.

From observation, we humans crave what we perceive as normal. We want to believe that we know how tomorrow will go so that we can plan our meals, take care of kids, not get overwhelmed, maybe move our bodies, and if we’re REALLY lucky, have some quality time with people we love.

I clearly am not an expert or futurist, but it seems to me that our circumstances have given us an opportunity to reprioritize. We can start to sincerely value the essential services of the humans who stock the grocery stories, take care of the sick, teach our children, and keep us healthy and alive. It’s also an opportunity for us to take a look and get truthful about what is and isn’t working for us as a society. It seems to me that having our health services operate at capacity, without room for an event like a pandemic, doesn’t actually work for anyone. Oh – and while we’re at it, let’s take a look at jail, bail, and some criminal justice reform. It shouldn’t be a death sentence to be poor and not have the ability to post bail. Don’t even get me started on traffic, pollution, and the possibilities that are available when we reimagine what it means to go to work.

I started writing this because I had a fearful moment when I thought some of my clients might want to quit coaching because “now’s not the time.” In a certain light, that could seem reasonable, but it most certainly isn’t true. Under that logic, “now” is probably never the time. There’s always something huge or pressing or “more important” than our passions and dreams. I’m done with that storyline, and I want you to consider joining me.

We don’t know what tomorrow will hold; why not now? We don’t know what’s possible until we try the impossible. I have incredible clients who are up to super cool things. They’re transforming their lives from how it “should be” and making it how they want it to be. I will stand in fire for anyone who wants to do the same.

None of this is easy or even simple, and yet I believe that in addition to the problems we face, we also have incredible opportunities. I am sure you see problems/opportunities that I haven’t listed here & I’d love to hear some of your ideas, or what you’d love to create. You know where to find me.

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©2019 by Erin Conlon Coaching.