Cheers to a less frenetic 2021
Doesn’t a new year always seem like a renewing, a reset to wipe the slate clean, to set new goals, have a new perspective and a chance to start over?
Each January, I get out a new calendar and feel the whole year is ahead of me, no matter what may come. 2020 was so strange, having to cancel so many monthly meetings and events and resetting my focus. My time, normally taken up by events a few nights a week and often on the weekend, were now free. My stress level decreased since I did not have to juggle outside meetings and functions.
Even though Covid-19 was beyond our control, our response to it made all the difference. For me, it became a time to enjoy my home, get back to spending time in nature, reading and nesting with my husband. I was home for dinners each night, rather than eating bland food at various hotels. Going out to dinner was more joyful, rather than something I did all the time, it became a simple pleasure. I started looking forward to any opportunity I could go cycling in the woods. The calmness I felt being in nature and the sounds and smells seemed to center me.
As much as I am looking forward to what 2021 holds, I’m not looking forward to returning to a pace that was stressful and unhealthy. Trying to carve out time for myself when I was forever running on the work treadmill was difficult. North Americans work far too many hours compared to the rest of the world. Clockify finds that United States full-time employees work 1,768 hours per year, or about 38.6 hours per week; more than the other 37 members in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
This means about 258 extra hours per year, roughly one extra hour per day. What would you do with an extra 32 days of free time? This year, I want to find out.
I have discovered from 2020 that it is great to see people in-person, but I do not need to be at everything and it is time to be judicious in my decision to attend. Time is the one thing we cannot get back. If the next generation is all about experiences, then time with family and friends should be a focus.
It is time to reset my focus to what is truly important and not let the stress and pressure morph me back into the crazy schedule I kept pre COVID-19. January brings hope for a new year and opportunities and the chance to reset one’s perspective on a work/life balance.
Nancy Peltonen serves as President/CEO with The Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on a committee for the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, while always finding time to volunteer with local organizations and travel the world.
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