We are on our third major rearrangement at home since the pandemic started.
The first reorganization occurred the first few weeks as we got settled in: We bought computers for the kids, upgraded the internet and set up an office for me at home.
The second reorganization happened a couple of months in — some fine-tuning, setting computers on desks, making things a bit more ergonomic for all.
But now something else entirely is happening eight months into the pandemic — we are settling in to longer-term changes.
And that involves letting go.
Things we have not used in months, nor will we use again for many months or even years, are leaving the house: My electric guitar is gone; the bicycles I amassed are being sorted; old pictures and paintings digitized or tossed; books being sorted into “keep” and “donate” piles.
The boys have done the same with their rooms — objects that have been static, not touched or moved or played with, have been put in boxes and moved to the garage.
At work, something similar is happening: Without distractions of travel, we are sorting through projects, closing down those that are time-sinks and letting go of some projects just causing us to be spread too thinly.
We are improving processes and implementing quality-assurance measures. What is happening both at home and work is that after letting many matters go, life is becoming a lot simpler.
It is simpler, and not every moment is packed with things to do, either. It seems that letting many things go has freed up time and space to breathe a little more, even to let a thought occur. There are some surprises.
For decades, I have been a long-distance cyclist, covering thousands of miles on solo tours. But after almost a year of not cycling, I was delighted to discover that I can run.
Two weeks ago, one of my colleagues took me to the Pecos Wilderness to hike up to Stewart Lake, a 10-mile round trip. When we got to the lake, I realized there was no way my wife would make her afternoon appointment unless I ran all the way back down.
So I ran, and it surprised me that I could keep going. The next weekend, I went back to see if I could run all the way up. This weekend, I’m looking forward to running up again and going farther among the magnificent aspens in fall.
It took for me to let go of cycling to find trail running and aspens peaking. In business, I am ready to let go of more, to delegate and let go of roles I am performing so that the organization(s) can grow.
This week, I might have discovered the business equivalent of trail running in the mountains in fall: Having 17 people working (in the three companies) is a new record for us. Much to be gained, it seems, by letting go.