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‘Everyday Is Thanksgiving During a Pandemic’

Who needs a subhead with a headline like that?

Another day of isolation, another dollar (or lack thereof – let’s not go there today). Pardon the cheesy bastardization of the cliché, but I’m struggling with writing this post today. Why? No reason I can think of, other than feeling uninspired. Frustrated? Perhaps, but not about the writing per se. I actually wasn’t planning on posting today, but knowing I have the time to do so is creating a nervous tension that I want to work with. That tension I know so well, not only as someone who manages anxiety, but as a working creative who needs to meet deadlines. All. The. Time.

No, frustration isn’t what I’m feeling today. It’s more like helplessness. Not complete or insurmountable helplessness by any means, more like feeling helpless in helping others who need it. I think that’s what’s bugging me. Let’s work with that, if only to satisfy my selfish need to complete a useful post.

Don’t interrupt, I’m HELPING

As per my prior post, I was recently on a web call with professional peers. We were each asked to share how we were each managing the ‘new’ norm of being forced to work from home. Interesting note, most of us are self-employed, therefore working from home is not new for us. I was asked to go first. I often am being the guy who can always fill a silent pause. Problem is, I tend to cram that pause to bursting instead of taking a moment up front to think about the answer. Suffice it to say that as I was rambling I started to realize that I wish I could do more to help others, but I don’t know how. Because I don’t know how or what everyone out there is doing in isolation or what they need that I could provide. I really don’t. So what should I do?

(This is where I will uncharacteristically pause.)

What I know is this: I’m managing well, as are my work-at-home wife and two of our children living with us, plus one staying put in Halifax with her roomates. We all agree that things could definitely be worse. The same seems to be true of the friends and extended family we continue to socialize with virtually. So all good, right? No help needed other than on the front lines, which I’m not sure I’m best equipped for. Nothing else needed? Everyone doing fine in isolation?

Well, I remain unconvinced, and I think I can only move forward based on dealing with my own feelings of helplessness, making assumptions I’ve formulated based on my own fears (even if deep-seeded):

  • These are scary times, not just challenging
  • We have little-to-no idea what comes next
  • The world will come out of this a changed ‘place’
  • What that change looks like, I have no clue

I have to accept and adapt to all of the above a little every day

Expressing these actually makes me feel much better. Sorry if it stresses you out, but just don’t let it. (easier said) Actually, I think it helps me not feel so helpless. Ha! there it is. If I want to help and don’t know how, why not start with myself? And I think I just did! Now that I’ve done that, see where it takes me.

Words of Wisdom Not From Me

I heard a great expression this morning on a podcast, My Favorite Murder, I was listening to while on the treadmill (see, I’m managing!) and it went something like this:

“Every Day Is Thanksgiving During a Pandemic”

Karen Kilgariff – My Favorite Murder

I immediately and wholeheartedly agreed, and upon further contemplation (look at me go!) I believe that many out there are already doing this, even if unconsciously. I see a lot of people sharing observations and insights acquired thanks to their newly-found-if-forced time. New good habits, new hobbies, new thoughts and perspectives… it’s inspiring. Let’s do more of it, Pausers!

Here is where I can hopefully help someone get through another isolation day:

If you’re starting to feel the weight of isolation taking its toll, and emotions like fear or guilt creep in, try this: Do at least one thing you would do on Thanksgiving. Call family, plan a nice meal, watch a recorded football game, or put up a decoration or two. Or simply, and most important, think of something you’re thankful for and share it with someone. Anyone. However you like. In a way that’s easy for you.

Here’s mine: Today, I am thankful for my readers. All 9 of you!!

Have a wonderful and thankful day, my friends.

SP Wiseguy out.

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