I snapped at my kids and my wife the other day – a little out of character for me. 

I didn’t lose it because I’m a bad dad or husband. I’m pretty solid in both arenas if I do say so myself. And, I didn’t snap because I have bad kids or a nagging spouse. I don’t. They’re pretty awesome as well. But toward the end of a Monday, with all the pressures of running a business from home with two sibling teens battling it out upstairs, I was stressed out. So were my kids, which is why they were fighting. This COVID-19, stay-at-home, cover-your-face, negative-news-cycle life finally got the best of us all.

I’d love to tell you we’re thriving in the middle of all of this and that our best selves are showing up every day. If I told you that, I’d be lying. 

So, let me be honest. Our reality is this…

We’re doing good, taking each day one-at-a-time, and getting through this. Some moments feel good, and others feel a lot messier. Some days we’re lifting each other up, and others we’re glad if we can just hold ourselves up. There are times when I feel more connected than ever with the people I love, and others where I don’t even feel connected to me. 

Life today is a roller coaster, where the highs are high, and the lows are low, and sometimes if we’re lucky, we’re just in between. I miss my life… Dropping my kids off at school and then heading to work. Unlocking the office door in the morning, turning on the lights, sitting at my desk. I miss driving to see clients, sharing meals with them, and having face-to-face, non-digital conversations. My kids miss walking into middle school and seeing their friends. My wife Cristina misses hanging out with her family. 

All that “missing” is messing with my head. I caught myself the other day staring at my computer. I had no shortage of things to do, projects to tackle, important things to occupy my time. There was a list in front of me filled with priorities for the day. But for five minutes, maybe longer, I was temporarily paralyzed, and my motivation was gone. It disappeared like a thief stole it when I wasn’t looking. It took me a second to snap out of that, and then I dove back into my day, and everything was normal again. 


I love the word “normal.” That’s my point in sharing this. I’ve talked to so many of you about how you’re feeling, what you’re dealing with right now, and how this is all affecting you… and I know from those conversations that I’m not the only one. I’ve found so much peace in knowing that what I’m wrestling with is normal. And, what you’re battling is normal. 

It’s normal, in the midst of our challenges, to experience highs and lows. Whether you’re facing fears about your work and finances, or battling through a health scare, it’s normal to find yourself sliding into those holes from time to time. It’s common to snap, to cry, and to embrace those emotions in a range of different ways. You’re all good. We’re all normal.

Just being able to say it out loud, and write it here, feels a little better. 

The Takeaway

I’ll repeat that again… we’re all normal. We should celebrate that for just a second. And, in those moments where our motivation slides or we’re missing bits of our past life, we should share that with someone. If we don’t, we’ll snap, like I did with my twins and my wife, and we’ll become people we’re not. So get vulnerable, share what’s on your mind and in your heart, and just be… normal.

Want to feel a little more normal, and find some new ways to keep from getting stuck right now? Subscribe here for weekly emails from Depth Not Width. Together, we’ll focus on everything we can do today to be great in the midst of all these new challenges!

– John