The more I learn about COVID-19, the more I understand that I will be stuck indoors until a vaccine. Grounded from plane travel. Hiding behind a mask and face shield. For what will be a very long time.
My friends in Ireland have been wonderful though. Some of the lads from the pub do weekly jam sessions. Social distancing, of course. But it's so good to see their familiar faces. Hear the banter. And notice with a little thrill when other friends are watching along with me online. We're all in this together...except, my health history has made me more susceptible. Even when restrictions are lifted, they won't be lifted for me. The vaccine is at least 18 months away....
When lockdown happened, I was trapped in a state with the highest number of cases in the country. As of today, that number is 319,000. But last week, it was 251,000.
Let that sink in for a moment.
I'm positive by nature. A true survivor who's invested so heavily in silver linings, abundance now spills over my edges and into the lives of those I love. Some friendships are silver, but mine are all gold. As in, I help the people I care about quite literally make their dreams come true. They help me, too. Even encouragers need to be encouraged once in a while.
Every day is about the same for me--a mix of work, classes, study, research, cooking, cleaning, and caring for my geriatric dog/soulmate (who's loyally laying next to me right now as I type this well into the wee hours of the morn).
Routine is necessary to keep things balanced. So is getting out for walks (when the weather isn't totally miserable). And checking in with friends. I'm even planning for my future, taking more courses at Harvard Medical School as well as starting a program at Harvard Business School this fall--all online, of course. I already have a Masters and a Doctorate but may get another of each if I keep going. Why not? It's not like there's a deadly virus lurking in tiny aerosol particles that can hang in the air for hours upon hours before dissipating....
Meditation, exercise, eating well, and sleeping well are all really important to staying positive. Obviously, I'm not sleeping well, but that's just part of my hustle. I've always kicked ass. A pandemic can't change who I am. I'm still giving talks, just via video. Soon, I'll have my own app and will be producing webinars on a variety of topics. I can't stop. Won't stop. Prior to lockdown, I was grooving on 20-hour days anyway. How else do you think I can look like a movie star and still create all this content???
Do I have bad days? Yes, yes I do. Sunday was one of them. A friend asked about someone I may never see again and that led to hours of a pounding headache and crying myself to sleep. It's okay to not be okay. The important thing is to not let a moment of difficulty become days or weeks. That's self-sabotage and I've worked way too hard to get to where I am.
We can't control other people. We can only control ourselves. We can't control this virus either. But we do have agency over how we respond to it. Do we allow victimhood to define us? Or, do we rise above it by increasing our integrity as human beings???
The choice is really ours. Just like falling in love. You may not choose when or how it happens, but you can choose to be honest when it does.
Courage still counts in the second decade of the 21st century. Give it try...you might like it.