“How many more weeks until we can be human beings again?!” says my mom.
She’s putting on her coat, getting ready to go to the grocery store.
My mom is a “worrier” at the best of times. And this pandemic has hit her hard, in the gut.
She knows the ins-and-outs of every angle to this thing. And she watches the News religiously.
She is bracing. Hard. And she is doing what most people instinctively do when they are knee-deep in fear. Trying to turn the “unknown” into the “known.” “Uncertainty” into “certainty.”
She is trying to outrun this thing.
And I mean, I don’t blame her.
But the crazy part is, you can never outrun fear. It’s like a hopping on a fucking treadmill. The faster you go, the more exhausted you get. And really? You don’t get anywhere at all.
My mom. She is weighed down by the heaviness of her worries. Carrying the burden of “poor Africa,” and “that horrible Trump” on her own shoulders.
She looks over at my kiddos, and sighs. “Oh to be a child right now. And not have to worry as much as us adults."
Listen. I get the stress.
But if we are going to make it though this thing, we are going to need to stay grounded in the right kind of mindset.
Perspective is everything.
And it is my solid belief that positivity is a choice.
We can choose to be “human beings.”
We can choose to have the beautiful mindset of a child, who is so grounded in presence.
Even in the midst of chaos.
Especially in the midst of chaos.
And guys, for me, a rock solid mindset is rooted in the soil of gratitude.
Because there are so many things that I could be depressed about right now. My gym closing. The difficult feat of cobbling together childcare. The stress of paying my bills. The fact that the dating scene has become significantly more difficult to navigate (my car or yours? I’ll bring the take-out. And don’t forget your mask.)
But strangely, my heart is unbelievably full right now. Because of this experience. Not despite it.
And I am convinced that it is because my lens on life is one of gratitude. I choose gratitude. And I choose to see the positive.
The price of gas. It’s never been cheaper! Do you not whistle a merry tune as you’re filling up your car these days, watching the $$$ creep up at a snail’s pace?!
Sports broadcasts. They’re all best-of repeats! Or better yet, bloopers! You’re guaranteed a knock-out show.
Gridlock traffic. It’s no longer a thing! We could get a walloping 10 feet of snow right now, and you’d sail through downtown, right in the middle of the storm, no problem.
The abundance of people getting outside to walk, or run. Ironically, I haven’t bumped into my neighbours this much in years! And do I even need to mention how many opportunities there are to make fun of people using those Nordic walking sticks?! They’re everywhere.
For me personally, it’s the little things.
Like going for a run outside, with my bestie. Something that never even occurred to me to do before!
Cooking at home. A passion that has absolutely been reignited with newfound enthusiasm.
More time with my kiddos. Teaching them how to play Go Fish. Reading Harry Potter together.
But it’s also the big things.
It is the opportunity to become a leader. Never have I been more proud to have the skills of a personal trainer. Someone who can help people in this time of need, by getting people moving. Active. And sweaty.
It is the chance to live my life’s passion, no matter the circumstances, and witnessing my own incredible ability to pivot and adapt.
It is the experience of slowing down. There is no go-go-go of getting to swimming lessons. And ballet. And birthday parties. And haircuts (you better believe I’m gonna cut my own son’s hair….and give him a mullet). It is a deep breath that life rarely affords.
And while many begrudge the closing down of their favourite restaurants, coffee shops, and hangouts…..I am strangely filled with a renewed sense of gratitude for their existence at all. I have a deep trust and belief in the mantra, “this too shall pass,” and when I do get the opportunity to step into my gym, or drop my kids off at school…..I will have a renewed (and deeper!) sense of gratitude for it all.
So let’s redefine what it means to “be a human being,” and live our everyday lives. Let’s choose to embrace the shit show. And see the good.
Because none of us knows how this thing is truly going to evolve. And no matter how many experts we interview, how many stats we drum up, and how many predictions we make…..everyday life will only unfold one day at a time.
Yes, this is uncomfortable. This awkward. This is different. This is scary.
But this is also beautiful.
If you allow yourself to see it.