I would consider myself to be a busy person. I have always been a busy person. It is almost the only way that I know how to live or at least like to live. Do not get me wrong, I like to find moments to relax, take breaks and vacations but for the most part, I stay busy. At a young age, I was always participating in sports and youth programs throughout the year. While in college, I played football and eventually started working in an architectural firm during my graduate school years. Currently I am a husband, father, firm principal and business owner, active real estate investor, full time lecturer, and president of Bmore NOMA. I would also go to the gym about 3 days a week and hang out with family and friends on the weekends. I was happy juggling all these things but then the pandemic hit and a lot changed.
It wasn't until the pandemic forced us into quarantine that I realized how much I really had going on. For a moment it was okay; it was almost welcomed. Not COVID-19, but the quarantine. I didn't have to rush out in the mornings. I could relax, drink some coffee and jump on my computer. I thought I was fine. I could get most of what I needed done from home. I could visit project sites when needed and communicate to people through emails, phone calls and Zoom meetings. I was still juggling everything but eventually, the items seemed to get a little heavier.
Some things fell off like going to the gym and hanging out, but I was still juggling and feeling okay. Then items continued to get heavier and heavier. Family life seemed to be a little more demanding. Work started to seem a little bit more urgent. I was not enjoying life as much as I was before. It eventually got to the point where I felt like I was confronted with all the things that I was juggling at one time. The pressure of my world was starting to take its toll but I did not know why. I was always able to do all of these things without much stress or worry.
So why do I feel overwhelmed now?
The answer was that I was able to compartmentalize my life and keep it balanced. I would go to my office for architectural work and for meetings, go to the university to lecture and teach, go to the gym to work out, come home to relax and hang out with family and friends on the weekends to recharge but those compartments were gone. Everything was happening in one place and it seemed that all was happening at the same time. I started to feel a little depressed.
I had to find a way to get back to some sense of normalcy in order to maintain my sanity. So I started to create my own compartments within this new situation. Starting with family, we would make sure to get out of the house on the weekends. We started doing things like going to the park and walking nature trails. For work I would try to move around the house and find different places to be. I would even work outside if it was a nice day. I created a home gym, not the same as going to the gym, but it works for now. Lecturing takes place online, which is really tough but we make it work.
At this point I know it is not the same but I’m an optimist and I focus on my “why”. I try to look at the fact that terrible moments do not last forever, that the things that I continue to do now are helpful to others and are leading me to my ultimate goals, and that things can and will get better. Things can and will get better. Things can and will get better (optimism. My advice to anyone that is reading this is to focus on your "why" and stay positive. If you do that, things can and will get better.