Life is unpredictable. You do your best to have goals and work towards meeting those and smelling the roses along the way. Too many times, our best laid plans are waylaid by actions out of our control. We have to duck and move to avoid disaster. I call this pivoting.
In March, I had a lot going on. I was staying in Orlando all week working 50 hour weeks and coming home on weekends. We were planning for major project milestones and working on a major restructure for one group. My husband was (is) ill. I was having health problems, including panic attacks and had just found out that I did not have a major disease, only a treatable yet aggravating condition. I had a best-selling author coming to speak to my girls at the office for a huge event for our company Women’s Network. I had campus events to plan and finding alternatives to supplement the aged equipment and furniture we had on site. I authored and was promoting a new initiative corporate wide for our Women’s group. It was bonus time. I was planning on paying off accumulated credit card debt, finishing a remodel on my home, and trading my car for one that was better suited to my needs. I had received my annual bonus the Friday before. And then out of left field, I was called into the little room on a Wednesday morning. My NY based director had come for a surprise visit. I was extra slow on the uptake. I stayed confused when I saw the phone line open in the little room. I had no place in the restructured organization. Me and hundreds, probably thousands, of others. I am not sure of the numbers for that week. The universe, life itself, was shoving me to pivot. Time to implement the B Plan.
THEN, less than two weeks later, COVID-19 shut the world down. Looking for a job in that s***show was no fun, folks. Plan B was destroyed.
I went thru every one of the emotions of grief. I had been at the company for 9 years, moved to Florida to take the job. I had won awards; I had survived conversions and implementations and nightmare level clients…. I was devastated to a level that I had not experienced in many years. I then had to take the time to think about what I wanted to do (make money?), what I could do (anything that I put my mind to) and what made sense.
One of the favorite exercises of every one of the recruiters and job coaches I’ve talked to this year is to ask what you are passionate about and what do you want to do. It is a valuable question, if you are singularly focused person. Personally, I have a list of about ten things that I’m passionate about and I’m not sure how I can make money at most of them.
Ultimately, I decided to form my own consulting firm and take on contract work so that I can more easily pivot and find ways to incorporate my passions while earning income. We have many skills that companies can leverage to help them out of a pinch. Take a look at our website under services: www.risingphoenixresiliency.com
So, today I wanted to talk about one of my passions: Preparedness. How could I have better prepared for 2020? I am a resourceful person, an outside of the box solution finder. I learn from my missteps and apply them. There are things I should have done better to prepare for losing a job. A pandemic, well… here we are. And today: Hurricane Eta (who is drunk, by the way) has wobbled and looks like she is taking aim for my home area in Central Florida. So, Hurricane season is almost over and thus far Central Florida has escaped the most active hurricane season in history. Hahahahahaha – do you see the humor as I do?
And that is my first piece of advice: laugh when you can. FIND the humor as much as you can and then breathe.
The second advice tidbit I have is: Do a little something you enjoy every day for at least 30 minutes or an hour. I have found that I enjoy many things that never occurred to me prior to 2020. I can grow plants ya’ll! I have not been successful in the past. This is huge to me. They really love to be talked to. Probably they also respond well to, you know, testing the soil before you put water in and moving them to light levels when you see them failing. When you look every day, these things become evident. For me, it brings a sense of peace and understanding. I have found other creative talents hidden in myself. When I gave myself time, I have been able to cultivate them. I am okay in this moment and have epiphanies while I am doing these things I enjoy. Remember to Breathe.
I am a list maker. It is in my DNA. I love them. Excel is my very favorite tool. I think like a workbook. Lists, though, are only good if A): you use them B): they are meaningful. It is easy to make a list – but to effectively use it is something else. If you can’t find your list, it didn’t do much good right? If you don’t know what an item on your list means – also, not valuable. There are many checklists for <name any topic> on the internet today. Not so much, how to use your list and the spirit of preparedness. Kids, there are many times that you think you are prepared, but until you experience it, you don’t know. But, in being proactive and thinking about B plans, you are better equipped to make sound decisions should the need arise. And that is what I’m encouraging. That is what I am passionate about.
Example: Hurricane Eta – Every resident of Florida knows the drill. We have the checklist. Most of us who have lived here for a while, do not get stressed until a hit is eminent. We have our essentials ready to swipe up. Which essentials? Well, that could be different for you and your family than mine. What’s important to you? There are lists distributed by different agencies. Here is the Florida one: https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/hurricane-supply-checklist/
The value of this link is the fact that this particular list is beneficial no matter the specific crisis. It is just that though, generic. What about securing stuff inside your house? Is there a way to save some of that, if you have to evacuate? What should I take with me if I have to leave? My pictures, my valuables, my memories, my books, my special dishes, my……See the mind spin that starts to happen? When you are facing being hit by a hurricane dead on, a CAT 4 or 5, emotion wins and you are bogged down and act in a frenzied manner. This actually happens with a lot of different situations. Our minds take off and race ahead of feasibility.
Did you notice in my advice the last portion of each was to breathe? Now would be a good time. In thru the nose, out thru the mouth….. Again…. It helps. It works. Just thinking about scenarios outside of the moment of need helps us stay a little more calm and make sound choices.
I’d love to help you make time to think ahead and make a plan for any eventuality. At Rising Phoenix, we have lived thru almost any crisis you can fathom. And yet, here we are! Let us help you. What would you like to feel more confident in planning for?