Women seen from behind sitting with crossed legs on rock while overlooking lush, green mountain valley
Better times

Know that your best is enough

Like many others, I was laid off in April since my role became obsolete, thanks to the pandemic. For 6+ months now:

  • I am taking online courses to develop professionally as well as personally, and to explore new career paths, since my industry might never go back to “normal”.
  • I am applying for jobs and face rejection at every corner, either because I have working knowledge only — which happens when you try to enter a new field — or because the competition “is a better fit”.
  • I am collecting government support and started a side hustle to be able to maintain my financial responsibilities like rent, mortgage etc.

I am sure this sounds familiar to many right now, so here is what I learned during a pandemic:

  1. We don’t have the same resources we used to have

I didn’t only lose my job, I lost a lot of what I considered my purpose in life. I miss contributing to something bigger, working in a team, and achieving measurable results. I miss dining out, having a birthday party, hosting friends. I miss not worrying about my economic situation. I miss travelling. The pandemic has deprived me of much more than “just a job”. And a zoom meeting isn’t the same as hugging a friend. Going to the grocery store is the new social outing and you feel like you need a decontamination shower upon your return home.

2. We shouldn’t hold ourselves to the same standards as “before”

I am still following a laundry list of to-do’s and am by all means not bored! But I need to cut myself some slack, if I do not manage to achieve all things, I intended to. I can’t be mad with myself if I skip the daily shower once in a while — because, well, I am not leaving the house, am I? Or if I stay in bed an extra hour — because, well, it’s not like I have to get anywhere, do I? With the colder and darker season approaching fast, it’s important to keep in mind that we and what we do is enough.

3. We have to remember to be kind to ourselves

It is not my current economic situation or the state of my social life, that makes me feel depressed at times. What makes me feel bad is my attitude towards myself. I am disappointed with myself for not getting the job after the 3rd interview, I am upset about crying on the couch for 30 minutes instead of proceeding with my online courses, and I am questioning if I should be drinking the glass of wine at the end of the day. We are our own harshest critics and we need to cut ourselves some slack.

As a good friend of mine recently stated: “We’re supposed to be aspiring to new levels of greatness instead of working twice as hard to feel half as normal.” To be clear, I’m not saying don’t do your best, every… single… day... But know that your best is enough and celebrate the small achievements.

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Love travelling, books, wine and the outdoors! Canada is my home of choice. Marketing is my profession.

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Irene Couture

Irene Couture

Love travelling, books, wine and the outdoors! Canada is my home of choice. Marketing is my profession.

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