This is a public issue of Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice. Feel free to share it!
This week is supposed to be a newsletter with resources. To be fair, this past week was supposed to be a lot of things but it has become something else entirely.
So maybe today’s newsletter becomes something different as well, at least for today.
How are you? I realize it may be a silly question <gestures broadly>, and you don’t have to answer me, but it could be good to pause and check in with yourself. How are you doing? How are you holding up? Is the way you are treating yourself and the others in your home sustainable?
Here’s a photo of me early Monday morning, recording my podcast before I start my day job:
My full-time, Monday - Friday day job is allowing me to work from home and I’ve been in self-isolation since last Thursday. By the time this newsletter goes out, I’ll have been in isolation for 8 days.
There are so, so, so many resources available right now with what to watch, what to read, what to do with your isolation time, how to eat, what to cook, how to stay active, how to keep in touch, what to sing while you wash your hands.
I don’t want to add more resources to the abundance right now. Personally, I’m overwhelmed.
Some people are using this time as a gift to be productive, work on projects, learn a skill, dust off an old hobby, get fit. I posted this on Instagram earlier
“If you need to keep busy to keep sane, then keep busy. But don’t feel that you must be productive at this time. Shit is hard.
It is enough just to be.”
I am the kind of person that needs to keep busy to keep sane. I have cleaned and organized our bathroom cabinets and drawers. Yesterday I worked the day job 8 hours with 3 virtual meetings, took a break to make lunch for my wife, Nicole, and I (Nicole is also working from home), then after I finished the day job, I switched gears and wrote about books for 3 hours for my podcast. Friday I will work the day job 8 hours then record a podcast in the evening. I aim to read 3 books and write about each of them by next Wednesday.
This is how I cope.
We are all doing the best we can right now. We have never been through this before and we’re learning new things about ourselves and the people around us every day. We must be patient with ourselves and with each other. We must be compassionate with ourselves and each other.
This is hard for everyone and it is varying levels of hard for each of us. It’s okay to be sad about everything. People are dying. This is terrifying. I’m sad about that. It seems silly, but my birthday is coming up. We will all be in isolation for my birthday. I am sad about that, too. We can all be sad about a variety of things at once, both monumental and minute.
At the same time, I can find little bits of joy. I’m grateful to have a wife that I love and with whom I am so happy to spend more time. I learned that fish, swans, and dolphins have returned to the canals in Venice, which are running crystal clear for the first time in many decades:
Maybe things need to break open and fall apart right now, society, government, capitalism, the workforce, so that things we’ve lost can return. Like community and caring for others and dolphins.
I’ve said this since the very first issue of this newsletter and I’m sticking to it: We’re in this together.
That’s it for this week! If you enjoy this newsletter, feel free to give me a tip!