When the world first starting shutting down amid the coronavirus outbreak, I was angry. Angry with how the situation was being handled and frustrated by how quickly everything changed.
After the second week of widespread restrictions, I was grieving. I missed the sudden loss of lifestyle, normal working conditions, family routines, and exciting plans—almost all of it cancelled.
In this third week of quarantine, however, I’ve learned three important lessons that have allowed me to appropriately adjust and make the most of an unprecedented situation. They are as follows:
- Only focus on what you can control. I can’t control the news, government restrictions, economy uncertainty, or widespread closures. But I can control how I consume, react to, navigate around, educate myself, and ultimately spend my time. So instead of gawking at or fearing what’s happening, I’m doing what I can in my own little village, especially with friends, family, neighbors, and my own personal development. That feels good.
- Focus on what you still have instead of what you lost. I believe this is a once in a century event that will hurt real bad and significantly change our lives for the foreseeable future. As such, we’ve lost many things that I love: mass gatherings, dining rooms, National Parks, travel, sports, public school, social activities, regular access to my village. It’s been hard but I still have access to small gatherings, good food, great outdoors, long bike rides, driveway basketball, video chat, good music, and simple games and activities like jumping on the trampoline. None of that is a replacement for what we’ve temporarily lost, but it sure beats global war, worldwide natural disaster, or significantly more deadly outbreaks. That’s a comforting and grateful thought.
- Let the dust settle before making long-term plans. The world is still changing. Although I’m still showing up everyday, I’m no longer scheming and planning as much as I normally do. After all, it’s difficult to hit a moving target. So in the meantime, I’m going to let the dust settle a little more before making any long-term plans. I’m going to be more patient and embrace the moment more. That’s also a good feeling to have.
I hope that helps. Readers: what lessons have you learned in arguably the most memorable March of a generation?