A Pandemic To-Do List

Image may contain: textWe are in a new normal. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, we will be in a newer new normal, with a hint of old normal.

But for now, we are where we are. We have what we have and we face what we face.

And we do it, for the most part, by our lonesome or with family members in the same household.

As I looked at this, I thought to myself “Quarantine, Schmorantine. I’m using this checklist every day.”

And so I will begin using this as a to-do list Because if I do the things on this list, I will make my life and the lives of those around me a little bit better.

1. What am I grateful for today? Easy. I’m grateful for my health, my family, and my faith. I’m grateful for an employer who lets me work from home in a non-traditional way so I don’t have to use all of my leave. I’m grateful for health care workers, first responders, and our service members who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us.

2. Who am I checking in on or connecting with today? My husband because he lives with me. My son. I’m connecting with friends and family via text. I need to be better about connecting with others though. A phone call here and there until we can be together again. A good reminder for today.

3. What expectations of normal am I letting go of today? Is all of the above an answer? One of the things that this whole event (because debacle sounds too negative) has taught me is to not look too far down the road. I’m not saying don’t do things to prepare for your future but be mindful of and completely immersed in today. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. It has made me much more present. Put another thing in the gratitude column.

4. How am I getting outside today? Yesterday we walked the dogs around the block. We took a drive to one of the deserted fishing piers and took a walk watching the waves and listening to the roiling waters. I sat on the front porch in my rocking chair and read for a bit. Feeling the sunshine on my face always brings joy to my heart.

5. How am I moving my body today? Before all of this, I went to the gym several times a week. I haven’t done that lately for a variety of reasons. I went for a couple of walks yesterday and used my free weights for a bit but I know that my body needs more. There are a lot of groups providing free work out at home videos. I’ll take a look at those today and make sure I carve out some time to bust-a-move. Or maybe I’ll turn on some great music and dance around the living room.

6. What beauty am I either creating, cultivating or inviting in today? When I first saw this, I immediately thought, “Nothing'” Then I realized I create this blog which, hopefully, brings people joy. I started a course on social-emotional learning which will help me better serve my students and that’s beautiful.

It turns out, beauty doesn’t have to be a painting or a song. It doesn’t have to be artistic. It has to be from the heart. It has to be authentic. It has to be shared. So yes, the beauty I bring and maybe the beauty you bring doesn’t have to hang in the Guggenheim but it must be shared and must be done in a spirit of generosity and love.

So, that’s me. How about you? You can do all or you can do just one. But you’ve got to do something. Maybe write yours up and share it. Inspire others to take this gift of time and create something beautiful out of it.