Today marks Day 12 of the Shelter-in-Place order, as directed by Alameda County and then the Governor’s mandate in CA. We were among the first counties to have this order. During those first few days, panic ensued, my heart raced, a level of adrenaline ran through me 24-hours a day that felt like I was constantly running on the treadmill, and all the while, I wasn’t sleeping. Those first few days, I swallowed gallons of information from the news, internet, numerous threads, live webinars to try and comprehend what just happened and how to navigate these foreign waters. I survived and thrived through The Great Recession in 2008 but that doesn’t mean I don’t carry a certain amount of PTSD along with me and it was surfacing big time. I am a REALTOR®, and I humbly say, a pretty successful one at that. I have a good pipeline of business, then just like that, everyone retreated into their homes, just like my family. So now what?

Day 3, I posted to my Facebook page, “Today, I woke up with a plan.” My dad always told me to write my goals down, that if you don’t, you will wander aimlessly through life. Nothing about a pandemic was on my goals, so I had to regroup. My goals were simple: get up, exercise, take a shower, check in with 5 clients, take a break every 2 hours from the information sources and clean the pantry. This was enough. It helped take the edge off and allowed me to move forward. Each day, I am doing this. Small, simple goals.

As I began my daily workout a few days ago, I found myself breathless, tired, defeated and wanted to give up. Then my instructor said, “It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.” A light bulb went off in that moment. I then started to realize that navigating through this time is much like the first mile of a workout. At the start, you don’t want to do it, you make excuses, you’re tired and you want to give up. It’s this part that keeps people from ever starting a workout because they think it will be too hard and they don’t think they can do it. But, Mile 2 hits and you start breathing a little more regularly, and your legs forget they were tired. Pretty soon you are in your grove and on your way and have forgotten about Mile 1. The next thing you know, you finished and feel ok. You made it.

We are hitting Mile 2 now and starting to settle in to life as we know it. I am smiling more, laughing at silly things, enjoying my family dinners, my face is a little less tense and I am looking ahead to what’s next. So, what now? This is the part I call forced change. My day to day business practice has changed. Life has changed.

That We adapt. We live. Don’t take living for granted.

Stay tuned for Mile 3! Be Well- Jen Branchini, REALTOR®