How to discern good, how to find it, especially during difficult times? How to hear the truth above the din of naysayers?
The reading from the Gospel of John 7, one of the phrases stands out for me: “…no prophet arises from Galilee…”, said the Pharisees of Jesus. This was in response to some saying, “Listen to how he teaches,” and others saying , “perhaps he is the Christ.” In other words, good can’t come from there. You’re mistaken: what you think is wrong.
I find the exact opposite to be true from this excerpt. I find instead this lesson: maybe Good reaches us, maybe God speaks to us, sometimes from the least expected places.
We’re in the midst of a life-changing pandemic right now. Even if we don’t get sick ourselves, even if our loved ones stay healthy too, most everyone’s life is turned upside down right now. We don’t know how it’s going to play out. We have to wait and see.
Even in the dark, in the dirty, the dull and bland and difficult, we might find a bit of wisdom, some unexpected beauty, a splash of color.
In the midst, let’s look for the lessons about how to cope, what changes we can make, to the what and how of the moment, and let’s cope and support each other and learn the lessons. We’ll be better for it.
Low simmer of stress. Emotional ups and downs for sure.
Overall Family Goal: Adapting, accommodating, making the best of the circumstances. Second week, the whole family home for work and school and life and staying safe. Keep life going forward for two adults and three little kids.
The Community Goal: “Flatten the Curve” and stay healthy, as the health professionals get a handle on the pandemic, save lives, and keep more people safe from the virus overall.
I live in one of the so-called “hot-spots” for the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States: Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Depending on where you draw the boundaries, we have about 5 million people in the are; there are more than a million in our county alone.
Our kids have been at home since they were furloughed from school on 03/13/2020; we’ve all been home since the county (and area-wide) order to “shelter in place” was released.
It hasn’t been easy, but it could be a lot worse. A LOT worse. My whole family is heathy, my wife and I can still work and get paid, our kids are doing ok overall with the sequester regime; we’re really blessed, given the circumstances, I say.
All that said, this pandemic and the crisis it’s created…it will fully be a defining time for multiple generations of people; here in the US, and around the world.
We are still on the front-end of events where I live; the same goes from coast to coast, Pacific to Atlantic, and North to South too. We really don’t know how many people have been exposed, or infected. Thousands have died already around the world; hundreds of thousands more have been stricken.
Here in America, there are cases in all fifty states. Nearly a thousand people have died already, and tens of thousands have become sick with COVID-19.
It’s VITAL that we all work together, all follow the orders and protocols that have been established, to slow the spread (“flatten the curve”), as the experts are saying, and save lives.
So let’s stay home, listen and trust the science.
Let’s work together, to help our communities get through this difficult time.
Lean into the difficulty, the changes, the hardships big and small.
Over and over I listen to this with my son. It’s kinda catchy.
(originally by Jason Paige)
“I want to be the very best Like no one ever was To catch them Is my real test To train them Is my cause (Ooh) I will travel across the land Searchin’ far and wide Each Pokémon To understand The power that’s inside (Power inside)
Pokémon It’s you and me I know it’s my destiny Pokémon Ooh you’re my best friend In a world we must defend Pokémon A heart so true Our courage will pull us through You teach me And I’ll teach you Pokémon (Gotta catch ’em) Gotta catch ’em Gotta catch ’em all
Every challenge along the way With courage I will face I will battle everyday To claim my rightful place Come with me The time is right There’s no better team Arm and arm We’ll win the fight It’s always been a dream
Pokémon It’s you and me I know it’s my destiny Pokémon Ooh you’re my best friend In a world we must defend Pokémon A heart so true Our courage will Pull us through You teach me And I’ll teach you Pokémon (Gotta catch ’em) Gotta catch ’em (Pokémon)
Pokémon It’s you and me I know it’s my destiny Pokémon Ooh you’re my best friend In a world we must defend Pokémon A heart so true Our courage will Pull us through You teach me And I’ll teach you Pokémon (I’ll catch you) (Gotta catch ’em Gotta catch ’em Gotta catch ’em all Pokémon…”
Glad to finally have a first-person glimpse into the wonder that is, Pokémon.
