Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Welcome to the unexpected. Almost everything is shut down here in WI. Can’t get a haircut, go to a bar, eat in a restaurant, go to a movie, or do much at all outside your home except get groceries or take out. Who ever would have guessed this would happen? As a species, we’re not crazy about the unexpected. In this case it’s extremely unsettling, and for many many people there’s an economic impact as well. Most Americans aren’t prepared for that, either. Scary times breed fear and panic. Especially when there’s no clear “end” in sight. Right now even shaking hands if done at all is done with trepidation, much less a hug. Anyone who coughs or sneezes at all gets the death glare. So… when will we be ok with congregating in groups again?… let’s say they open the bars & restaurants back up Monday, April 13th. Maybe with a limit of 50 people. Are you going to be good with that or no? The Brewers season has been delayed, the NFL is supposed to start in September – when will you be comfortable going to a stadium full of people again? I mean, right now we won’t even shake hands with one person. What will be different? It’s a wild, unsettling ride life is. There’s very little outside our own perceptions of things that we can control. Everyone will handle this differently. Some people will be overly cautious, buy in bulk, stay at home and do nothing, and there’s really nothing wrong with that if it’s what you’re comfortable with. On the other side of the spectrum, there will be people who will ignore all the warnings and just live as normally as possible throwing all caution to the wind. I think when I was younger, especially when I was younger and drinking, this might have been me. The danger can be exciting. Irresponsible, though. And in between the two is where most people fall, taking precautions and waiting it out. The virus is out there, though – and once we start commingling again it will spread. People will die from it. There are many many ways to die, now we have a new one. I really wish we didn’t, but we do. I published a book last year called “Everybody Dies”. It’s mostly about ways to make your present moments count because none of us will get out alive. And none of us really knows how or when it’ll end, either. Yesterday, we walked the dog, played a board game, I did yoga, I played my bass for hours – I have songs to work on if we ever get to play again, but yesterday I just played for fun. I haven’t done that in a while. It really was fun, too. The gym is closed, so today I’m thinking about changing my routine and getting back into running. I’ve thought about doing that for a while now, but this forces me to actually do it. I have some serious decluttering to do at home that might actually get done as well. What a great opportunity we have to reconnect with passions we’ve lost touch with – music, art, crafts, hobbies… to maybe actually get to all those things at home we’ve been putting off, and to spend more time together with our loved ones, or reading, journaling, meditating, working out (at home of course)… and looking at just who we are, where our lives are at, and exactly what we think about it all. What an opportunity. We will all feel the fear, though. And hopefully take the necessary precautions. But within this crazy time we can also choose to see the opportunity it presents as well. And maybe band together, too – as those of us in the service industry are being hit especially hard right now. Help whenever and wherever you can. And reach out to someone if you’re the person in need. Everyone has had to ask for help at some point in their lives. Nobody likes doing it, but I know I’ve needed help on more than one occasion in my life. If you need help, ask for it – and at some point in your life you’ll be able to pay it forward. Ram Dass said “After all, we’re just walking each other home”. We will get through this. Often, the scariest times in life set us up for the best times yet to come. It can be very hard to see that while in the midst of it though. Hard to see anything if we aren’t looking for it. So try to find the opportunity here, even if at first it seems impossible. It’s there if you look for it.