When we started this pandemic interregnum we hoarded food, invested in canned goods, and stockpiled toilet paper. We queued Netflix and found a couple good books, ready for a long “winter’s night.” Little did we know it was going to turn into an arctic night. We set up home offices, bought lighting, and learned Zoom. And now, as we enter another month of stay-at-home life and work, our challenge has changed. We’re not so focused on putting it together (we did that a few months ago when this was all new) but now we’re finding ways of keeping it together.
The song “Putting it Together” by Stephen Sondheim is a great analysis of how to use our time, talents, and resources to get a result. “Every moment makes a contribution. Every little detail plays a part.” And that’s how we started the drastic change of life at home during this pandemic. We’ve been putting it together for months, and enthusiasm might be waning, so how do we keep it together?
KEEPING IT TOGETHER takes deliberate dedication of time, energy, commitment, and grit. Time, we have plenty of; we just need to recommit ourselves to making good use of it. That doesn’t mean just every once in a while, or when we feel like it or decide to get around to it. It means on a regular, committed basis. Only then can we feel engaged, involved, and healthy in these times.
Here are six ways we can go beyond surviving to thriving in these coming weeks.
KEEPING IT TOGETHER takes:
- Self-development: You are the one who is ultimately responsible for yourself, your health, your upkeep. Take time to establish healthy habits. This means setting a schedule for sleep, exercise, work, play, and meals.
- Connecting: Even as we isolate, we can make this is a dedicated time to reach out to others. We have the opportunity to give gratitude to those in our life—what a perfect time to focus on others and work to bring out their A-game.
- Curiosity: Challenge yourself by exploring those interests you’ve always wanted to explore. Dive into your unknown. Don’t think about what you should have been doing—quit looking in the rearview mirror. Instead, focus on what you can be doing—on the road ahead. By using this time you’ve been given, you might discover a shaft of untapped, creative gold.
- Openness: This is a perfect opportunity to revisit and revise your goals. Take a close look at them and see if the track you were on is the track you want to stay on or do you want to hop lanes. Never be afraid or ashamed to change your mind. Progress is impossible without change, and if you can’t change your mind, you can’t change anything.
- Do it!: Perhaps you’re like me, that with so much time on my hands and so many options available, I have a hard time picking one and getting started. Just do it: pick one and get going. You need to take some meaningful action, even if it’s just one step at a time.
- Having fun while you’re staying safe. Despite the challenges we’re facing with the current Covid-19 restrictions, we need to keep a positive and fun outlook. Because: This too shall pass. What fantastic Rube Goldberg contraption can you build? How many songs have you memorized from your living room karaoke? How often have you gone outdoors to take a walk or play golf?
Oh, the stories we will one day tell about how we kept ourselves safe and sane by KEEPING IT TOGETHER.