Written by Annie Laskey, Events Director, Pasadena Senior Center
Remember when we all thought we’d be done with this by the end of April? Sure, I thought, I can hold my breath that long. I can make do with the equivalent of duct tape and twist-ties to get through a month or so of working from home and not going anywhere. Heck, it will be fun to write a blog for a few weeks; maybe I’ll even continue doing it when we’re back to normal in May. Seems a quaint thought now.
When the one month of sheltering at home became two months, I realized that I needed to give in and learn how to use Zoom. When two months became three months, I realized I needed a decent chair at my desk if I was going to be sitting at it 8 hours a day. Now that three months have come and gone and we’re about to end month four, I realize it isn’t just my work-at-home life that needs adjusting; I need to re-set my whole outlook (and I don’t mean the email app). In sports terms, this isn’t the sprint we thought it was, it’s a marathon.
I’m not a runner myself, but I know that the training and mindset of a sprinter preparing to run 50 meters in seven seconds is different from that of a marathoner who strategizes how to keep up energy, focus, and optimism over 26 miles and several hours.
So, how does a person keep up their spirit and be healthy over the long haul? I looked up “endurance sports” on Google and this is what came up, “The main limiting factor in endurance sport is fatigue.” I think that pretty much sums up Coronavirus Life. Fatigue is a huge part of what limits me, limits all of us. Not so much physical fatigue, but mental and emotional fatigue.
Which is why I decided I needed a re-boot. Being depressed over what I can’t do and can’t have has never been useful; dwelling on it now (when everything seems off-limits) is downright harmful. Time to focus on new projects and hobbies, new ways of experiencing things. If I can’t dance ballroom because I can’t get within 6 ft of a partner, maybe it’s time to try tap dancing. Am I getting fat from starch and dairy in the comfort food I’m preparing every day? How about exploring Vegetarian or Vegan cooking for a month; not as a diet, but as an opportunity?
I’m not going to pretend that an attitude change is a cure-all, or even that it is completely possible. I know I’ll still have bouts of hopelessness (don’t we all?!). However, changing my outlook just a little bit may give me that needed boost to get me through the next many months with some feeling of accomplishment and even joy. And I bet I find something (like writing a weekly blog) that I’ll carry with me into the post-COVID future, whenever it may come.