Good Where You Least Expect

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.

Inspirations, COVID-19 Sequester Week Two

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.

So, some wandering inspirations along the way…

Garage Office: do what you can where you are.
Do the simple things: replacing the hand towels a lot more often because we’re at home washing hands all day, everyday.
Creative lunch prep: eat what’s there.
Efficient Kitchen Service: keep getting better.
We’re still on the front end of this outbreak: STAY HOME
Get your steps in: I’ve been walking this backyard path a lot these past two weeks.
Glad to have more time with this one.
And this one too: enjoy the sun.
YES: Inspiration everywhere. This found on a walk this week.

COVID-19: Listen to the Science, Stay Home

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.

Make it so, and thus, make it GOOD.

WFH

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.

#COVID19 #COVID-19 #coronavirus #halffullallgood #worklife

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.