Have you had that frustrating moment when your computer screen freezes as if suspended in time? Lately, our Zoom screens lock mid-sentence making our faces look contorted and unnatural. Our lives and interactions are being played out over grainy pixels. Oh, what a difference a few weeks makes to our ability to adapt, thrive, and survive? The quarantine of 2020 has caused the suspension of our past normal lives, much more than Hollywood could have imagined in any contagion movie script.
Fear has gripped the human race, with good reason. No one wants to get sick or die. We want to keep our communities, our friends, and our families safe and healthy. Yet, history tells us we all can overcome.
Germany bombed London every day with the goal of destroying the fighting spirit of the English people. Fortunately, the bombings did the exact opposite. Everyday people adapted to the destruction, the noise, and the injury and death around them. They went to work and eventually went about their lives, albeit their new normal. And, so are we! (See some of the good being done below).
When we feel safe again we will have really hard choices to make. Just as we reboot our frozen computer, we can all do the same with our lives. It may not feel like it right now; but, we have been given a great gift as we sit in our homes in a state of suspended animation. The life you lived before the quarantine was stopped, almost overnight. You’re living in a new locked-down reality. But soon, we will start to leave lockdown in a staged process. We are seeing families re-evaluate their priorities. Parents are staying home to care for kids and choosing to not re-enter the workforce. Many people are requesting to continue their new work from home reality for quality of life reasons that go well beyond shorter commutes. And I believe that this is just the beginning.
The elevator of your life just stopped mid-floor. That feeling of being stuck is real. Have you ever found a $20 dollar bill in your jacket pocket? That just happened. You are the recipient of an unexpected windfall.
The world that we lived in, the world that whizzed by at warp speed every day, is now gone (for now). The world has slowed substantially. The roads are empty. The shops are closed. Wildlife has noticed as they enter our neighborhoods; but, have you?
We are all feeling a lot right now-devastated, scared, depressed, angry, and our hearts may simply be hurting. While we feel our feelings, keep in mind that this is a potential windfall that gives us the chance to reassess the life that we lead and make changes. Are the things that were important to us before COVID-19 still important? I believe that this is our opportunity to “reboot” our lives.