With all of the current and upcoming challenges – a contentious election, rising covid19 cases, unpredictable flu season and upended holidays – it’s time to buckle up, grab hold, and keep perspective.
We have 8 months behind us of weathering the pandemic, online schooling, virtual work, limited socializing, fires and hurricanes. We have months of powerful engagement and passion for racial justice and climate change under our belts. As exhausted as we may be, we can’t let go. It’s time to hold on – with both hands – or reach out to a friend and steady ourselves. It’s time to look for the friend that rides roller coasters with their hands in the air and a smile on their face! We need support and stability right now, however and wherever we can find it.
3 Tips for Hanging On & Carrying On!
#1 Buckle Up!
Safety belts are required while riding in any fast-moving vehicle. I’d say what has happened across the world, and certainly in the United States, in the past 8 months is definitely “fast moving”. Keep focusing on safety. First and foremost, as you know, you need to wear a mask, now more than ever. Every time you get in the car and put on your seat belt, you are making a declaration to yourself, and to those you love, that you want to live and that your life matters. When you buckle up your children, you are protecting them. Every time you put on a mask, you are making the same declaration – I want to LIVE and MY LIFE MATTERS. This is a powerful statement. Wear your mask proudly!
Safety belts are also protection from flying out of the fast moving vehicle upon impact. Creating safety around us during these fast-moving times is essential. If the election results ignite chaos, have a plan. Similar to a wild-fire protection plan, have defensible space, pack a bag, have gas in your car and food in your fridge (and a little toilet paper for shits and giggles!). Safety belts are protection, they are preparation and they are life-saving.
#2 Hang On!
These next few months are time to hang on and just focus on the next right thing. These words of wisdom come from one of my favorite songs: The Next Right Thing, Frozen II
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath
This next step
This next choice is one that I can make
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing
Use this time wisely to take care of yourself and your family. There will be an end to the ride, eventually. Hang on to hope and faith and optimism – these are the friends that you need on your ride right now. These are the friends who throw their hands up in the air on the roller coaster and enjoy every moment of the ups and downs. Look for these friends – in your life, in books, on tv shows, wherever they show up. I personally sought this ‘friendship’ by reading Man’s Search For Meaning. This classic book by psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, is an inspiration and profoundly grounding. My biggest take away is illustrated in this quote: “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to chose one’s way.” You have an opportunity to choose how you want to show up on this crazy, wild ride of life right now – choose wisely and hang on – we will get through this!
#3 Keep Perspective! Take the Next Right Step!
This is such an important reminder! KEEP PERSPECTIVE! I talked to a colleague in New Zealand recently who said that they were living their lives like pre-covid and all was relatively normal again. We might still be on a wild ride with the election looming and the pandemic soaring, but there is health, and calm, and business-as-usual in other parts of the world. We will get there. Keeping perspective, staying calm and clear is essential. Another wise piece of advice from Frankl as we are being challenged by life – daily and hourly – is, “Our answer must consist, not in talk or meditation, but in right action and right conduct.” This is the time to rise above, look around, zoom the lens out, and keep perspective. When struggling, simply focus on the next right thing and breathe.
The ride will eventually end, or at least pause, and you can catch your breath. You may feel a bit disoriented and wobbly, but you’ll be able to right yourself and carry on! Sending each and everyone of you a blessing for health, safety, and optimism.