While chatting to a friend over Whatsapp the other day, he said to me, "It took a literal pandemic for me to stop and smell the roses". I got shivers when I read that message because knowing him and having an idea of what he meant by that, it was real-life evidence of the impact and wake-up this global Pandemic is having and is going to have on a lot of people. I asked him to explain so here is his answer in story format:
It was New Years three year ago and for the first time in my adult life, I decided to spend it alone at home and compile a list of things I wanted to achieve. It was the best decision I could have made for myself, sorry… I mean my work!!
I went on to achieve my goals and reached financial freedom in a very short time. I started my own business, built the client list I was after and hit all my financial goals I’d set. I moved into my own apartment and my dreams written down on that piece of paper that evening were materialising one after another, just as planned. I was on a high!
Then the Corona virus hit and because my business is in the advertising industry, you can imagine the first thing to halt is marketing efforts. So, naturally, I quickly lost a couple of jobs. First was a website for an international client and shortly after that another big retainer was cut, goodbye.
All of a sudden I woke up last Wednesday to a free morning. It was a weird feeling! I didn’t have a meeting to go to or a deadline to meet. I was lost!
I had no idea what to do with free time! Just a few years ago I would have jumped in my wetsuit and surfed for hours, or gone for a ride on my bike. Now I don’t even have a board or a bike and I’m sure my wetsuit doesn’t fit me.
That morning was a huge wake-up call for me!
“It took a literal pandemic to make me stop and smell the roses.”
I realised that financial freedom had given me a lot but it had taken my freedom in other areas of my life. My friend groups had become smaller, my fitness has all but disappeared and everything had become about work! I’d reached a point where every decision revolved around a brief or deadline and I’d lost my work/life balance.
I have just two projects left in my stable and there aren’t prospects of new work on the horizon but fortunately I have enough work to keep me going and savings to keep me afloat. But what I’ve decided to do is to take on a new brief. That brief is to find my balance
I’ve chosen to look at this forced hiatus as a way to reclaim my whole life and not just one part of it and to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. Learn an instrument, get fit and take an online course or five. I really enjoy learning new skills but never had the time! I’m privileged to have the opportunity to use this time to work on my quality of life. To plan new ways to live in a way that isn’t constantly chasing deadlines. To choose health, happiness and relationships over work. I’ve already started a training regiment and I’ve been looking through online courses to see what I can sink my teeth into during this time. I guess the point of all this is I’m going to start writing a new list and I’ll be splitting my list between work goals AND life goals. Let’s check-in three years from now.
We love this story and the message behind it. We love that you've made the decision to use this time to make positive changes to your life while waiting for work to return!!
Thank you for the piece :)