My husband showed me an article in The Atlantic about COVID-19 and I saw myself in it: Americans are used to moving forward in the face of fear. We don’t let fear stop us from living our lives. In the wake of 9/11, it makes sense. This was how I was mentally dealing with Coronavirus: just keep going. This is no big deal. Everyone is overreacting. I wouldn’t even blog about it.
The big difference is what we are defying isn’t terrorism but a virus. A couple of friends told me I was being an asshole about COVID-19 and it turns out they were right. But now I understand where my assholery came from.
I’m anxious. Will I lose my new job? What about our theater friends who have lost their show and waiter/bartending jobs? How will I get to my elderly parents if something happens to them? How long until someone I know gets sick, or someone I love dies?
Channeling anxiety into productivity is a challenge. I pulled out my bucket list and picked a few things to work on for the foreseeable social distancing. It’s important to pick tasks I can achieve in the short term (learn to armpit-fart. I’m not kidding! My nephew can also make a knee-fart) and the long term (finish my short story collection) so I feel accomplished throughout. I also want variety in the tasks, not just fart-noises or writing, and not just passive activity like binge-watching. My categories are: try something, learn something, start something and share something.
Try something. Now that my brilliant plan to outsource my health is foiled, I have to face the music and deal with my food issues and fitness on my own. I’ve had this Couch-to-5K app hanging out on my phone for forever so I finally caved.
Day 1: Running isn’t so bad.
Day 2: I’m very jiggly in weird places. I don’t like this.
Day 4: “I HATE YOU, RUNNING APP!” I screamed at my phone during one of the “walk” parts.
Day 7: This is still miserable but at least I’m outside.
Day 9: I’m running for longer stretches. I begrudgingly admit this is, maybe, a little, not so bad.
Learn something. Friends have offered to teach me to play chess throughout my life but I never took them up on it beyond a lesson or two. I lived above Chess Forum in the Village for a few years and never went inside. My husband bought me a Simpsons chess set that we have played exactly once. So, I signed up for lessons on Chess.com which also has an app. Need an idea? How about learning to sing, tie a tie, stretch your hamstrings? YouTube’s got you! If you can splurge, try a Master Class or two. There are dozens available taught by the legends of their fields.
Start something. I started this blog! I research topics that interest me, I write what I choose, and I watch a lot of WordPress videos on YouTube about layout and design. Whatever you’ve dreamt about but could never do, I am rooting for you to turn this stressful coronavirus situation into something positive for yourself. I believe in you. The millennials know: you do you!
Share something. Honestly, I don’t have any idea of something I can do that’s shareable beyond the short stories I tweet. I’m incredibly excellent at pinball, real and virtual, but no one wants to watch clips of me kicking Zen Pinball‘s ass. We are starving for new content. What are you great at? What’s your stupid human trick? Can you fancy-pan-flip an omelette? Got a cool card trick? Maybe this guy will inspire us.
How about you? Let me know what you’ll be working on in the Comment section below, or send me a message.