Outside, Inside, Cope, Persevere

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.

Meet The Moment

As the COVID19 virus pandemic continues to spread in the United States and around the world — or more precisely, as our awareness of the scope of the outbreak becomes better understood through testing — thoughts continue to develop on all manner on the effect the crisis is, and will have on all manner of our lives.

As with any such immediate, crisis situ, where most everything gets turned upside down and many norms go out the window, we struggle for balance, to get a grasp, a foot-hold to help us steady.

It’s a disruption, it’s a challenge, it’s an opportunity, to meet the moment.  “Meet the Moment”, I heard a governor say in a press briefing recently, talking about the community state-wide to rise to the occasion in this crisis. 

So what does that mean?

Most immediately it’s the effects of the now state-wide order to “Shelter in Place” – on Home Life, on Work Life, on School Life. 

There is an over-arching theme:

At home, treat any immediate health issues that arise.  If people are sick, treat the symptoms, help them find relief.  If their symptoms line up with the COVID19 virus, or any other serious/acute condition, reach out to the health care professionals.

At school, or more precisely now, the concept of “school” for our children, we must support our kids as best we can using the materials we have available.  Aside from the school sites and districts themselves, other educational and learning organizations have much to offer.  It’s great to have the materials, but it’s the daily efforts we make to give our kids focused time, learning time, engaged time, that’s where the  rub is. We may need to do this for a long while. We’ll figure out the longer-term pace as we get into it; for now, focus on the content, and the routine.

At work, depending on what you do, do as much as you can to maintain contact and actions in support of whatever business or endeavor you are engaged with.  If asked, do.  If you see something that needs to be done, offer to do it.  

Attitude is paramount. It’s a challenge, a crisis, a massive upheaval on all aspects of the day-to-day.   But you can flip that upside down and it becomes an opportunity to make a significant difference, to help others, to rise to the occasion in this time of crisis.

Stack on top of these Big Three areas of focus as above, stack on top your own mental health, that of your loved ones, and the dynamics become all the more clear: the stakes are high, and this is not a drill.

Choose the right attitude and it all gets a little more bearable, doable, live-through able. 

Meet the moment. Each of us can. It will make all the difference.

The New Normal

Strange times right now. I’ve been saying that for some, thinking it a lot more.

The current COVID-19 pandemic, this situ bares in stark relief the bigger picture frame I’ve been thinking about for a while.

Circumstances changing, expected some, some not expected; no matter either way, change, adjust we must.

These neubulus images offered, just what does it all mean? It all amounts to the “New Normal”, the new standard, the benchmark to strive to.

The New Normal means what you, we, I should expect, work to, live to, each hour, each day.

Seems to me this idea plays to a theme I return to again and again: access, accommodate, adjust. What next? Adapt, and advance toward the goal.

At home with the family during Shelter In Place Times? The New Normal.

At home full time with three little kids responding to their needs, moods, wants? The New Normal.

Working from Home as best we can, finding creating space to do so, time to do so. Strive to still do good work in new environ and confines and pace? The New Normal.

Responding to new demands to the position you have at work, the work you do, what the job, what the market requires? Well, maybe this isn’t really the New Normal.

On this front, it’s just normal. It’s always how it’s been. It’s how it will always been. Figured it out, solve the problem, hit the number, finish the project, then…?

What’s next on the list, what’s the new goal, revised or otherwise? It’s Normal. The same principles apply, in a new way perhaps, but apply they do.

So?

Get after it. And make it GOOD.

Lyrics Post: “Baba O’Riley”

A LONG time ago I was introduced to this band. An old friend who I’m in touch with still today — though admittedly, not as frequently as I’d like — was the one who opened my eyes. Since then, I’ve seen “for miles and miles…”, and so still appreciate the energy and creative sound that was, IS, The Who.

Please enjoy…

“Baba O’Riley” by The Who

“Out here in the fields
I farm for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don’t need to fight
To prove I’m right
I don’t need to be forgiven

Don’t cry
Don’t raise your eye
It’s only teenage wasteland

Sally, take my hand
Travel south cross land
Put out the fire
Don’t look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let’s get together
Before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
It’s only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Oh, oh
Teenage wasteland
They’re all wasted!”

Written by Peter Townshend

“Shelter In Place”, Day 2

Wednesday, 03/18/2020: Just a couple days ago we heard the news that six of the counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, are directed by public order to “shelter in place” for the next three weeks. Put simply, that means stay home, take care of your family, do what work you can (if any) from home, and stay healthy. That’s it.   So two days on, I can report: Nice to get a little more sleep, and be more leisurely to start the day; the pace quite steady, easy does it. I’ve: monitored work email, as instructed; Completed our family’s entries for the 2020 Census; Tested a conference bridge we used for a Lions club board meeting concall we be had last night (maintaining the prime directive to uphold “social distancing”); Finished the agenda for said meeting; revised said meeting; updated an addendum document we’ll be presenting for the same; Monitored a nine year old, seven year old, and six year old, as they meander through this strange beginning to this quasi-break / change of schedule, pace, expectation; Walked to the park to get some fresh air; saved to a couple neighbors from a safe distance; Had that Lions board meeting concall; it went pretty well for the first time; What else to report? It’s been odd, relaxing, a little stressful, bumpy, and left me feeling unsettled for sure, as we five (together with my wife, also home), figure out how to co-exist during times we’d usually be doing other things, at school, at work. I’ve said it over and over in various conversations the last week, and especially the last couple days as this COVID-19 circumstance develops: take it easy, take it hour by hour, day by day, allow yourself more patience, lower expectations, adapt, adjust, stay healthy. All easier said than done, turns out. No surprise. That’s life. In the midst of it all, let’s make it GOOD. Together. By…? Giving each other more space, time, slack. Yep. GOOD.

“Be Like the Irish, and…”

As some celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day today, a little different take to share.

For me, the obvious thoughts first go to the Irish People; weird maybe, but that’s what comes to mind initially.  I’ve got some Irish Blood in me, I suspect that’s why.

Then I think about the man himself, Patrick.  Who was he, exactly?

With these two ideas in mind, and given the current global public health crisis in Coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness it inflicts, considering a basic, pick-me-up on this particular St. Pat’s Day.

Fundamentally, it’s a common theme I keep coming back to:  PERSEVERANCE. 

A long while back in America’s history, before other ethnic groups were in the spot light as both key to our economy (as workers, etc.), and as parasite on “Natives” to the United States, the Irish people, the immigrants from this land, filled this hole.

And the Irish, like the Mexicans, and Guatemalans, and Hondurans,, and El Salvadorans, and Vietnamese, and Thai, and Indian, and Iraqi and Turks, and Palestinians, and so many others,

the Irish found a foot hold in America, established themselves for a future different than they might have had in their original homeland, and contributed much to our American culture and society.

And the Irish, like so many other peoples, have survived famine and war and violent political strife.

Let us apply the timeless human lessons that have propelled us forward, regardless of the difficulty.

God Bless the Irish, and all peoples that have taught us perseverance; those that have come to America looking to make a better life. In fact, expect for the peoples native to this continent, we are ALL immigrants.

That’s what comes to my mind…what comes to yours on this Saint Patrick’s Day?

More on Saint Patrick’s Day found here.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick

More on Irish-Americans found here.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Americans

More on America’s Immigration History found here.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_immigration_to_the_United_States