Impermanence

All we ever have is now. And the now is ever-changing.

In Canada, most of our normal, everyday things have shut down or been changed by the existence of COVID-19.

  • The whole Alberta economy is at risk.

I might not be able to work, I might have to work from home, if I had kids, they couldn’t go to school, and all the canned food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer are gone from the stores. Every single thing that I do on a normal day or in a week is disrupted. Gyms, stores, events, races, libraries, activities, restaurants, work, weekly run club … basically everything is closed or severely altered.

People seem to think that the end of the world has come, but it hasn’t, at least not in Canada.

And isn’t that the point? To constrain our lives for a bit to ensure that we collectively have our health and happiness?

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In every single situation in life, there is an opportunity.

You just have to find it and grab onto it.

95% of North America just got handed a quieter, more focussed life. So what are you going to do with it?

A few, random ideas …

  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Read the series of books you’ve been putting off
  • Spring clean and fix up your house – make it the place you always wish you lived in
  • Write a novel
  • Learn how to code and make an app
  • Run, bike, hike – get outside
  • Master baking the perfect croissant
  • Do your taxes and get your refund early
  • Play board games with your family
  • Talk to the ones you love – find out what their hopes and dreams are and help to make them happen
  • Start a business
  • Cook 12 new recipes
  • Plan for all the adventures you’re going to have when the world reopens
  • Catch up on the 4,000 emails in your inbox and file all the papers in your office
  • Knit a sweater or three
  • Adopt a dog or cat and spend the necessary time to train them and orient them into your life
  • Build something from scratch
  • Fix the leaky sink or washing machine with help from YouTube

Here’s the thing. I don’t doubt that once the social distancing and quarantine ban gets lifted and all the sports are back on TV to waste your evenings and weekends, you’ll wish you did something else with the time that was just handed to you if you don’t plan to use it well.

What if this is a grand adventure?

You can’t wait for your life to start. You have to make it happen, no matter what the situation. Circumstances are never perfect, so choose to live a good life in the midst of the chaos.

  • Good times and bad times, they always pass.

Sometimes a season is really quick, sometimes they are extremely long. Just don’t sit around and wait for your life to start when things are terrible.

You have no idea how long it will be terrible and if decide to ‘hold‘ until it gets better, you might lose a few years of your life. Trust me, I know. Waiting for your life to start means you lose irrecoverable and precious time, says the woman who stayed in a terrible marriage for about 10 years too long.

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Choosing to create a good life in the midst of a bad time means that you will have a wonderful life in the good times.

Decide what you want and go after it, even when it is hard, weird, or extremely different.

Remember, your perspective and internal narrative are in your control and they shape how you go about your day and what kind of life you are going to have.

Are your options constrained? Yes. Less choice creates clarity. Seize the clarity and go. Your life of adventure awaits, you hold the key. Unlock the door and step through to live a good life, NOW.

What are you going to decide to see? What stories are you telling yourself?

 

Please noteI understand COVID-19 is very serious and this is not to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic. Many of us in North America are not affected except for having to lay low and have a quiet life for the foreseeable future. This blog post is for the aforementioned group of individuals.