Planning Your Fresh Start: Step 1


Back in the 1960s maybe?… there was a Broadway musical with the title “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.” I really don’t know anything about the show — just the name.

Before the pandemic, when life would seem truly out of control, I would think about that title. I would think, “wouldn’t it be great if I could hit some kind of pause button for a few weeks or months, just until I could get caught up? Caught up enough to catch my breath?”

So, yeah. I didn’t mean to cause a global pandemic. Be careful what you wish for, right?

But my fantasy pause was more like an old sitcom, when Samantha (“Bewitched”) or Jeannie (“I Dream of Jeannie”) would freeze the action all around her and keep going. Then unfreeze the action so everyone would pick back up again in the middle of whatever they had been doing.

The pandemic wasn’t that way, of course. Some things stopped. Some things kept going. Some things went an entirely new way.

The first step in planning your Next Normal Fresh Start is to reflect back on the months since March 2020. Just reflect at this point. Don’t think too much. Don’t analyze.

Consider the following questions:

  • During the pandemic, what did you miss most from the “before times”?
  • What did you miss least — or not at all?
  • What did you (maybe secretly?) enjoy about the pandemic?

Write down whatever comes to you, as unfiltered as possible. And then put your answers aside for safekeeping, for Step 2.


By Cynthia Knapp Dlugosz

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