[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Remember how excited you were this past winter on New Year’s Eve? Maybe you were getting all dressed up for a fancy night out to celebrate with your friends. Maybe you attended a night watch service at church. Or maybe you were at home eating snacks while watching the big crystal ball drop to the delight of the huge crowd in Times Square. Whatever you chose to do, it was probably a time of anticipation and optimism. New Year’s Eve has long been my favorite holiday and I was thrilled to start off the new year (in fact, a brand-new decade) full of the spirit of hope and positive vibes. If you are anything like me, you were hyped up at all the potential 2020 would bring. Time to dance on the tabletops and have a champagne toast!
And then… 2020 burst those tiny little champagne bubbles into a world full of panic, sickness and unexpected challenges. For most of us, life was turned upside down. For many, the loss of loved ones became an unbearable reminder of how precious and temporary life can be. COVID-19 shook us all as the world slowed to a screeching halt. The unseen virus attacked in ways we never considered possible and we all had to pause to figure out what was truly going on.
We were faced with endless questions. How did this happen? Will I get sick? Should I cancel my vacation plans? Do I have enough hand sanitizer? Will I lose my job? Are my children safe playing outside? What in the world is Zoom? What is PPE and why doesn’t the hospital have enough of it? Can someone– anyone– explain why there is no toilet tissue (Clorox wipes, paper towels, etc.) on the shelves?
The chaos of the global COVID-19 pandemic set us all on a confused course of uncertainty as we struggled to understand how to manage in the “new normal”.
Like everyone else, I was caught off guard by the pandemic. I spent a good deal of time thinking about all the “What-ifs” and I did not find as many answers as I had hoped. I’ll admit some of my concerns continue to linger. My full time work typically involves a great deal of travel. In mid-March the company made the decision to stop all non-critical business travel. In short, I was grounded until further notice. Since it became clear that no one could predict how long this situation would last, I realized that flexibility and optimism would be the best weapons to fight this battle. I made a choice to use the down time to make some positive changes in my life, and hopefully influence others in a positive way.
One of the toughest adjustments was understanding how the state mandated would impact my social life. It’s hard to interact with others when all the typical hang out spots, restaurants and stores were shut down. Even the places that were deemed “essential” and permitted to remain open to the public (Supermarkets, drug stores, medical facilities) presented challenges. What’s the best way to hang out with my friends while remaining a socially distant 6 feet away? Is it still safe to hug each other? It’s difficult to know if someone is happy to see you if your mask covers up most of your face. Is that a look of fear? Anxiety? Grief? It’s impossible to know if someone is infected with the “Rona”. And no one wants to unintentionally pass along this potentially deadly virus. The concept of asymptomatic spreading of the virus is a scary thing. So, what used to be considered regular, everyday activities suddenly became well-planned, scheduled, not-very-social energy drains. And fun has taken a very distant back seat.
I chose to make the most of my newly found free time. Like most people, I thought I would clean my closets, organize my office and tackle the never-ending chores I’ve been avoiding. In reality, I binge-watched Netflix. The Tiger King was the train wreck I thought it would be and yet it kept me captivated. I never learned to make sourdough and I came up with a lot of excuses to avoid working out. After a couple of months of getting caught up on rest, I knew it was time to challenge myself. I paid close attention to my goals, seriously considered my passions and created a plan to chase my dreams. This spring, I enrolled in a couple of online programs, building a network of new friends while learning new skills. I became more involved with my local Toastmasters club to brush up on my speaking, communication and leadership abilities. I enrolled in a course on entrepreneurship and fine-tuned my understanding of business development. With all of the knowledge I gained I was able to make a significant pivot!
It is with pleasure that I announce the launch of my new business venture! With my training as a personal and executive coach, I have created Angela Kelley Coaching, LLC, a service focused primarily on date coaching and relationship coaching. I work with clients that want to thrive in their relationships. I work with single clients to explore their desires and to set goals in preparation for their next relationships. I also work with couples to provide objective guidance as they maneuver their path to stronger connections. I believe in my clients and take care in helping them to achieve the healthy and high-quality relationships they deserve.
I began the year with an optimistic “2020 Vision”. With all the ups and downs the year has brought so far, it would be easy to lose hope and hide away in isolation. Instead I’ve chosen to think of the trials of 2020 as an analogy for managing personal relationships. Flexibility, patience, kindness and appreciation for the little things are more critical now than ever before. I’m amazed at the adjustments we have made as a society. I marvel at our abilities to help one another through rough times. Just like in a great relationship, I am proud to seek the good in every situation. And I’m inspired by those who chose to develop the necessary skills to keep pushing forward. I’m hopeful that our resilience is a good indication that we are going to be okay.
So, things are tough now but as the saying goes, “Tough times don’t last but tough people do”. Until we get past our current crisis, let’s stay focused on the positive, continue learning as much as possible and pivot when necessary. Most importantly, despite the difficulty, let’s do all things in love.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]