30th April 2020

It’s OK to be on pause

person pausing on balcony

Maybe a pause is just what we all need so we can find our bearings

We’re used to knowing things and doing stuff. It’s how we’re typically conditioned to demonstrate our value. Because when we know things and do stuff we can talk about it, see it or touch it. [Don’t touch it!!!]

So, what happens now, when there’s lots we don’t know and lists of things we can’t do?

Some people have managed to know and do other stuff really quickly. They’re everywhere, telling us how to make the most of this time; learning, transforming, creating.

Preferably all three.

Choreographed to music and posted on TikTok.

But what if that’s not how we’re wired? What if we are pausing or taking stock or if we feel like we’re waiting for something? When I’ve mentioned this to friends and colleagues, a number have confessed to feeling the same sense of being “on pause”. We are continuing our work professionally and managing things at home but we’re also aware of confusion, mixed with uncertainty and self doubt.

It’s OK (kind of) because this is what we do. We notice this stuff. We know it is normal in the face of so much change. We know that comparing ourselves to others is pointless and unhelpful. We know this feeling will pass and we are likely to learn something about ourselves from it.

What sucks is that, although we KNOW this, it still FEELS hard and uncomfortable and we’d like to fast forward ourselves to the other side.

While searching for something to make sense of it all, I came across¬†this article¬†which discusses what it would be like if we looked at unplanned changes or obstacles like a sat nav does; by simply taking a moment to “recalculate” without getting angry, assigning blame or even asking why. This chimed with me and reminded me how much I like to take different routes to places, often abandoning the sat nav altogether even if I make a few wrong turns or it takes me a few minutes longer because I enjoy the of feeling adventure.

It made me realise that I was still focusing on trying to know things and do stuff (that value equation is deeply programmed) and that the value in this pause is to be OK with not knowing and not doing – to feel the adventure.

So for all of us who feel “on pause”, let’s revel in UNknowing and UNdoing and see where it takes us. (And if someone could set it to music and put it on TikTok that would be great. Thanks!)