How are you?

Do you find yourself going in circles, wasting hours rechecking the news, the statistics? It’s not something we can sustain, so I’m sure we’ll stop eventually. We’ll become immune to the challenges of the new, albeit temporary, world we live in. So to speak. 

I keep trying to harness that positive side of the world that says:

‘Hey! You don’t have to drive the kids to school today! Sleep in. Do it.’

‘You have permission to sit and read ALL DAY if you want to.’

‘The time is NOW to do *insert whatever thing you thought you couldn’t do because of time* here.’

This is a once in a lifetime (perhaps less) opportunity to change fundamentally how we structure our lives to focus on the things that really matter. So why can’t I focus? When will my brain shrug and say ‘Oh well, let’s make the best of it’? 

I even spent a few hours playing video games on the weekend which is completely out of character. Then again, our characters have never had to comprehend something like this before.

I also haven’t been writing. I try. I’ve sat many mornings at the desk and opened up the scrivener file of my current WIP. The best I’ve managed in two weeks in a single sitting is about 500 words. That isn’t going to get me very far. That means a new manuscript will take roughly 200 hundred days if I was able to maintain that. But I’m not. 

The problem is, I can’t seem to switch my brain off from what is happening in the world around me. I’m worried about everything. I’m trying to hide that worry from my kids—who are also worried. I feel guilty because I have it better than most. Then I feel relieved that I am so fortunate. Then I feel frightened again. And so on. 

One day I’m upbeat, the next a mess.

It may sound counter-intuitive in a time of social distancing, but I feel like now is the time to take social media off my phone again. Not to disconnect but to dull the noise. I’m so over connected at the moment that there is no silence to enjoy. We are all doing such an incredible job reaching out that I have MORE interaction than usual, not less. With my family at home, I have MORE company, not less.

Are you a person that needs space and silence? Or are you the opposite, someone who craves being out in the world? I think the next few months is going to pose unique challenges to both of these extremes.

What are you doing with your time? Has schooling your children suddenly become a huge part of your day? Are you loving working from home?

I am curious to know how people are feeling about the change in their circumstances. I wonder if some who have held tight to the need to be at work, to have daily social and professional connections are finding the quiet of a home workspace refreshing. Or conversely, those who have for years been squirreled away in their home offices—are they finding the new world better? More connected? Or do they resent the sudden intrusion?

I suspect that the answer to these questions is a little of everything, and that it changes day by day. We’ll see in the coming months whether this experience will change, in a fundamental way, how we view work and home as well as our place in society and our priorities on the other side.

All we can do is wait and see. Be patient and not expect ourselves to change the world in three or even six months. Will we all write that novel, learn to paint, learn an instrument, a new language, read 100 books, build a new deck? Maybe not. I don’t think it really matters how we all get through the coming months, just as long as we do.