It’s been a minute since I’ve posted on this blog. I suppose I’m just keeping my promise to ONLY blog when I have something to say, and I guess it’s that time. :). I thought I’d talk about some life lessons learned throughout these times in the hopes that maybe you’ll read something that relates to you. After all, we’re all connected, right?
Where have I been?
I’ve been around. Last time I wrote was sometime in December so I guess about 5 months have passed. To say a lot has changed since I last wrote would be a drastic under exaggeration. I won’t list all the bad shit that’s gone on, because I think you are all living it now.
I’m a Hugger
If you know me, you’ll know how social I am. Being “isolated” and adhering to “do social distancing” has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life.
I’m a hugger. And I give good hugs. You know, not like those wimpy ones. I get in there. And it’s that physical social connection I’m missing. I can’t wait to hug my friends and make sure they’re all ok.
I think that’s going to be the weirdest part of coming out of quarantine . . . Not hugging. But this is the new world we all live in nowadays. I was watching a movie the other night and the guys shook hands and then hugged and I thought it looked weird. Has my world changed so much that this looks weird to me now? I guess so.
At the beginning of this whole ordeal, I agreed to let Kailyn stay with her mom for the first 6 weeks. It was a gesture of kindness that I offered Kailyn’s mom. I would soon come to regret this (but more on that later . . . Or even in a different blog).
I’ll tell you it was the loneliest 6 weeks of my life.
I found myself slipping into a depression. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating and I found it hard to get out of bed. I certainly wasn’t myself. I quickly realized I needed to make some adjustments to my life or this quarantine was going to be impossible. Here’s what I did:
Lesson 1: Get Out Of Bed
Sounds super simple, but I had to “will” myself out of bed every morning. And you will too busy been feeling this way. Even when it seems like there’s no reason to. No job? No family? No agenda? Doesn’t matter. Get your ass out of bed.
For those slipping into depression or even those who are already there . . . Just get out of bed. I promise you it’ll be worth it. After that I started a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Like actually wrote out a list . . . Like a 3rd grader.
- Make breakfast for yourself.
- Write a new song on the piano.
- Check in with my loved ones.
- Clean a room in the house.
- Find yourself.
- Learn to be ok alone. It won’t be like this forever.
Some of those things are easier than others, but I had a list and I checked off each item as I completed it. I still have some to complete.
What’s Important To YOU?
That’s a hard question to answer sometimes. For me, it changes daily. Some days it’s crystal clear, and other days it’s like I’m stumbling around in the dark with a blindfold on.
Work is important to me.
I realized that a lot of my identity is tied up in my business. My work family is my family, and not seeing them and interacting with them was difficult. Because of that I started doing more zoom calls with them to stay in touch. I know the girls in my office hate it, but I needed (and still do) to see their faces. I need that connection. And more than seeing them, I needed to make sure that they were taken care of. Once we settled into our new routines, and I was sure they and their families were taken care of, I know I could let that go.
Keeping moving is important to me.
The next thing I needed to overcome was the need to advance. As an entrepreneur, standing still is moving backwards. At our slowest times, I’d push forward and sell. It was all I knew. When my clients were furloughed, my vendors were begging to get paid, and my staff was looking for leadership, I had to figure out what to do. I’m some ways, it’s a blessing that my ENTIRE INDUSTRY took a pause. I had to come to grips that I wasn’t being passed by and that we were all in the same boat. It was only then that I could be at peace with what’s going on. I wasn’t “losing”, “treading water”, or “failing”, I was “pausing” till the time is right. coming to that conclusion was difficult, but mind-settling.
Kailyn is the MOST important to me.
My last hurdle was getting over missing Kailyn. I FaceTimed with her multiple times a day, but it wasn’t the same. Because I wasn’t allowed contact with her (not legally, but out of respect), and knowing she was less than a mile away at her mom’s place in Vegas, was difficult. I missed her so much. But I was able to count the days down till I saw her again. And I made it. She’s here with me now.
But back to my question, “What’s important to you?”
Lesson 2: The Little Things Are Little Things
The hardest lesson to learn in life (or one of them), is that the days, and minutes will keep ticking on. It’s linear, and what you do with those days, minutes, and seconds are what matters.
Talking with Kailyn tonight, we discussed life in general. I reminded her that we only have one shot at each minute. I told her it’s not how you WANT to live that minute, it’s HOW you live that minute. Nothing much else matters.
One of my favorite things to tell my friends (for better or worse), is that they shouldn’t sweat the little things. That saying “you won’t regret the things you did, but you will regret the things you didn’t do.” So trite and cliche, but so true. I try to teach Kailyn not to sweat little things in life. Try not to worry about things that you won’t remember in a year. Of course that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t study for a test, but when it comes to life . . . Let go of the things you won’t remember a year from now. Taking this view on life has allowed me to free up a lot of space in my emotional stratosphere. A little time, usually lends a LOT of perspective (shameless plug, check out my blog on perspective).
Lesson 3: Sound Mind, Sound Body
One lesson my body has taught me, is that I need to SLOW DOWN. Without COVID-19, I’m not sure I would have listened.
I’ve lost 11 lbs. (as of now), my abnormally high blood pressure has fallen to under normal (in a good way), and my average heart rate has lowered by 21 BPM (holy SHIT).
I guess my body was telling me to slow down. It took this pandemic to realize it, but needed to work on my body as much as my mind. I may not get a chance to slow down like this again till I retire, so I’m taking advantage of that.
Lesson 4: Appreciate The Little Things
It’s hard to stop and recognize small acts of kindness that you’d otherwise overlook.
- The phone calls to check in on me.
- The meals dropped off to make sure I was eating.
- The sun rising and setting every day.
These are things I might have taken for granted before, I appreciate now more than ever.
Kailyn and I were on a bike ride and I made her stop and check out one of of Vegas’ beautiful sunset as it set behind the mountains. I reminded her that today is the ONLY day the sun will SET this exact way. How beautiful it was. In a world stricken by death, war, a global pandemic, poverty, and fear . . . There was this beautiful sunset we were both experiencing with our own two eyes, with healthy bodies.
It was a little thing, but such a BIG moment.
Sometimes you just need to stop to appreciate the little things.
Lesson 5: Love Deeply, Love Dearly
This pertains to my relationship with Kailyn. Maybe for you it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member. But there’s never been a time I’ve loved more deeply for this child who’s growing up in a scary world.
How do I protect her from all the bad things out there? Let alone something so tiny, it can penetrate a face mask.
I can’t. But what I can do is love her deeply and love her dearly.
I’m sure being together or being apart has sparked this emotion in some of you. Don’t ignore it and make sure you remember it when we come out the other side of this pandemic. If we don’t learn from what we’re faced with during quarantine, it will be a lost opportunity. I for one, don’t want to come out of this the same person (or worse). I want to take this opportunity as a time for growth.
Time For Bed
I guess this is long enough for tonight. I’ll try and write more about some of the difficulties I’ve been facing with Kailyn’s mom, but I want to keep this blog positive . . . And that situation is DEFINITELY not positive.
I hope all of you are safe and healthy. I hope you are all spending time with your loved ones in a way that we all hope won’t happen again. And for those loved ones you don’t see often, I hope that they’re also safe and healthy. I miss my mom so much, but I know K and I will see her soon. I’m just thankful she’s doing well.
So . . . virtual hugs for you all till I can give you the real thing. Thank you all my friend who have reach out or tried to connect with me. You don’t know how much it means and how much your kind gestures have made a bad situation tolerable. You’re the light in what could have been a dark, dark world.
Love, health, and safety to you all!!
Sincerely, Kailyn’s Dad