I’m not a news outlet, nor do I have a political agenda, so I can’t tell you if the Corona Pandemic is the most severe health threat we’ve ever faced, or if it is just a lot of misplaced panic.
My guess is that, like all things related to humanity, it is probably somewhere in the middle. And, since I’m not a medical professional, I would simply offer my grandmother’s sage advice: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Grandma, by the way, lived to be one hundred and five, so I always give her life advice the benefit of the doubt.
Here is something my grandmother didn’t say but is equally vital in the current crisis. It comes from self-development master Brian Tracy who said, “Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.”
It’s not a new thought. We know that two perceptions can be opposite and yet equally valid.
The glass is, of course, both half empty and half full.
Optimism and pessimism are choices.
I’d imagine that for the extroverts, the pandemic is a greater psychological nightmare. For introverts, “social distancing” is a lifestyle.
As an ambivert, only a small portion of my life has changed with the shelter in place requests.
Sure, I miss the gym, but I’ve missed it before, and that was at times when it was open.
If not for the absence of canned goods, I usually buy (like Tuna fish) and those I would never buy (Who the hell bought all that “potted meat?” And what is potted meat?), I’d hardly notice any real change to my daily routine.
Well, of course, there is the recent work furlough.
I will be missing the money for a while. But I’m pretty sure my mortgage and credit card companies will be missing it more than me.
I can lament that my promotion to Vice President lasted less than ninety days. Or, I can celebrate how awesome it is that I get to put VP on my unemployment application.
And I can believe it is all temporary until there is actual evidence that it is not.
It’s a choice, and I choose to believe.
The world has literally come to a stop.
There can, however, be a silver lining in all the chaos. There can be an opportunity in the quietness if you listen to its sound beneath the din of doomsayers.
It’s a chance to do things that matter most but get attended to least.
Like self-care and self-actualization.
I have many plans during this world pause.
Stressing over bills and credit scores is not on my list.
What is on the list are the things I have a passion for.
Work planning stuff that I have not been able to get to.
But you’re laid off, why work on their stuff? Well, it was never their stuff and always my stuff. If I go back, I’m better prepared. If I don’t, I’ve got the workings of my own consulting firm. Win-Win.
I also have a novel to finish. I have blogs to write, things to learn, books to read, and ten thousand steps a day to walk. And I’ve got plenty of time to have virtual happy-hours with my on and off-line friends.
My point is, we have plenty of time right now for us.
Yesterday, I exfoliated my face. It also seems like an opportune time to try an aloe treatment on my hair.
I thought about trying some self-waxing, but I’d feel pretty stupid sitting in the emergency room amongst the genuinely sick, explaining that mistakes were made.
I rightly decided that until I perfect the left-handed use of an emery board, more dangerous beauty rituals will have to wait.
Am I worried about Covid-19? Sure.
Concerned about the health of my loved ones, family, and friends? Absolutely.
Uncertain about the future job situation? You bet.
Worried about my future? No.
The future has always been uncertain. There are just too many variables that we can’t account for or even plan for.
My reality is to believe that whatever challenges I will be required to deal with, I will deal with them.
I’m not going to beat myself up for not being better prepared for something no one was prepared for.
I’m not going to stress over the endless doomsday possibilities for the world or for my personal life.
I’m not going to sit around waiting for “normal” before I take action in my own life.
I’m not going to waste this opportunity to live my fullest “indoor life.”
That, of course, is not intended to minimize the struggles of others.
The sick, those with loved-ones in critical care, people who struggle to feed themselves or their families, their reality is tragic. They deserve our kind words and kind deeds.
And, of course, parents who suddenly find themselves trapped at home with their children. They, too, deserve kindness and any alcohol that we can spare.
I have food, I have shelter, I have internet, and I have this rose-scented body scrub stuff-so, no sympathy for me and no pity-parties.
For most of us, the situation is not personally tragic. It is just inconvenient. Not paying the bills is a problem to be resolved at a later time, not something to lose sleepover. Canceling social plans sucks, but it is not deadly. Not being able to purchase Potted Meat is probably a blessing.
So, for those of us not facing a real tragedy, we have been afforded the gift of time. (Pick your god, but you have to believe he/she/it has a sense of humor.)
The world has literally come to a stop. And in that momentary pause, we can consider things that we never had the time to before. We can use the time as a chance to return to the world, after the crisis, with a better set of life priorities, with a better understanding of ourselves, and a better appreciation of all the things we take for granted.
Maybe we’ll even take time to thank that cashier at the grocery store and the fast-food chain for showing up to work while we were lamenting our isolation.
Stay Healthy – Stay Positive.