Stranger times than this
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In my lifetime I have never experienced stranger times like this. Instead of doing my normal income report which would end up showing you a grand total earned of $5.46 I want to reflect on what is currently going on in the world.
When you read this article the whole COVID19 – saga may hopefully be over and the world is either grappling with the personal, social, and economical impacts or in a few years. We may have moved on from this and hopefully learned from it as well. As of today, April 4th we are in the midst of this mess. While the numbers in Italy are finally starting to fall, the numbers here in the US are on the rise.
Our family is tucked away at our place and follow the official lock-down order here in Virginia. This started with a state of emergency declaration here on March 12th, to school closures statewide the next day. March 30st Virginians were officially put on lock-down through the “Stay at home order”. The land of the free, not so free anymore.
We do our part and adhere to the orders and try to flatten the curve. This way we reduce the risks of catching the virus and avoid adding to the strain of the hospitals fighting “The beast“.
Inspiri-inspira and tralala
One of the things I have lost in this past month was the inspiration and energy of writing. Stranger times but I am lucky in that I can fully work remotely from home and our company has been able to make things work in this environment. The problem though is that I have little inspiration left after finishing work and moving away from the keyboard. I much rather spend time with the family, walk the dog, or exercise.
Going after my P90X DVDs almost every day and keep in shape is probably the source of positive energy I can pull from. Not only do I feel in great shape despite repeated daily snack breaks in the kitchen, I do also think that it boosts my immune system. Speaking of immune system, I started adding some Multi-vitamins, extra Calcium and Zinc, fish-oil, as well as vitamin-C, Protein powder, and Creatine to my daily diet. This may sound like a lot but it boils down to three tablets in the morning and a well spiked breakfast bowl of Oats with fruits, Protein, Creatine, and some Calcium ascorbate ( Vitamin-C ).
My daily routine starts out between 4:30am and 5:00am. To give me time to sift through the daily news and get my exercise in before I start work at 9:00am each day. Getting up that early also means that I am usually in bed by 9:00pm-9:30pm. I have to admit that I have struggled with this routine when we started to work from home. There is this psychological bump you have to overcome. Just force yourself to get into or remain in a routine.
While the kids like to play online and would want to keep to themselves for most of the day it was important for us to ask them to do daily chores, homework assignments as well as 30 minutes of exercise each day. This regime kept a daily schedule of sorts. Having your whole life change in such a short period of time is a major hit to anyone, especially teenager.
We miss our soccer outings and the friendships and routines which come along with it. It is a great way for our kids to release stress and have fun with a group of friends on the field.
How do you keep your sanity
Staying abreast of whats going on outside is important. But you should not get devoured by the constant onslaught of bad news. Keep informed without getting overwhelmed is the mantra we have to adopt. There is clear proof that this is going to get better in a few weeks. We will be able to start relaxing some of the restrictions currently in place. So hang on tight.
Check if you have a puzzle in your house which you can do. Find some games to play with your family. Or you can stay connected using an app like HouseParty to get some social anti-distancing done while adhering to the social distancing order.
Check up with your friends.
This includes picking up the phone and giving them a call instead of using Social Media only.You will most likely find that this is a welcome distraction for you and for them from the daily news cycle. Also you can exchange ideas and tips and tricks on what to do while you have to stay at home.
Create a new hobby
Create a new hobby or spend more time in developing your hobby. That may be a good way to stay not only busy but to also enjoy yourself a bit. There is a balance you have to strike between your time spend on this vs the time required to spend with your family though. Don’t let it consume all of your time.
Earn some extra money
This would also be a good time to try some of the possible ways to earn some extra side income. This could be through following ideas mentioned in this article or by becoming a freelancer on Fiverr, or get some free cash by signing up for WeBull. WeBull will give you two free stock worth between $2.00 and $1400.00 by simply open an account and depositing $100 into it. Follow this link to take advantage of this great offer.
Note, you need to be resident of the US and have valid SSN and drivers license or state ID.
Well what better time than to develop some new skills? There are a plenitude of courses available on https://www.edx.org, https://www.Coursera.com, https://www.Udemy.com, https://www.Udacity.com . https://www.freecodecamp.org has a compiled a list of 450 free Ivy league online courses. Also one of my favorites for many years now is the Open Course Ware Program from MIT which you can find here https://ocw.mit.edu.
You can find courses on almost any topic for free. If you are willing to pay for a course you may also be able to get some additional certifications under your belt.
Now this one comes as no surprise. Of course you can spend your time reading more books. It will be up to you if you prefer to read a novel or an educational book. Reading helps to grow your mind and help release your stress. It helps you expand your vocabulary, improves memory and concentration. There are many more positive effects on your body and soul which stem from reading. So get to it.
Learn a new language
Learn a new Language or improve a language you already know. There has been a revolution in language learning in the past 20 years. Just imagine before the internet really was a thing, and for quite some time after it has been a thing, learning a new language was limited to buying a course with some audio samples and hefty books. Then you had to drill down and memorize words and sentence structures. “Bonjour, je m’appelle Brigitte, et vous appelez comment?”. Very basic and mostly boring sentences.
With the advent of smartphones this has been revolutionized. First of you can watch TV channels or listen to online radio stations in the target language on your phone. Simply do a search for E.g. “French TV” in the app store or in the play store. Then you have thousands of apps to help you memorize words, and learn the language itself. Lastly you have voice recognition and smarter apps which teach you how to speak.
Start a blog
Well you saw that coming from a mile away, did’t you? Yes if you already have a blog you can spend some more time on it. If you do not have a blog, now may be the time to start one. It will allow you to focus on something new and create some content which may be helpful to other people. You could for example document your journey of learning a new language, and recommend some books your read in that language. Combining a few of the bullet points above together.
In the end … stranger times
This whole Pandemic will eventually come to an end and while we may never get back to exactly the way it was before the outbreak, things will become much more normal again soon. If you have spend your time wisely and followed one or multiple of the above points you will come out a better person. You may have picked up new talents or strengthened some of your relationships.
You may be able to find a better employment when things start up again if you were laid-off or furloughed from your work. Your newly acquired knowledge may be able to help you find that job you were looking for. Remember that things in general don’t happen to you, the happen for you. It is only with hindsight that you will be able to see the true impact
In the meantime, please stay positive and healthy until we arrive on the other side of this pandemic.