What a wild week it has been. While it’s bound to get worse before it gets better, perspective is everything in this season of a global pandemic. I believe this to be especially true of us in a first world country with all of our modern conveniences. That doesn’t mean we aren’t still susceptible to fear or even panic. It just means that now is the time for solid awareness of how we can best manage our thoughts about everything that is coming our way.
Last Monday, the topic of my Facebook Live was a bit lighthearted while I played the game of “I will not touch my face” and implored people to stop buying ALL of the toilet paper. This week’s will probably be a lot deeper! First, let’s review some of the rapid fire changes that have taken place over the course of the past three days alone.
My son was on Spring Break this past week, as many schools around the country were. On Thursday, we were informed that the break will be extended. Currently, it’s just for one week, but let’s not kid ourselves (pun intended) – it will likely be longer.
This will not bode well for the social butterflies in this house (me and the boy).
While this news was coming in, I was shuttling my dear friends and fellow life coaches from the airport to our Airbnb. We were all stoked with the excitement of finally meeting each other in person. We graduated together, but have only interacted through video conferencing and phone calls over the past year. This was to be our time! There was a one day conference we have planned for months to attend. Almost every single one of us got on board to make the magic happen. We were only short one friend in Norway who decided it was just too much to swing for a one day event.
As the conference was local to me, I offered to pick everyone up because I couldn’t wait any unnecessary minutes to see their faces. It started Wednesday night with my friend from France and continued through the day on Thursday. Two more here, one there, another there.
Before the last two made it here, the conference had been canceled, but they didn’t stop. One was at the airport and another was on the plane when they received the notice. They kept their plans.
We were doing this anyway.
We were all in motion and there was no slowing the inertia.
We made the absolute most of our time together and it was amazing. Every single moment. So many hugs. No regrets.
Here’s where you may think that what we did was irresponsible, and it’s fine for you to have that thought. That’s the beauty of the human experience. We can judge others all day long and try to control what they do, say, think, and feel, but ultimately your true power lies in the decisions that you make for yourself with the best information you have at the time. You get to own that and you retrospectively judging yourself or others later is not useful at all.
We could have been angry about the conference being canceled at the last minute, yet we chose not to because what’s the point? Would any of us have done it better?
We could have turned on the news and started sharing opinions about how our local and national governments were handling things, yet we chose not to because what can we gain from playing Monday morning quarterback?
We could have curled up and cried about all of our woes and the injustices of the world and stoked one other’s fears by sharing horror stories and what if scenarios, but who or what does any of that serve?
We could have judged the panicked public for flooding the grocery stores and clearing the shelves, but…okay, I have actually done that! Sorry, but I’m human.
Fun fact: after my last trip to the airport, four of our tribe visited a local grocery store to gather some essentials. You know, snacks and such. Bacon and eggs for breakfast that never happened and that I now have stocked in my own fridge at home. One of my lovely friends grabbed the last two gallons of water and we wondered what was going on since we hadn’t seen any news feeds that day.
We were immersed in each other.
The pandemic is here in the USA. We knew it coming. It was always coming. It was always going to happen. This is happening and while there are absolutely steps we can take to prevent the spread, ultimately, there is no controlling the outcome.
Over the past 24 hours alone, the fear in the air seems palpable.
What are we afraid of?
If that’s the case, it’s time to live.
It isn’t helpful to constantly worry about death. It isn’t helpful to start running those what if scenarios about layoffs or economic impacts. What happens, happens. When it happens is the time to start managing your thoughts about it all which will drive positive results.
Your brain is wired to seek danger and respond accordingly. While I’m still puzzled about how toilet paper fits into this equation, I am certain that our response to the events out of our control is where the magic happens.
Fear and love cannot live in the same space. They are not compatible.
It was surreal driving my last remaining friend from the event that never happened to the airport earlier today. There was barely any traffic on the typically heavily traveled highways on a Sunday morning. The passenger drop off lanes at an international airport were starkly clear. I hope she makes it back into France safely where she can then self quarantine and do whatever she needs to do. Whatever she decides. I know I can see her again through video conferencing anytime.
Yet there is no substitute for the in person experience.
You can choose love over fear. Compassion over judgment. Kindness for others over worry for yourself.
You can balance your known responsibility for public health with the needs of your family.
It’s okay to make your best decision in the moment with the information that you have at that time. You get to own that. It’s where you find your power. As this situation progresses, many of us will pivot and adjust our behaviors accordingly.
Until then, I still believe that we are here to live our lives in the now.
I am beyond fortunate to have done that much over the past couple of days, and I have no regrets. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am so grateful for the support of my own family every step of the way.
I get the need for social distancing yet I also love hugs. And so I kind of feel like if I’m going out, I’m going out having experienced all of the love.
Because global pandemic or not, we are here right now. And that’s where the magic happens.
May every moment in the months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes to come matter for you too.
If you would like to be coached on any topic, including the current pandemic events, I’m absolutely here for you! Book a free consultation with me here.