The Big Transition: Emerging from the Pandemic
Transitions matter. They’re meant to be respected for what they are. They’re the time we take to learn, adjust and set ourselves up for what comes next. We’re all in a transition now. Not just back to school, but back to life as we hope it will be post-pandemic.
What are you noticing about your own transition?
The Delta variant is making itself known and we’re not out of the woods yet. But it does look like we’re approaching the end of this saga. Covid numbers are down from last year, the vaccination rate across the population is getting close to what we need, and the economy is opening up more and more. People are tenderly resurfacing after a year-and-a-half of hibernation.
How is it feeling for you?
You may feel disoriented. Like coming out of a cave into the light, you need time for your eyes to adjust and regain your equilibrium.
For me, there’s a little bit of déjà vu.
When I worked in a bush camp off the Alaska Highway many years ago, I experienced firsthand what it was like to be fully isolated – with no way out except by helicopter. Returning to civilization two months later, I experienced the odd sensation that everything was too bright, too loud, too much. I was less inclined to be sociable. My boundaries were a lot firmer – too much so. I had grown accustomed to being my own best company, occasionally seeing a very tight circle of trusted family and friends. Transitioning back to normal life took time, patience and reflection.
It strikes me that this transition out of Covid is similar. We hunger to be back in touch with all our people – physically as much as spiritually. We want to be back to what we normally did – the way we normally did it. And we want to get there as fast as we can.
But we shouldn’t try to skip ahead. Transitions are essential to emerging healthy, whole, and self-directed. We get to process what just happened and how it’s changed us and our priorities.
We get to make powerful choices about what comes next in our lives.
- What was laid bare for me by the pandemic?
- What did I have to let go of? Grieve?
- What did I discover mattered to me more than anything else? What changes do I want to make so that this priority is actionable?
- What did I learn about myself? What strengths did I find in myself?
- What did I learn helps me be at my best?
BE in the Transition
Transitions are neither here nor there. They’re uncomfortable because they’re uncertain. Acknowledge that. BE in that ‘in-between’ space. Learn from it. Celebrate it — and all the uncertainty it has to offer.
Transitions, uncertainty, discomfort, discoveries – they’re all meant to be here too.
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
– Pema Chodron, American Tibetan Buddhist Nun