2020 Was the Year of Pivoting and We’ll See Where that Leads
In my business life, I’ve been reading about pivoting since mid-March and we’ve been helping other small businesses do just that. For many, the decision to change gears was the obvious and only reaction for staying viable. Lately I’ve become aware that it’s not only businesses who are changing gears this year and for the same staying-viable reason.
COVID-19 may have sparked these personal pivots, but I suspect the folks in my circle have been contemplating their changes for quite some time. For some, months of staying at home became the perfect excuse to grow out previously-dyed gray hair. For others, having everybody at home was the impetus to divvy up chores more equitably. These simple adjustments to make life better could have – and should have – happened earlier, but it took a pandemic to actually accomplish them.
Some people in my circle changed careers in 2020 or went back to school to anticipate a career change. They have been hearing the “life is short” mantra repeated endlessly underneath all the other news we’ve been listening to this year. With plenty of time to sort through what is absolutely necessary to our lives – things like hugging or meeting in-person – we have also decided what is maybe not that necessary after all – like stockpiling toilet paper. I know several folks who are choosing new paths that will lead in a very different direction from where they were before 2020.
Strangely, other people in my circle have avoided making what I thought would be obvious changes, even though the time seems perfect for doing so. Formerly-overbooked folks suddenly had the opportunity to take up painting, get out their old musical instruments, write the Great American Novel – all things they said they were yearning to do if they only had the time. This year they actually had the time, and yet…
I can’t know for sure, but I suspect they are a little embarrassed, maybe even depressed, to find that, with their objective now within reach, they really don’t want it after all. I have felt this myself. The yearning was certainly real at one time, but after a while, I think it becomes a just a comfortable habit and we don’t even realize we have outgrown the dream until it’s in front of us, there for the taking. It’s sad and we may mourn what’s been lost, but then we should choose a new dream, one that’s achievable sooner rather than later. Because we can’t count on later.
If I’ve learned anything from growing old, it’s that there’s no point in waiting for things to get better because they probably won’t. We should use the good dishes and wear the bikini. Today is a special-enough occasion and while we might possibly get thinner, we will never be younger.
I have some achievable dreams I’ll be working on in the coming months and I look forward to seeing how the folks in my circle will build on the pivoting they have done this year. I can’t wait to celebrate all of our successes.