The coronavirus outbreak has amazingly disrupted every person at every age in unexpected ways – it is quite surreal actually. Who would have thought that when we changed the clocks ahead in March that we would set them ahead to the Twilight Zone. Remember the episode with William Shatner with the monster struggling in the wind on the airplane wing as Capt. Kirk freaks with his stress of flying? The analogy here is when you watch a plane from the ground, it appears to be flying almost effortlessly through the sky (as opposed to the wind whipping and knocking the monster around). It’s all in the angle, distance and perspective. Perhaps this “episode” can give us a clue on how to handle this virus thing.
For families and businesses, managing stress and confronting uncertainty has been pushed to the limits and complexities that we have never experienced before. This unknown along with the new-found excess “downtime” we have is the basis of our overall mood and at times perhaps frustration. Quite simply, our “normal” routines have been disrupted. Children don’t have the STRUCTURE of a school day or a playdate. Adults don’t have the routine of work, fitness and social habits. We are forced into this abyss of UNSTRUCTURE and are mandated to inhumanly “shelter in place”. As the weather gets nicer, people will get “antsy” as they search for some semblance of a routine. Who would have thought that a random masked trip to the store or restaurant pickup would be so exciting?
As humans, we in theory have more time to support our friends, families, and businesses during this period of disruption and create some structure. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. The answer may lie in being a steady and trusted and better “friend” to your “people”. This Corona thing has forced a Twilight Zone episode upon us, and has handed us the time and requirement to listen and communicate with our families, clients and friends more than ever. It is remarkable, the level of generosity we see around us – essential workers, healthcare professionals, first responders – this acts as an elixir with almost medicinal or psychological qualities of giving us purpose and positive aspect as we help others. So ask yourself, how are you personally dealing with the anxiety and the uncertainty as we attempt to fight through and eventually rebound from this? By learning to shift your own mood or helping others to help yourself, you may be able to see some “light at the end of the tunnel”.
- Accept: Take a breath and accept new reality of how life, business and relationships will be different for a while.
- Be grateful: Take another breath and allow yourself to be grateful. As screwed up as this situation is, it could be far worse. Reflect on all the people who’ve helped you become who you are right now. Think back to when you were young and consider the people who have been instrumental to you. Now is your chance to reach out to them, a call, a prayer, an email, and thank them. Who had the time for this when we were all running around in a pre-pandemic world? You’ll know your mood is shifting when you begin to feel yourself softening.
- Innovate: Look for the possibilities and opportunities that emerge in this Twilight Zone – perhaps a business idea, or the opportunity to help others. Are there new offers you can make? People you can meet? Perhaps it’s taking a look at things or ideas that weren’t a part of your playbook before. How about simply calling someone without an agenda?
This “downtime” also carries the opportunity to let families and businesses communicate “big picture” priorities and future dreams and aspirations. Yes, moms and dads get to preach, but also get to listen to the budding ideals and visions of kids and grandkids. Maybe it’s a good time to have the meaningful conversation about family plans for the future and money/wealth – this creates a foundation for their dreams and visions of a positive future… Dreamscaping I’ll call it. When you’re on a boat and feeling a little sea-sick – they tell you to look at the horizon before you lose your cookies. The pandemic reminds us all of what is truly important: our family, friends and our relationships. Even though our life’s balance is thrown off by this crazy virus, we may stumble, but families WILL NOT FALTER, community WILL NOT FAIL – the horizon is there, find it and get off the wings of this plane. Keep yourself and your family safe. If you need someone outside to talk to, you can always call me (732) 637-8652. Godspeed – Greg
Throughout history, “The Table” symbolically represents a center of ideas, spirituality, family, discussion and education. Our “Table” setting follows this theme for friends and readers. REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE…KEEP IT SAFE and KEEP IT SIMPLE.