Hit the Reset Button

“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)

I’m not big on making New Year resolutions (What’s she talking about, Leonard? Doesn’t she know it’s nearly April?). But what I do try to do at the beginning of each year is think about who I want to be, what I hope will be different, and what I want my life to look like at the end of the year. Then, I set my monthly, weekly, and daily intentions with that vision in mind.

It’s very organized and kind of nerdy (and maybe a tiny bit OCD). It works for me.

But, here at the end of March, 2020—a month during which the world changed in ways that were unimaginable a short time agoI find it’s time to rethink my priorities and reset my intentions for the emerging brave new world (which, I hope, will not resemble the one imagined by Aldous Huxley).

I wonder, as we hunker down—giving colossal thanks to those on the front lines who cannot hunker—if it would be healthy and wise to take some time to think about who we will be and what the world may look like once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us.

Experts and inexperts predict that could be anywhere from three months to eighteen (with one particular jackass claiming it will be over by Easter). Think about how much your world has changed in just one month. Now extrapolate that change to three months or—heaven help us—eighteen. I believe it’s safe to say this event will change the world irrevocably. In so many areas of life, we will not return to the way things were before COVID-19. [I highly recommend this article from Politico, “Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How,” offering predictions from experts on how nearly every aspect of life is likely to be forever altered.]

To effectuate my reset, I’ve been asking myself some questions. You may want to consider these or compose some of your own:

  • What do I want to accomplish during this time of mandatory isolation and self-quarantine?
  • Who do I want to be when this crisis is over and how will I have upheld my personal values?
  • What will be different that’s within my control?
  • What will be different that’s outside my control, and how will I adjust or adapt to it?
  • How can I prepare for the unknown world awaiting me?
  • How can I best serve—now and later?

My answers are personal—as yours will be—but I found that they fell into predictable categories. Without getting too specific:

Physical health: healthy practices, exercise, nutrition, remaining active, adequate sleep, stress management….

Mental health: keeping active mentally, reading—both “comfort” reading and books/materials that stretch me, puzzles and games, calming practices and stress management….

Connection: staying in touch with friends whom I may not see for many months; not driving crazy the one person whom I will see 24/7, and maintaining my cool during our enforced co-seclusion….

Home: get things done that I’ve been meaning to do, garden, declutter, maybe learn to operate the vacuum….

Accomplishments: for me, that means writing—finishing projects that are underway, starting new ones, submitting some, and also playing with new forms and stretching. Also, learning something entirely new.

Activism: there are still plenty of ways to support the election results I desire, and to advocate for equitable treatment, justice, and integrity in our country’s response to this crisis, as well as its ongoing response to other circumstances.

Like the earliest explorers, we are embarking on unknown territory, with incomplete maps and inadequate provisions. All of us are taking this journey. Separate … but together. What may work well for me may not work for you. What works for you may not be my cup of tea. But if we share our discoveries and intentions with one another, we will add to the body of ideas that emerge and we will forge new paths through this wilderness.

I hope you will share your own ahas, resolutions, and comfort strategies—here, or on your own blog, through your social media, and through your example.

As each day brings new challenges, let’s bring the best of who we are to face them. Stay safe, my friends.

“Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops.” (H.L. Mencken)

34 thoughts on “Hit the Reset Button

    • How good to hear from you, Sheri! My, how the world has changed since we last saw you. Hope you and Mike are staying safe … I know you must be warm. Looking forward to a long overdue get-together when this is all behind us–there will be plenty of stories (and wine).

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  1. Aloha Donna,

    Thanks for a well written and informative article on a most serious concern for all of us with this corona virus…and especially for the link to the Politico article with the collection of thoughts and ideas from many people across our nation.

    I will admit that I usually would not read them or even seek them out…usually preferring the ostrich approach to solving world problems… But having them all together offering their insights in one place made it so much easier…and together they were tremendously informative with all the different view points on our current crisis.

    Most of those articles were extremely hopeful…but some were reasonable cautious about our future… Either way…they all suggest major changes to come for our societies across the world that will crush complacency and old habits. This crisis is forcing us to re-evaluate and potentially change almost every aspect of our lives…even the simplest daily activity like going shopping and longer term changes for how we will educate our children in the future and interact with each other every day…

    I am most impressed and appreciative of our medical profession and their dedication and hard work to help others through all this…in spite of the tremendous risks they face every single day…and especially as I am one that requires daily hospital visits. While the entire hospital is almost completely on shut down…I am still able to go there and get my life-saving treatments every day because of their big hearts and dedication to serve others. I hope and pray that they get the credit and recognition…and critical funding…that they deserve…!

    Amazing times we live in… !

    May we all get though these scary times together…safe and healthy…!

    Take care and God Bless everyone on our beautiful but very fragile planet…!

    Robert

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Robert, so good to hear from you here. You know we’re thinking of you daily. I’m glad you liked the Politico article, too. As you noted, it was interesting to see so many diverse views in one place. Some were quite eye-opening. And, yes, I agree that the medical professionals on the front lines are true heroes. I’m glad to hear that the virus has not impeded your access to care. You are in our thoughts, and we’re looking forward to when we can all be together.

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    • Thanks, Ann. Hope you and JP are thriving. It’s great that you’re offering such practical tips on having effective virtual meetings. It’s unknown territory for so many boards. Take care.

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  2. I like the Proust quote. It is perfect for our current situation. So far in the short time that we’ve been living the Sequestered Life, I’ve realized that when need be I can be very organized. And I sense that I’m getting tidier around the house which surprises me. Those are my ah-ha moments to date.

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  3. Thanks Donna, lovely post. A time for reflection for sure, evaluation and consideration of much. United in our aloneness – a lovely paradox. Lockdown begins at midnight tonight. No walks on beaches or outside one’s property. Some stores open for essentials. It will be a challenging time which we surely must meet if there is to be any meaning in this. I will check your Politico link later, thanks for it and for your thought provoking post. Take care, be safe ..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susan. I think we’re all learning so much about ourselves–and our communities–during this enforced isolation. And we’re also seeing that even half a world away, we can share the same thoughts. Good luck. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful post, as always Donna. Life will be very different going forward, but I don’t think that has to be a bad thing. This isn’t just a time for us (individuals) to pause, re-think and re-set. It’s time for us as a global society as well. There’s no question we’ve lost our way and this is an opportunity. Stay safe Donna.

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  5. Pingback: The Best Thing That Could Happen | Healing Through Connection

  6. Hi Donna! I’m so glad I have this time, no matter how short, to read blogs again, and yours is the first I am visiting. Unlike most people who finally have so much time in their hands because of the stay-at-home orders, I am now busier working from home and looking after my son and doing errands for my sisters. So this period has made me realize that I was so right in cherishing, enjoying every single minute of the time I had for introspecting and reflecting because now I hardly have time alone! I’m not complaining; I enjoy being with my family, but I do miss being alone sometimes.

    Thanks for this post. Stay safe!

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