I miss the hustle of work, appointments, and accountability.
I miss the contentment of my routine life, I miss people, I miss getting a haircut, and I miss flirtatious talk. And I want someone, other than me, to touch my face. Sure, I’ll ask them to wash their hands first …
Covering our faces, avoiding handshakes, hugs, proximity, and being concerned about where people have been, who they have been with, and the last time they were tested for anything – we have never thought seriously about these choices. Now they consume considerable time and carefully considered effort by everyone.
I get to choose how I react to what is happening to me. – Viktor Frankl
I get to choose how I react.
We can mix, weave, and cherry-pick like we are playing a shell-game with ourselves, which can be easy and fun when we are playing with things or ideas that don’t matter much. If, on the other hand, we are wrangling something serious, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening, we deserve to pause and think through so many choices more carefully than ever.
In some cases, we realize we never thought about them at all.
But now misery has befallen the elderly, the fragile, and first responders. This respiratory torture has also befallen both the weak and the strong, befallen those running into the risk, as unfairly and indiscriminately as it has those running from it.
Our risk is highest if we have it, if we spread it, but for the rest of us, the risk appears low – both of contracting COVID-19 or dying from it – nor likely to shorten or end our lives as so many other causes might. But it’s contagious, has no known cure, vaccine, or effective treatment.
We’ve been made to fear it, to be isolated by it, and to restrict our livelihood and our pleasures. This is temporary and shall pass …
I miss my freedom of activity, freedom of choice at every turn.
It would be easy to get down, to get depressed, and to get self-destructive. Easy.
What is more important, and better tests us is to question that which we can do.
What can we do?
Anything we choose to do.
What can we create?
What can we invent?
What can we solve?
What can we fix?
Who can we talk to?
Who can we write to?
Who can we spend time with?
I get to choose how I react.
I get to choose.
But what should we choose?
Some thoughts running through my transom …
We are all asking what to do, or do not, in our post-pandemic life.
We cannot stall it, this is happening to all of us, in every crevice of the planet with the possible exception of Antarctica.
Re-routing daily activities, not ‘exactly’ returning to what came before, but enjoying this discipline of self-returning to work routines, sleep routines, exercise routine – from morning regimen to evening habits.
The work/life balance question I so often ask others about, is what I’m asking of myself.
Before: Yes, I work a lot and have a full life – they overlap and fit together, neither one is ON or OFF at any time. Often too busy, but not unhappy.
Recently: %_!W)_)%!@* _%!@~ +%$@ #f__
Now: I can do this. As if the slate was wiped clean, I can re-imagine and re-design which elements of my life-as-I-knew-it I want to incorporate into my post-pandemic life.
Particularly, the ‘next 10 years’ has been on my mind. It wasn’t a month ago, but now that our ‘social-distancing phase’ of the pandemic has become gridlock for nearly everyone, and realizing the normalizing of everyone’s life will come apace with a vaccine, predicted to be 12-18 months away.
And even then, nobody has ‘a model’ for that.
It takes the whole notion of ‘future life,’ health, planning, etc. to a new dimension. Younger people can count on decades of future after a few years of disruption. Those of us further down the path do not have that luxury of time. We can ‘do something,’ or ‘do nothing,’ but I don’t see a lot of options like waiting and then re-starting – because we’ll be just too long in the tooth …
Everyone’s life contains two elements: what we did, and what we wish we did
It’s that simple.
Do something or sit on the sidelines.
Do, or don’t.
If anyone isn’t getting this, imagine the analogy:
If there was a chance to leave for Mars tomorrow – and you couldn’t come back. Life would be unknown, and certainly unlike any life you’d ever known or imagined. Do you go, or not? Where is your heart, your imagination, your zeal? Oh, and everyone is going, because there will be nobody left on earth.
Anyone who ever lost themselves in fiction can imagine that for a moment – the challenges, the working-together with friends, family, and strangers to survive. It would be scary, but so rewarding while also being so essential to survival.
Well, we don’t have to go to Mars. Everything here is unknown – the future is what we create. The rules are rules we make, the innovation is all ours. Our lives depend on it.
We need to be MacGyver.
Who has the duct tape?
p.s.: many thanks to those who replied yesterday with some great laugh material – I really appreciate you contributions which I am sharing below
If we want to laugh, we should say or do something funny, no? , AN, Calgary, AB - Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant. While having a bite to eat, they talk about their moonshine operation. Suddenly, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress. One of the hillbillies looks at her and says, Kin ya swallar?' The woman shakes her head no. Then he asks, 'Kin ya breathe?' The woman ...begins to turn blue, and shakes her head no. The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up her dress, yanks down her drawers, and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue. The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm, and the obstruction flies out of her mouth as she begins to breathe again, the Hillbilly walks slowly back to his table. His partner says, 'Ya know, I'd heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver' but I ain't niver seed nobody do it!'
Great Example of our stimulus package: It is a slow day in the small Saskatchewan town of Pumphandle, and streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit. A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op. The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her "services" on credit. The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner. The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveler will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves. No one produced anything. No one earned anything... However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Stimulus package works, TL, Calgary, AB
Funny for a laugh – from my running group: Hey all you shut-ins and self-isolaters, if you are looking for something to do, tune in into the daily Presidential briefings for entertainment that not even money could buy. The use of the term “presidential” is definitely an over-statement as the only thing missing is juggling and a big red nose. However here are three things you probably didn’t know: the briefings are going to move from CNN to the Comedy Network; Trump claimed that four states support his presidential efforts. Amazingly Trump was actually able to identify four states in the US; Trump will be known as the Virus President, largely for the fact his hair looks like a nasal swab, DH, Calgary, AB