A New Normal

So many things on my mind these days, which is pretty normal. The reminder that we are standing on the […]
Wendy Jones
June 14, 2020

So many things on my mind these days, which is pretty normal. The reminder that we are standing on the edge of regular life happened for me this morning. I’d been up since 5:30, my favorite time of day is when the sun is just over the horizon.  Anyone who knows me understands that it’s the time when my optimism is at it’s peak. I had already done a meeting, a drop off, a dog walk, and was sitting down to write when the text came in

“Are you close?” 

I was supposed to be on the beach playing volleyball, which I would never knowingly skip! For a moment, the overwhelm crept in. Life is coming back, and after days of quiet and ample time to think, the demands of regular life are calling.  I knew I was enjoying the quiet and the extra time to think, talk, and write at a slower pace. As much as I want the world to be healthy and the economy to churn and have us all back to work, feeling our sense of purpose, if I’m honest, there are things I’m not looking forward to…like traffic and more options to choose from than there is time. But the time spent at home has helped me organize, not just my files and home, but my mind.  It has made me focus on intentional choices, like what I want in my day, by way of conversation and experience. While we all have obligations that we must honor as we get going again, I have made a pact with myself to do what matters and not let the busyness of life take away the meaningful interactions in my day. How can we pinpoint our actions to honor our own uniqueness? Or are we just going to get back on the hamster wheel and start running again? 

I’ve never been one for small talk, I want my time and effort going into things that deeply matter to me and to the world. Over the past few weeks, as a country, we have been asked to experience the deep questions that race in America brings to all of us. For people from my vantage point…white, suburban, given the gift of safety and belonging in society generation after generation, who have had the ability to be underexposed to the real nature of the experience of being black in America, my mindset has been that it our turn to listen.  We can actively seek out content, there are so many good reads and podcasts out there for us to broaden our lens, but in the end, we have to hone the ability to be masterful listeners. Not to probe for answers in someone’s experience that may be an open wound, but rather patiently hold space and see what experiences are offered up and entrusted to us. Then figure out how to respond with empathy.  For us to be able to access that empathy, we need to be able to think and experience from a place of calm, rather than being activated by shame or our own ignorance. We have to have the ability to look honestly at ourselves and the struggles in our own lives to access the ability to understand what another human is going through. We have to be able to realize if we are triggered, breath through it, not react, and continue to listen.  If we are hardened to our own experience, we will be hardened to the experience of all humanity. If we can muster the humility to not need to be right to calm our own nerves, then maybe this time we can make real lasting change.  Let’s not wait this one out, go back to “normal”, and wait for the next thing to spark outrage, let’s build bridges. 

The truth is I’ve used this unprecedented pause in life to start something that is aligned with my values and close to my heart. Lots of thought, intention, and work has gone into creating a new business…by next week you will all hear about it.  It combines my passion for sports and the game of life mentality that grows healthy human systems and families and I’m filled with optimism for what it will bring to the community. It’s for anyone who wants to get better everyday, whether in sports or in life.  I can’t wait to share it all with you…stay tuned.  We’re almost there! 

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About the author:
Wendy Jones is a mother of four, lifelong athlete, writer, and optimism & resilience coach and speaker. Through 20 years of parenting and relationship struggles, she believes that vulnerability and our willingness to share our stories is a way to heal ourselves

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