Like most of you, I had a routine, before all of this virus crisis started. It was a mundane routine that began at about 6 AM when the dogs got me up to go for their morning walk. I’d throw on my “dog-walking outfit’, which consists of a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and off we’d go. Our morning walks were usually about ½ hour; so, depending upon when they got me up, we were usually through before 7 AM. Then it was time to check emails and Facebook, look at my calendar of events scheduled for that day and maybe write a blog post. At 8 AM I usually walked down to the Rite Aid store a block away and got my morning paper (unless it was Thursday or Friday when it is still delivered). Most mornings my wife would make a breakfast or at least get out the cereal and pour a glass of orange juice. After breakfast, I would normally shower and get dressed for the day in a nice business casual outfit. Then it was on to the appointments and business of the day.
Well, that all changed about three weeks ago and dramatically so two weeks ago when Governor Whitmer issued her stay at home order. Both of the part-time jobs that I work at – as a Realtor and selling advertising for the Spinal Column Newsweeklies – came to a screeching halt under the governor’s order. Newspapers were exempted under the order, but literally all of the advertisers that I have as clients were immediately shut down. The order also restricted real estate agents from doing the things that they normally do – showing and listing houses, since both involved face-to-face time with clients. So, suddenly I had a completely open calendar. (NOTE: Ever resourceful Realtors have since figured out how to do much of their business virtually.)
The dogs don’t understand that anything is happening, so they still get me up every morning about 6 AM. I still throw on my dog-walking outfit and we make our trek around the block to take care of business. I still check in on my email, although it is down quite a bit. Facebook has also changed, with threads about dealing with the virus now dominating. I still walk down to Rite Aid and get a paper most days and we still have breakfast. That’s when I noticed that things had changed in a way that I don’t like. I have been getting latter and latter on my morning shower (which has even turned into an afternoon shower a few time) AND I have been exchanging one pair of jeans for another and sitting around in jeans all day.
That has to stop! I’m not doing that anymore. Sitting around in PJ’s or jeans all day is an admission of defeat and I will not let this thing defeat me. I may not have anywhere to go or any business appointments, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t put on a nice business causal outfit for the day. I am still conducting some business over the phone – talking to advertising clients and calling past real estate clients. Even though they can’t see me (I don’t use SKYPE for those calls), I know what I look like and it makes a difference to know that I am dressed as a business person while making those calls.
The other things that I’m not doing anymore is letting the situation drag me down into inactivity and boredom. That is like being a mime and allowing yourself to be trapped in an invisible box that is the product of your own imagination. There are just tons of things that need doing around the house and out in the yard at this time of year. Instead of having a calendar full of business appointments, I now have a calendar that was filled in from the “honey do” list that I had been avoiding tackling. My days will not be measured by how many dumb TV shows or old movies I’ve sat around watching all day; but, rather by how many things I can check off the list of things that I promised I’d get around to doing someday. That someday is here, now, and the stay at home order has become it’s “get to work” siren call.
We all have the choice during this crisis of deciding if we will let it dictate our lives to us or we will remain in control of our lives and figure out how to live as best that we can under the situation at hand. Maybe you can stay in that one pair of jeans all day, but that doesn’t have to mean sitting around the house idle all day and feeling sorry for yourself. There are things to do and people to call and check up on. There are lawns that need raking and neatening up, closets that you’ve been promising yourself you would organize, small maintenance items around the house that you’ve been meaning to get to. There are always things that didn’t ever make the “A” list is our past lives that we now have time to get to. Sitting around and feeling sorry for ourselves should not be on any of those lists. I’m not doing that anymore and neither should you.
I have to go, now. I have things to do. But first, it’s time for my morning shower.