Here we are, together again in words only. Up until this virus mess, we met every fourteen days for a few minutes and then went upon our own individual paths for the remainder of the day. A nice cadence, until the bottom of everyday fell away from reality. Quarantine changed everything which had previously provided normalcy to our structure, in a massively unforeseen way. I try to post a new blog every week right now. I do this equally for you and for me, as I have adapted to the circumstance.
Covid-19 has placed most of us figuratively standing somewhere on an isolation scale between personal reset and personal reflection. For many, the first time in their lives they have actually been forced to step up on this curiously unsettling introspective device. To say the least, it has been anything but familiar. Maybe it should be though.
Coffee and my laptop have been my own personal ways of coping through this incredibly unique time. Instead of riding in my car, I write a new blog. Instead of going to the local pub for a double draft of frosty comfort, I record a new episode for my future podcast. Instead of meeting up with friends in the city for a night of healthy socialization, I interact on social media with complete strangers from around the globe. I make it work because I have to.
My point here, it works because there is comfort in my situation. I have learned to improvise and find a way to make the best of this difficult time. Don’t misinterpret me here, this current way of life sucks for everyone… including me. But instead of frustrating, I try to learn something about myself which may or not have been fully exposed in my past.
Personally, though, I understand fully the inconvenience of it all to our daily way of being. The angst growing out there also reinforces our immediate inability to thrive in the face of this new adversity. To say anyone actually “thrives” in the face of adversity is probably some form of an oxymoron. I would be very hard-pressed to consider a person feels great while enduring tough times though. Adversity by definition offers up a challenge. This one is completely new. But the overall concept of facing it is not. Each of us has already been there.
This month is the anniversary of the darkest day of my life. One so troublesome to me, I become anxious as it nears. If there were a questionnaire attached at the end of this blog asking for it, you could quickly list your very own personal day of horror as well. So…comparatively speaking, where you are during this social distancing initiative should be much less for you to deal with emotionally, then when you faced your darkest day previously. Will it make today any easier? Only you know the answers. But it should offer you some perspective, in the form of been there/ done that.
People used to comment “Aric, I don’t know how you and Stacey did it.” My response would always be something like this; “we did it the same way you would have”. An answer which quickly put an end to said question and typically left the recipient without further comment. You don’t think long and hard in advance about facing your darkest day, when it arrives you first deal with it and then you learn from it later on.
Mine involved hearing the news my child had cancer. It was a blistering and crippling day for my wife and me. I can tell you in full vivid detail, the events surrounding each and every minute of that 24-hour cycle, and then some. To actually recall specifically how we dealt with adversity during those days is pretty easy for me. I have forced myself over the years to do so, in an effort to help others.
If quizzed, you could offer up the exact same volume of detail associated with yours too, and how you managed. The lesson here… you found a way to face your adversity and make it through. You CAN do it again. This pandemic is no different. While coping, simply become a creature of habit and repeat your own proven successful methods. Today you are a stronger adversity fighter because of what you have already endured in your past. Take a moment to go back there if you need to and reconsider your approach during this one if it helps you to do so.
Unless you designate this quarantine to be your darkest hour ( it may very well be for some ), by your own previous admission you’ve already faced something larger in terms of scale and scope. Using logic, you have already been to a much more dramatically impactful place and have learned much about yourself because of it. There is already a reference point to your own intestinal fortitude presently forged deep in your memory. Tap into your hidden emotional strengths again if you are feeling low. How have you typically approached your more trying days?
With any new challenge comes a new learning curve. The more you repeat, refine, and re-examine your methods, the more they become familiar and are better able to be understood. This new form of adversity has never been familiar to anyone though. It never should be repeated, and lord knows it shall be examined throughout history in tremendous detail I am sure. This still doesn’t mean you allow it to define who you are today, adjust, and persevere.
Another day and another week behind us, all but a memory. What have you learned now about yourself during this one? Take the time to answer the question. What has frustrated you, and what has driven you forward? Look back at your successes and failures from long ago, and then make a few mental notes about your own present-day discoveries.
You have already learned how to face adversity from the best human resource on the planet capable of teaching you. Look in the mirror and say “hello” again. Class is in session, and there is no dress code.
In some future time, you will be performing this exact same type of reflection while facing another one of life’s unforeseen challenges. Guess what, you will remember in great detail again what your accomplishments were during this particular one too. Your actions of today will become a much-needed lesson for tomorrow. Start taking notes.
Forgo the apple this time, instead bring the teacher a pizza.
Take-out only of course.