Last night I was having a conversation with a friend. She felt worn out and exhausted. She had started her new job a month before and she couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t get back to her "normal life". Her energy levels were low and she kept feeling depleted.
I listened intently and gently said, “There’s nothing wrong with you. What you’re feeling is perfectly normal. The reason you’re feeling so depleted is because your new promotion at work has more weight on your shoulders. Thus, your stress is increasing causing your energy levels to decrease. This is your “new normal” in life.
I reminded her that the normal activities and things that were on her plate before— well it’s now doubled for her! So, now she was doing twice the amount of work to make sure things weren’t falling off her plate. I reminded her that she probably wouldn't ever go back to her "normal life". In fact, until she adjusted to her busier schedule and new added stress, she would have to say “no” to a lot of the good things that had been so deeply rooted in her life for the past few years.
But, the good news was that she didn’t have to stop hanging out with the people she loved or the things she loved to do. She just needed to adjust the frequency. Her “new normal” would look and feel a little different than it had before. Maybe instead of hanging out with her closest friends twice a week, she would have to adjust it to once every other week. That doesn't mean she has to isolate herself. It just means that she has to be intentional by sending more texts or making more phone calls throughout the week to check in with her friends. This "new normal" looks and feels different, but if she spreads her time out wisely and hangs out with her closest friends every other week, she will still be investing in those deeply rooted relationships.
At the beginning of the conversation she felt defeated and frustrated. Her expectations of how life had been and how it should currently look right now were not matching up. After our talk, she felt relieved and comforted.
The truth is, I’ve walked that road before, many times... and I’ve come to the conclusion that... friendships and things in life that are deeply rooted won’t go away over night. Those deep roots will remain even in the busiest of life's changing seasons. We get scared and fearful that relationships or things in our lives that have always been there will shrivel up if we stop doing them. So we place more stress and get frustrated with ourselves with these unrealistic expectations.
The truth is simple. Life changes happen every day. New seasons call for new adjustments or “new normals”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you love or see the people you love the most. You just have to know when to take a little off your plate during one season, so that you can take care of yourself, feel good, and be the best you! Each season is an investment into a new goals, dream, or certain people in that season. We don’t have a cookie cutter solution to each new season, we just have to re-organize and re-evaluate for each new season of life and adjust accordingly too!
Live Courageously. Love Radiantly,