Hello everyone! I often feel neglectful of my blog, considering how much energy I put into my Youtube channel, so today I decided to write an entry here. I chose a topic that, for various reasons, I’ve barely broached in video: this pandemic. Specifically, I’d like to explore how I’ve been trying to mine as much good as possible out of this strange and often unpleasant time. It’s certainly thrown a monkey wrench into a lot of different areas of my life. This has required me to work extra hard to keep my focus, to keep my spirits up, and to keep myself motivated and growing. In that spirit, I’d like to explore some of the things I have been doing to make that possible for myself, and, just maybe, some of this will apply to others!
- I’ve had to work especially hard to keep a good routine. A lot of my life’s regular, externally-defined patterns have been thrown off, so I’ve had to rely on my internal resources more than ever. I have to make sure to keep a reasonable bedtime and to wake up at a reasonable hour every day, to eat my meals on a regular schedule, and to plan my days with some healthy structure. I think now more than ever my life’s structure could go off the rails, and now more than ever I don’t want that to happen! I’ve seen it happen to quite a few folks, and the results haven’t been anything I want to experience.
- I’ve been working hard to keep up with my internal relationship with myself. For me this primarily involves a lot of journaling and a lot of maintaining a good, healthy, inner dialogue. My life’s decrease in face-to-face social interactions has been painful for me, and I quickly came to realize that one way I can make up for that is to work extra hard to interact with myself: to check in with myself, to see how I’m feeling, and to help myself work through whatever I might be going through. I don’t want to let myself fall through the cracks emotionally. I’ve seen that happen to others, and it hasn’t been pretty.
- I’ve put in extra effort to keep in touch with friends on the phone. This has been a lifeline for me. Without that I find that the “new normal” of social isolation can have a very negative effect on me. In this regard, I really feel for people who are more socially isolated than I am — and I know quite a few. And most especially I feel for young children, who often are interacting with no one but their parents (and often their troubled parents) and perhaps a sibling. I wonder how many children will come out of this pandemic emotionally stunted. I suspect the number will be high.
- I make sure to exercise every day. My method of exercise is walking. I like to walk for at least an hour every day, and thankfully that is allowed in New York City. I have a few places that I walk that have some trees and some semblance of nature, and I treasure this. I even have a few special trees that I occasionally hug. Although I know this sounds cheesy, even ridiculous, not infrequently I get a real emotional boost from hugging my favorite big, old oak tree! Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I get a strange feeling that this tree loves me as much as I love it!
- I work hard on personal projects. Although I have some work that I do for money (mostly video editing for others, and also proofreading, for which I am very grateful) I have been working on my own writing and video projects, and these have been a lifesaver for me. I know some people who feel that this pandemic has just been a huge waste of time, and while I can understand that sentiment, I don’t want to fall into it myself. And so I have a whole list of projects on my slate, and when I’m not working for money, I’m working on them! These keep me going — and they brighten my day as much as anything else I can conceive. This blog entry, for example, is one!
- I work hard to avoid negative things. These include negative people (sadly, most especially my family of origin), negative things on the internet, and the wide variety of addictive substances that abound in our world. Basically, I try to maintain a healthy, well-balanced life, because I want to come out of this pandemic as healthy as I went in, and hopefully even healthier. For many people this is a time of increased vulnerability, and I have seen quite a few people fall into some very negative things in this past year, and I don’t want to follow in their footsteps. So I practice self-discipline.
- Finally, I make sure to have fun. My main ways of having fun (aside from talking with friends) are cooking and eating new and tasty and healthy meals, listening to classical music, reading literature, playing guitar and singing, and browsing the internet (mostly nature shows). This just helps me relax and, for bits and snippets here and there, just forget all the drama of the world and indulge my curiosity.
So, that’s about that! And now it’s just a question of waiting to see what comes next, and when it comes! Hopefully soon!