The reality of it all hit me on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 11, 2020. I was sitting at a Dunkin Donuts, writing out my work action items for the next few days when all of a sudden I started paying attention to the chatter in the background.
The baristas were talking about their colleges closing and having to switch to online classes effective immediately! I quickly checked my e-mails, and almost every e-mail subject line had the word covid or canceled in it.
The next few days were a blur as I tried to process everything that was happening and at the same time tried to figure out exactly what my life, the lives of my family members, and my law practice would look like moving forward. Fear, confusion and anxiety were only some of the many negative emotions running through me.
And then came day four; the day I decided enough is enough. I wrote down all the major areas of my life that this unfortunate situation was affecting and thought about positive outcomes which could potentially come out of this challenging time, in all those areas. This exercise gave me hope.
Then I wrote a plan on how I will make myself, my life, and my practice better due to this situation. My plan was to stay at home as much as possible, work from my home office and use teleconference whenever necessary, work on all of the "not urgent but important" matters I'd been putting off for more years than I can count (thank you, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). I wrote down all these matters and when I looked at the list, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had more than enough items, all of which could be done from the comforts of my own home, to keep me occupied for the next few months, or longer.
I stopped asking questions, I stopped getting my information from social media posts, and I started making decisions (thank you, Mel Robbins) about how I will make the absolute best out of this situation.
But first...I had to take care of a few housekeeping items to put peace in my heart and to remove the clutter from my mind so I could start working on my list:
- I bought groceries for my parents, dropped the groceries off at their doorstep and waved at them through the window.
- I called my immediate family members to make sure everyone had what they needed, and that they are OK.
- I called my financial adviser who reassured me that I am not alone in feeling like I'm being punched in the stomach every time I check my retirement account. And that I should in fact stop checking it for a little while.
- I stocked up on plenty of food and water so that I could comfortably remain at home for quite some time.
With all of the above done, for the past few days and moving forward, I've been focusing on my personal growth; practicing how to be comfortable in a very uncomfortable situation, reading self-development books and listening to audio books. And I'm finally starting that vision board that I've been collecting magazines for the past five years.
This undoubtedly is a terrible time in our lives for countless reasons, but we can make good out of it. The above is how I plan on getting through it. By working on my action plan, by staying at home, by taking care of myself and my family, even if that means staying away from them.
I hope you all decide the same for yourselves, and if you need me, I'll be over here working on my vision with a glue stick in hand.
Until next time, my friends. Stay healthy and safe!
P.S. Check out the video version below!