From my own little corner of the Work From Home (WFH) World — in between the laundry area and the hot-water heater, my own standing desk work space — a few thoughts to share. Or more like a list to share, actually.
1/ Make your work space comfortable, welcoming (to you), and quiet.
2/ Be sure you continue work habits you would typically follow in the office, to maintain continuity and productivity.
3/ Don’t let yourself get muddled down in the work (this applies to the office, too); take frequent breaks of a few minutes. It’s tougher to get your daily steps in at home, so make a point to walk around; the apartment, the house, the backyard, the block, whatever. My goal is 250 steps per hour. It’s been hit and miss so far, honestly, but I’m trying.
4/ Stay hydrated. I’m trying to maintain my usual consumption at work, about 16 fl. oz. every hour.
5/ Enjoy the variety, hunker down, and get it done.
I had a conversation a while back with my brother, a successful business guy in HR/Talent Acquisition. He’s got plenty of experience working with teams around the world for various companies; the key, common denominator is that his “work day” pretty close to 24 hours, given where the people he supports live and work.
In that chat we had, we were talking about “work/life balance”…and he shared his perspective that (at least for him), he found it more accurate to consider “work/life blend.”
Thinking about this approach, thinking about your approach, all the more true now in these “days of sequester, quarantine, shelter-in-place.” “Balance the Day” or “Blend the Day”, however you look at it, find the approach that works for you. Bottom line is you have to optimize, because the demands on your time are obviously real. At home, at work, and everything in between, there’s pulls from all sides.
If children are in the mix, especially if they’re little, the dynamics get more complicated by an order of magnitude. Finding the physical space to do your work, finding the mental space to do so too, both challenges to consider. Some folks have a “home office” that’s well established — others might not, might have to carve out a nook where ever they can.
[SIDEBAR: As for me, with a spouse working from home too, and three kids doing their best at school-work, etc. during the day, I’ve set-up shop in the garage, next to the jackets and laundry area.]
COVID19, it’s turned things upside down, inside out, killed thousands, sickened many more. It’s brought life to a halt around the globe.
Find the balance, find the blend, to make your work life and your home life come together, to meet your responsibilities as best you can. It’s not necessarily easy; in fact, it’s a pretty big challenge. A big challenge for sure, considering all the other stresses of this moment, these many moments, this time.
Take care of yourself; take care of your family. Keep everyone as healthy and safe as you can. Meanwhile, also attend to your work, to the responsibilities you have, to keep your business going during this very challenging time.
Words to the page to chronicle this time, find some pause, some answers.
Never before have we been in a place like this, time like this, everything upside down, uncertain. Like war-time; our people throughout our nation’s lands, East to West, North to South, threatened by disease, a plague.
Think about what’s outside, what’s inside. That’s for each of us, and practically too, inside our home, outside too.
Told to stay inside, keep your distance, slow the spread, a novel strain washing over the earth. When will it end, how will it end?
Inside it gets smaller, living with others or living alone, full-time, new, difficult to navigate. Inside us too, each of us in our mind, searching for new order, balance, pace, what are the rules now? How to navigate.
Find the answers outside. Get outside your comfort-zone. Forced to do so. Adapt. Adjust your expectations, your practices, your approach. New times, new answers to the problems before us, outside is the answer. Get outside your comfort-zone, get outside literally too; get outside to the fresh air, answers begin out there. Out back, out on the porch, out for a walk, on the trail, a bike ride.
Get outside, away from the noise and the lights and the screens. Outside to breath in, breath in deeply. Let it fill you, make you new, minute to minute it can happen, will happen. Deep breath, re-set, re-new. Each day.
Unsettled, uncertain, certainly tough, tough to manage, toughness needed, mental toughness, like maybe never before. From inside let it flow; find it outside, outside your comfort zone. This approach is the path, to cope, cope with the uncertain, the unknown, the struggle, each of us cope.
And the result? You persevere, you find your way, you make the way; easier for yourself; easier for those who need a hand. Let go of what holds you back; let go of what you’re used to. Get outside. In this way, you will persevere. Down the path. Cope. Persevere.