Pushing the Restart Factory Button

Recently, a friend of mine accidently launched the “factory restart” mechanism on her phone. I’m sure you’re wondering as I did, “How is an accidental factory restart even possible?” This is a legitimate question to ask. For most people, the factory restart is reserved for the “all hope is lost” moments – when there is nothing more to do than wipe your phone clean and relaunch it as an empty slate. Ordinarily, launching a factory restart on your phone requires a high level of intentional button pushing.

This is not the case for my friend. The irony here is that she has accidentally launched a factory restart of her phone not once, not twice, but THREE times in the last couple of years. You are likely questioning if she should even be allowed to own or operate a cell phone. This is also a legitimate question.

After initially feeling my friend’s distress over the situation, I started to wonder. What would it be like if we had a “factory restart” button in our life we could intentionally push when things start looking and feeling like they are out-of-control or when we are running around in circles trying to sort stuff out or make things better and we find ourselves longing just to drop everything? Imagine that with the push of a button, we could wipe it all away. Just like that.

Poof! It’s gone.

Think about the relief and the spaciousness we would feel.

A fresh start. A next opportunity. A new beginning!

What if we could all have a “restart” in life – not just once, but maybe twice or even three times over – where we can create a clean and empty slate and start afresh?

Real life is complex. It’s hard to imagine how we could just wipe it out entirely with one push of a button. However, real life does give us opportunities to reset and restart.

Two years ago, life as we knew it was disrupted by the onset of a worldwide pandemic. This historic event found its way into our lives – from the youngest to the oldest. This massive disruption led to enormous hardship for many, but it also gave us opportunities to reassess our lives and, in some ways, to reset and restart it.

For some of us, the pandemic offered an opportunity to make a change in our surroundings – like a new apartment or home, moving to a new city, starting a new job or school or remodeling or rearranging our existing space.

The pandemic encouraged others of us to adopt new and better habits or routines in our life, such as exercising, eating healthier, reading, meditating, enjoying more quality time with family and friends or even learning a new skill and talent.

For others of us, life was reset and restarted by a change in personal relationships, such as marriage, divorce, a new baby, a break-up, a new friend or a death.

The pandemic was an accidental “factory restart” for many of us.

However, a few months ago, my life as I came to know it during the pandemic was beginning to be disrupted. The more I transitioned out of pandemic life and into a new “normal” way of post-pandemic living, the more unrest I felt. The quiet, uninterrupted and reflective time I settled in to during the pandemic was now beginning to resemble the stressful parts of my life before the pandemic – long “to do” lists, a calendar full of meetings and social events, eating on the run, late nights and early mornings and little time for relaxation or reflection. My pandemic life and post-pandemic life came head-to-head and created a tension that left me feeling pulled between both worlds. I found myself overwhelmed, exhausted and going around in circles.

I needed another “factory restart.” But this time, it required a high level of intentional button pushing.

I needed to find a good balance between life as I knew it during the pandemic and life as I want it after the pandemic. I needed to be intentional on how I planned to move forward and to find a way to merge the best of both lives.

Recently, I made an “embrace” and a “nix” list. I thought about life before and during the pandemic and the things that brought me enjoyment, inner peace and a sense of well-being. These things made my “embrace” list and are what I plan to embody in my post-pandemic life.

I did the same with my “nix” list. But this list included everything that brought me sadness, distress, anxiety or that I simply disliked before and during the pandemic. As much as I am able, these are the things I plan to let go of and not allow in my life going forward.

There was one more list I made. It’s the things I wasn’t doing before or during the pandemic but want (or need) to do in my post-pandemic life. This is my “no ifs and buts” list.

Perhaps you are feeling or experiencing the same as I have lately. Maybe you are struggling with the transition from a pandemic to post-pandemic life. You, too, might also need an intentional reset or restart. I invite you to do the same list-making as I did. With the end of the school year and the start of summer soon approaching, it’s the perfect time to start afresh!

Making the lists is as far as I’ve gotten with my intentional restart. There’s more to do. I’m sure of it. There’s goal setting, creating a plan of action and then doing the hard work to make it all happen. Along the way, it will also require focus, determination, will power and maybe a few more intentional restarts.

Perhaps my friend’s accidental factory restart of her phone three times over in the last couple of years shouldn’t be questioned. Whether it be accidental or intentional, a “factory restart” may be what we all need in life once, twice, or three or more times over. So, go ahead, and push the restart button and do it as many times as you need to.

Relaunch, restart, reset and refresh!

P.S. Many of you have been checking in with me given I haven’t posted a blog in about six weeks. I really appreciate your attention and thoughtfulness. As you now know, I’ve been doing a high level of intentional button pushing during this time!


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