I Think I Exhaled

One morning on the way to the office I was on the phone with a friend. She asked, are you doing okay?

Side note: earlier this week, we had gone to breakfast and I told her, “I think my give a damn’s busted.” If you are unfamiliar with the expression, you can reference the Jo Dee Messina 2005 release of a song by the same name: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o40fwZgSFPI.

Back to the story….

This morning I guess the question, “are you doing okay,” hit me a different way. I took a deep breath and I think I finally exhaled, the first time since March of 2020. You see, as HR professionals we put on our game face, kept the spreadsheets, waded through the CDC website, read all the OSHA compliance BS, and just smiled and nodded when asked, “are you doing okay?” Why did we do that? Well…..

Like a flight attended in a thunderstorm over Dallas in early spring – no matter how bad the turbulence gets or how many passengers think the plane is going down, your job is to smile and nod and let them know everything is going to be okay.

So, like a good flight attendant I put my thunderstorm face on, and I forgot to take it off. Maybe I wasn’t ready to take it off and deal with all the emotions and changes from the last 18 months. I could use a ton of buzz words and you could play a drinking game with this blog post, but I’ll spare you the buzz word bingo and just go for some real simple talk.

I’m tired. I need some time to think, recharge, refuel. When you need to be strategic and creative, yet you have literally put that in the back of the bus for the past 18 months to deal with pandemic bullshit, well, I don’t have the energy to go get it from the back of the bus. Can we just slam on the breaks and make it slide forward? That would be so much easier at this point.

What do we do to get our mojo back? I’m not sure I have a magical answer for that. I know for me it is taking time to reflect and recharge. That’s not an easy task when your husband works from home, you go to the office every day and life in general takes up so much time. I know this about myself, if I don’t get time to recharge and reflect, essentially to file away the past year, I will continue to be blocked creatively and strategically….and life won’t be as much fun in general.

I also believe that as everyone is making up for lost time they have just lost their damn minds. Pump the breaks folks, dispense with the drama, and take a chill pill…. seriously, do we really want to go back to our pre-covid selves? Think long and hard before you answer that question. We all learned a lot from the pandemic and some of that may be how you live your life, deal with broken mojo, or just how to be the best you.

Last, but not least, the best you may not be readily apparent, the best you will always be a work in progress, so if you cannot give yourself a 10 yet, do not get discouraged over it and don’t let your give a damn stay busted. I am figuring out that exhaling, dealing with, and then filing the crap away will be much better for you and everyone in the long run. If you need to cry then cry, if you need to throw axes then find that place, if you need to play pickle ball at a ridiculous restaurant called Chicken and Pickle then more power to ya. Just remember, when you exhale, be prepared to deal with the emotions you are finally setting free.

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