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Retained (L)earnings

What have you learned in the last 30 days?  Will you remember it 30 days from now?

Just a few weeks ago our worlds turned upside down and many of us found ourselves unable to do the things we normally do.  Go to our job site.  Go to the gym.  Go to church.  Go to a restaurant. Go on a trip.

New worries arrived with the pandemic — concerns about our parents, our immune-compromised friends, our bank accounts, our retirement, our job stability.

And if you’re reflecting on this rapid change, you are noticing some things:

  • Your middle child seems to love this time of extra attention
  • Your spouse copes with stress differently than you do
  • Your parents don’t appreciate your lectures about health
  • Your personality hates being alone in the guest bedroom all-day
  • Your productivity at work is different now that you’re working on Zoom calls

As you reflect, you are likely to see something you need to change – change for the better.  So what have you learned in the last 30 days that you would like to have “stick” when life returns to some kind of normal?  Have you consciously written down the changes you want to be permanent?

Perhaps, when your normal routines went away, you found a new routine that you like better.  Your “peak” capability might be from 9 to noon, and when you have no meetings during this time you get a lot done.

Perhaps you are typically an anxious person, but despite the pandemic, you feel less anxious than before. You have created a time of quiet reflection first thing in the morning, and it is making a difference in your stress level.

Perhaps you are enjoying lunch with your spouse and children – something you’ve never done on a workday before.  But perhaps once and a while, you could.

Perhaps you have found time for something you’ve always wanted to do – but never had the time.  You’ve made an album the photos from last Christmas.  You’ve organized your garage.  You’ve called up your grandmother for a long chat.

You’re learning new things about yourself during this time.  Which ones are you going to make permanent in your life going forward?

Difficult times are often our best teacher. . . .

For me personally, I’m going to invest more deeply in the relationships that are the most important to me.  I’m going to talk to my kids more often – maybe even on Zoom calls.  I’m going to check in on friends more often – that I rarely get to see.  I’m going to travel less and enjoy my home more.  I’m going to finish the family tree I started on ancestry.com and share it with other family members.

At work, I have become more aware of the work that I find most fulfilling – and I’m going to aim to do more of that.  And I’m going to gradually reduce time spent on things I’m not interested in or good at.  That may seem like an obvious thing to say for a person at my life stage – but I can always become more focused.

What about you? Will you retain what you have learned – and apply it to your life?

Serve well.

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