On trying (and sometimes failing) to take note, observe, and notice the simple things during times of uncertainty
Let me begin this long awaited post by saying: This is not yet another quarantine survival story.
I’m not here to make anyone feel better, stronger, or more secure. It has taken over 6 months to work up the courage to write after what has been a feeling of continuous arrested development, and coping with shock, disbelief and at times crippling anxiety. I’m not here to serve up top 10 solutions on how to cope with the constant uncertainty. We’ve all read enough of those for the ages, and there are plenty of credible resources run by professionals who provide much needed assistance to communities that absolutely need it. Part confession part realization, part self obsessions. I’m not here to make it any better or worse because for now, what we have is what we’ve got. Making the most of it, is down to personal conviction and willpower. No one knows what’s next. Those who do claim to know, are wildly guessing and trying not to look panicked in the process.
Everyone is trying desperately to make sense of the invisible, the intangible and the bizarre. The invisible and visible enemies are unpredictable and divisive.
The ills of society are boiling up (again) to the surface everywhere we turn and because of a forced pause we’re called upon to actually look up from our navel, and actually pay attention to what is really going on.
As the weeks and months creep by, we’ve all been hit with a bout of nostalgia for a life we thought we missed, yet don’t really; and while the chaos is unfolding, the promises, the reassurances, the convictions that life will return to normal, are starting to wear thin.
What the hell is normal anyway? (and do we really long for it ?)
Did it really work for us the way we thought? Or are we called upon to let go of a life that was ill fitting anyway. This quasi reality is forcing some to reevaluate, for others to get lost, and for even more to get found. This is the new normal. It keeps morphing, and mutating everything we have come in contact with. Just like a (this) virus. Our perceptions of what normality is, are becoming challenged not only by it’s reversal, but by our ability to adapt despite the odds.
I don’t know what comes next.
I’m working on being okay with that, despite the panic and crippling fear of the unknown that we’re faced with, I’ve learned to understand that what I can’t change, I have no control over, what I can change I’m working to understand better. What will change, has to. Like many I’ve spoken with and listened to during this shift of consciousness, the common consensus is that something is desperately needed. Self reflection and mental and physical self care are at the forefront of this pandemic. Underneath all this the most important “anchors” being used to combat these moments of doubt and fear are knowledge and observation.
The answers to the questions keep shifting. What was real a few days ago seems like fiction now and vice versa. This ebbing and flowing of daily reality, is what we must adapt to in order to survive and thrive.
And adapt we have.
For the first 9 weeks, during the initial “pause”, I was compelled; driven even, to tap into moments of inner calm and inner focus, more than any other time in my life. It was never needed as much as it is now. Truth be told I lost my shit. Let’s be honest. Panic, fear, uncertainty, and crippling doubt, all came to the party. So I looked for the tools that I already had in my arsenal to find some equilibrium We all have the ability to tap into our inner anchors. Only then can we truly stabilize in the face of an outer (shit) storm.
Every week, every month every season has been different. Once equilibrium was reached, another wave of information, panic, doubt, fear and uncertainty has rocked our proverbial boats and a new tactic had to be implemented. I’m not a good sailor, these constant tacks, direction and course changes have left me dizzy, but after every change, like everyone in New York, whose lives have been changed . I had to become a better sailor by listening, being quiet and not letting the myriad of voices confuse my course.
Now as I write, in the early weeks of October, as the fall colors take over the streets of New York; its very clear that yet another shift has taken place. Many months into what seemed like a crazy experiment in human behavior, I turn to the things that stabilize me while turning away from things that no longer serve the current status quo. Now doubt and fear and anxiety have been replaced with a larger dose of conviction, determination and focus. The anchors dig deeper into the sand, in anticipation of another shift. they have become more staple in their purpose…
Now we must focus on the greater good. Not just personal gain.
Now we must focus on eradicating hate and division
Now we must focus on the next step forward.
Now after all this change, unrest, division and fear, the anchors are here to bring us home.
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