So I am sitting in my office this morning thinking about everything that we are dealing with right now and I realize that this is not something that we need to fear. For years we have been talking about the importance of developing ourselves, building strong healthy bodies and minds, developing attitudes and mindsets to keep us always moving forward, and creating bonds with friends, families and loved ones that ensure they know we are connected no matter how far away we are, and how long it's been since we were together.
One of the blessing we can take from this time, is we all have a chance to look at where we are and where we imagined ourselves at this time. We talk a great game about taking time to do the things that matter, and not center our entire existence on work and chores. We plan to read more, do more activities with the kids and families, reach out to people more, exercise more and live a healthier lifestyle. How many times did we write the same New Years Resolution (please tell me you at least wrote them down) and yet 365 days later, we looked at (or thought about) them and realized that other than the first 3 weeks of January, we didn't follow through because we were "BUSY."
Right now you have the one gift that is the great equalizer...TIME! No matter what your job, financial or social situation, family or geographic condition, EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD right now has the same 24 hours! How you choose to spend that time speaks volumes about where you are where it counts, in your mind! For example, if you wanted to get up and exercise everyday, but needed to get the kids ready for the bus or commute to work, guess what, you now have that time back. How are you spending it? Are you getting up at the same time except instead of rushing around getting ready for your day, are you hitting the treadmill? You know the thing in your room that is covered with your work clothes that you needed to iron a few weeks ago and haven't looked at since because your still wearing the same pair of PJs? We can't go out to the gym, but how about taking a run, a walk or even throwing in one of the exercise video programs that you bought 2 years ago and are still sitting in the box under the tv.
We also have a tremendous amount of time with our children and guess what... THEY ARE WATCHING YOU! How you handle this, how you react and respond, everything you do is helping create the model for how they will react when they develop. Child psychologist have know for decades that our kids learn by modeling our behavior, in fact it is a cornerstone of developmentally appropriate practice, the basis for preschool programs throughout the world. For the older children, they are not spending time with their peer groups, so guess what? Your the one they are watching. Why don't we invest the time to help them develop the things that will help them be successful. Make sure they see that you think taking care of themselves is important by doing it. Let them see you read, listen to audio books or podcasts about something you are interested in, play games that teach skills (Monopoly or CashFlow are two great examples) that will help them when this ends, because contrary to a great number of people it will.
The habits that you have right now are where you are. If you aren't doing the things that "you want to do" during this time, the issue isn't that you don't have time, it's that it truly isn't a priority. Check out where you are mentally and emotionally, and see if it is serving you. If it is, OUTSTANDING! If it isn't, then it's time to make the changes you have been talking about. If you start with these small changes today, hopefully when this passes, you will have created habits that will change the direction of your life. This "new normal" is not normal, and we will get back to where we were, better, stronger and more determined than ever before.