don’t waste the crisis

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Photo credit: Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

It is inevitable. No way to escape it. No place to get away from it all. We are living through a world and life-changing global pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen before.

So, what do we do now?

I’ve spent a lot of time – inside – considering and how to avoid the virus. I’ve practiced healthy habits to survive the shutdown changes and emotional cost of the pandemic.

Recently, I’ve wanted more. Instead of thinking about what has been so awful and limiting about living through these crazy times, on those rare days when I have a little bit of extra emotional energy, I want to focus on the positive.

What has been positive about this global crisis?

What new things have I learned about myself and my relationships that I don’t want to forget or I don’t want to lose?

  • Self-awareness is power. I know better how I react under fear and limitations. I know my triggers and what to do when discouragement or hopelessness shows up. This new knowledge is gold. Well, not as pretty as gold, but precious all the same.
  • Relationships that have endured through trials are more transparent, honest, and empathetic. I’ve had more profound and real conversations with people about our impact on each other and how to compromise to make unexpected circumstances work for us. I can ask for help (on a rare occasion). These interactions reflect growth for me and are worth celebrating.
  • My concern for others has increased. I have taken more initiative with neighbors to ask how they are and if they need anything. This is easier because we are all at home and outside more often. I’ve made more phone calls, sent more notes, prayed more. I do not want to lose this.

What have I learned about my work style?

  • Life-giving work gives me purpose. Younger generations get a bad rap for caring more about the meaning and contribution of a job than the earning power or status. I think I am more like that than I realized. Mostly, I have liked working from home. I enjoy the freedom of not dressing up and no commute. I can still get work done that matters, sometimes more. I am wondering how these truths can factor into my future work.
  • I like learning. Zoom. Innovative strategies. New options for in-person traditions. Pivots to thinking, doing, structures, procedures. We CAN change and sometimes much faster than we thought. When we return to normal(?), I don’t want to lose my openness to trying something new.

What new positive habits have I incorporated as part of my life patterns?

  • More exercise and sleep. My phone and watch trend data say I have slept more hours on average compared to last year. My walking miles are also up. No commute has given me a bit more margin. How can I keep this up as the days go on?
  • I’ve discovered some new hobbies. Not only has my reading increased, but we play more games as a family. I’m growing a few scraggly herbs on my back patio and inviting monarch butterflies to my flowering milkweed in a small grassy patch in the front. Somehow the weight and drain of the pandemic made refreshing activities essential rather than optional. I think they’ve always been essential. I just wasn’t aware like I am now.
  • We spend less on non-essentials. We eat better and healthier at home (except for the occasional junk-comfort foods). We buy online from a curated list of needed items rather than window shopping or impulse buying as we wander leisurely through a store. We have more money to invest in worthy causes, needs, issues, and people.

I didn’t think about this list before I started, and I now know I could continue writing for much longer than you would want to read. I’m encouraged by that. I’ll stop now and let you consider your “I don’t want to waste” list.

What have you found positive in this crisis that you don’t want to waste?

9 thoughts on “don’t waste the crisis

  1. Never let a good crisis go to waste. Indeed but I believe this can also apply to the people (to their advantage) and not just the authorities. I wrote a blog article The premise of my article is that in times of crisis (like the one we are experiencing with now) we should stop worrying about things we can’t change and focus instead on things we can control. We should use our new-found-time to find our passion and hone our craft everyday. But what if one has no passion to create something? “If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art”. Make your life a work of art!

    • Thanks for adding to the discussion, Joanne. You are correct – focusing on what we can control and focusing on ourselves – what we can learn, what we can change, what we can do… is much more helpful.

  2. I love this! I need to sit down and think about what has changed for the better and what I want to be intentional about keeping in my life after this. I also think I need to discover some new hobbies–ones that I can realistically have with a toddler on the loose (I’ve discovered the painful way that gardening is not an option when my boy just wants to pull up plants and play in the dirt. One of these days!). Thank you!

    • I’m so glad it was encouraging for you. It was an encouraging process for me. Sorry about the gardening! Ha! I didn’t have one when my children were little either. Maybe a up-high-hung hummingbird feeder? 🙂

  3. I love your focus on the positive! It’s life-giving to realize there is good in what God is allowing right now. My favorite part was the “rare occasions” that you ask for help. You are me, my friend. But this time of change and learning to pivot like a dancer is helping me realize as well that I can’t do any of this alone. Thanks for your encouragement and refreshing perspective. You impact so many people–so many more than you realize!

    • Awwww, thanks, friend. I’m telling you – I write just to receive your encouraging comments. 🙂 Focusing on the positive has been a reclusive option for me lately, but it was helpful to see how quickly my list filled out. I’m grateful we are going through this together… even if virtually. We’ll get that hug and coffee date someday!

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