Empathy through Organizing – My COVID-19 Response

Like many of you, I have been thinking a lot about the impact this pandemic has had and will continue to have, on us all. 

How are we doing?  How are we feeling collectively? How is our planet feeling?

Some people are thriving, some are struggling, and many are vacillating daily in-between. It seems there are multiple narratives at play right now – all of them valid and real. 

What will your story be once this is “over”? What do you want it to be and do you have any control over that? Do any of us? 

After so many personal ups, downs, and in-betweens on this pandemic roller-coaster, I wonder what my story will be once this is “done.”  One thing I know is that I will share part of myself – see more about that in the pink text below. 

As an organizer, and more than occasional perfectionist, I thought I would have earned the gold medal in decluttering, organizing, and managing my home with all the extra time I have.  

This did not come to pass. 

In fact, during the first few weeks of the pandemic, it took all of my energy to get up and get thorough the day! Anger, frustration, and irritation showed up first, followed by sadness and hopelessness. Which, in turn, made me feel guilty and ashamed. I kept thinking, 

Who am I to be feeling this way when people are dying, losing their livelihoods, and risking their lives to fight this virus?

When I realized that I was, in fact, moving through the five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance), I was able to better understand my reactions and be present to my emotions. As painful and uncomfortable as that was, for me and those around me, I had to feel that anger, and all of the fear underneath it, before becoming more present, empathetic, and self-compassionate. 

I am working hard to accept my choices, and not compare myself –– or my family –– to others. It’s okay if I don’t learn a new language, build Rube Goldberg machines with my child or re-design my website…right?  

Some things that have made me feel more grounded, present, and empathetic include:

The good for me has been the time at home relating with my family in a new way, the kind we never had time for “before.” This is not always easy, as cracks and crevices are magnified under this light, but we are working through it with more patience, empathy, and understanding.

I’m very aware of the implication that if you just do these things, all will be well. Not true, for me, or for anyone else. 

Each of us is unique and responsible for making our own choices. 

“Do I stay here, in this state, or move away from it?” becomes a powerful question.

As I begin to answer that question, I feel a need to share. Grateful to have the energy to do so, I’d like to think that my effort can help others move forward, just as other’s efforts have helped me move forward. 

Wondering if any of the statements below resonate with you:  

  • “With all this extra time at home, I should be more organized” 
  • “Why can’t I just decide to start and get on with it? 
  • “I really want to do it, but feel unmotivated/insecure/unsure/afraid”

I have felt all of these things and that’s why, inspired by my friend Esther offering free weekly online yoga classes, I’d like to help people declutter and organize their homes in bite-sized pieces.

I am offering FREE 30-minute bite-sized organizing blitzes to help you move forward so you can feel calmer, clearer, and more in control of your stuff…and your life. 

Join me for three consecutive Wednesdays for a practical step by step action plan for the following areas (fyi – strategies shared can be applied anywhere!): 

  • 11 – 11:30 am EDT Wednesday, May 20 Blitz # 1 = purse
  • 11 – 11:30 am EDT Wednesday, May 27 Blitz # 2 = junk drawer 
  • 11 – 11:30 am EDT Wednesday, June 03 Blitz # 3 = closet

Click here to convert the above time to your unique time zone. 

If you are interested in participating, please email me and I will send Zoom details. 

Moving through this pandemic process has been humbling. Scary. Raw. Uplifting. Creative. And it took a forced slow down to feel all that. I truly hope that we can all move through this and come out feeling more open, empathetic, and organized!

I look forward to seeing you online,

Jessica

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay