Photo by: Katie Moun
Uncertainty is by far the worst state to live in.
We can deal with the bad, we can thrive in the good-- but the uncertain... the uncertain is, well, uncertain and the one thing that we all truly have in common is that we are all variables in uncertain times.
As we find ourselves collectively in one of the most uncertain times many of us have experienced in our lifetimes, we realize that there is a big difference between the run-of-the-mill self-inflicted uncertainty that we put ourselves through repeatedly in our lives--whether that be starting a new job or your own business, relocating to a new city or country, starting a new relationship, growing a family, etc. Those life moments or “milestones” are all uncertain times that we can deal with, even other life events like battling a disease or medical condition can be less daunting than the uncertainty that we’ve faced in the past few weeks, as there are at least FAQs for most of those other situations.
This won’t be a list of tips of what to do in times like these nor how to stay busy, productive, etc. There are plenty of those out there and perhaps later in the week I’ll give you more resources of that type, but for now this is more of a reflection. We’ve all been through a lot in the past few weeks and all of that for everyone I know has been on top of whatever they were already juggling in life.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve all worked to re-steady not only ourselves but our households, our communities, our countries, and our globe in this “temporary” new “normal”. Finding that footing comes at a cost, the cost of surrendering. The surrender of giving in to the uncertainty for an uncertain amount of time.
So what can one do at a time like this?
We do what we know. We knowingly or unknowingly become specialists.
For many, there’s been little to no choice in what they do. With schools, daycares, and preschools closing and nearly 25% of the U.S. population being under 18, American households were now dealing with approximately 74M students now staying home--leaving many a parent to not only deal with homeschooling, but to also likely juggle a full-time job/career or multiple part-time jobs. All of this at a time when many of the adults in the household are facing the uncertainty of whether or not they’ll continue to have a source of income and also at the same time adapting to potentially working from home and perhaps learning new technologies not for fun and leisure activities as in the past (a past that I might add was only a month or two ago but now seems so distant), but for survival in the workplace.
For others it is dealing with a business or teams, etc. Strategizing and evaluating the best path forward, being honest with yourself about what is not only sustainable but also for this uncertain time in particular, safe. The various scenarios and situations across not only the U.S. but globally are endless, again with humans as the variables there is no one size fits all with how to deal with uncertain times like this pandemic.
Because you have to start to address a problem somewhere, you start with what’s impacting you the most from a reactionary state until you can get ahead of things and then can move on to ideally helping others. The most important thing to note is that acting from a reactionary state and putting you, your household, your future first is ok.
Perspective shifts sometimes become necessary, for in this particular crisis, we know that by protecting others and practicing physical-distancing is also a way of not only protecting others but ourselves.
For me personally and many of those in my immediate circles, I recognize the access, privilege, and resources that we have at our disposal and know that this is not the case for many others and therefore I take actions beyond just my self, household, community to help source and contribute to larger solutions. Solutions and collaborations that can be of aid in various efforts not just in our country but globally.
For me starting with what I know involves dealing with issues on a larger scale and bringing them down to a level where they can be more easy to tackle all the while pulling in others from my various communities to supplement in areas that I may not have expertise in (of which there are many). However, just like the rest of you I also deal with the everyday things from grocery shopping to still being a presence for my closest circles and to help the organizations that I am employed by or involved with to also pivot and find their place in these uncertain times.
However, as much as I may strive to do. I do this without judgement of others and what they can contribute. If all one person can do is stay home at this time, that is a very important and needed action and as big a contribution as any at this time.
Beyond what is mandated or recommended, your actions are your own and you are one variable in the bigger picture that you can control at this time.
At the end of all this what we will all need to be ok with, after this uncertainty is over and we settle into a new way of being, (because we all are forever changed after this) will we be ok with the actions we each took during this crisis?
As you think about that answer, remember to be kind to yourself--you had to start somewhere in these unprecedented times.
Stay informed , choose credible sources like the official CDC site. If you feel you have any COVID-19 symptoms consult a medical professional (most tests are now free although not widely available), and above all practice mental and physical self-care and continue to STAY HOME.