“Have these people lost their minds?” It’s a question I’ve asked myself on several occasions this week. Novelty escalates behavior – and with our norms being tossed out the window, everyone seems to be scrambling to find stable ground. But sometimes a hint of calm can surface in a sea of crazy.
Yesterday it was cold and rainy – which I normally love – but given the weather, the cable went out in our area by noon. (Really? Covid 19 and no internet?) I decided to make red beans and rice, a Cajun staple. But alas, we had no beans or ham hock. My wife went to three stores only to find one lonely pack of dried beans and pig’s feet – the latter of which she could not bring herself to purchasing. Imagine the flack I took when she got home and found a ham hock hidden in the bottom of our freezer.
Getting to the point – around 6 pm our family sat at the table and had a great dinner together. No distractions. No outside world. No electronics. No craziness. Just quiet. Discussion. Laughter. It was only for about thirty minutes, but it gave me hope – and peace of mind.
We teach our kids the concept of mindfulness. Well folks, no time like the present to practice what we preach. With chaos comes opportunity. So, as we navigate through these uncharted waters, we should work to redefine our norms in a way that grounds us – because, as adults, our responses and reactions to this pandemic are teaching our children a great deal.
My sister posted a version of the Circle of Concern / Circle of Influence from Stephen Covey’s body of work in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People on Facebook yesterday. It reminded me, once again, of the power of our thoughts in influencing behaviors. Lord knows, there are tons of things in your life you are concerned about right now, but can’t do anything about – the pandemic, the economy, the behavior of others, etc. So, focus instead on the aspects of your world you can control – your attitude, your emotional state, your interactions with others, etc. By doing so you will be in a better position to be mindful of yourself and others, which I feel certain will positively impact your path moving forward. And that’s a great start.