Anxiety (COVID-19. We are definitely in an anxious time in our lives with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a time of uncertainty and I don’t know about you but for me, it is difficult to find the facts about what’s really going on. One news agency reports one thing and three more reports something totally opposite. One day we’re “flattening the curve” and the next day this is something that’s going to last for years. I’m as confused as everyone but unlike a lot of people, it doesn’t cause me anxiety. Not a lot has changed for me since the pandemic started and we have been in lockdown. I work from home so that wasn’t a change. My children are away in college so I haven’t turned into a home school teacher. My gym is closed but I have plenty of exercise equipment in my garage so I continue to work out. My wife is home all day as well and I haven’t woken up with her standing over me holding a pillow in front of my face. I can have a tendency to get on her last nerve, as my mom used to say to me. The one thing that I really miss is our weekly date night where we walk to the local restaurants and enjoy a meal. We still have the date night but now we have to call in our order, pull up outside, have them bring our food out, and take it home, it’s just not the same.
I sympathize with everyone that had to begin working from home, learning from home, and not knowing when their office or school will open up again. I particularly sympathize with the people who had to close their businesses or could remain open but saw a significant drop in their business. It is a very uncertain time in that we don’t know what our society will look like when the pandemic ends. Will jobs be cut as employers try to recoup lost profits? Will sports resume and bring back jobs for the concession workers, security, and ticket scanners? My friend who watches sports 24/7 told me the other day that he just watched a cherry pit spitting contest. He has it bad. In case you were wondering, the winning spit was 47 feet!
I believe in faith over fear. I believe that the pandemic will end sooner rather than later; that businesses will open and the economy will flourish; that sporting events will begin and stadiums will be packed. The anxiety that has been created by this pandemic is based on uncertainty or fear. The anxiety is usually worse than the actual event. As I’ve said before, I have a fear of heights but I jumped out of perfectly good airplanes in the Army. The anxiety that I felt standing up in the airplane before the jump was much greater than when I jumped/fell/was pushed out the door. When I played football, the anxiety before the game in the locker room was much greater than when the game started. The first time you hit somebody all the nerves go away. I remember one time that I was at an amusement park and my friends wanted to ride the roller coaster. That was the last thing that I wanted to do but I went with them. The anxiety that I had standing in line was so great that I thought I would pass out. The worst part was the slow climb to the top of the coaster. After we started the descent it really wasn’t that bad. Not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be in my mind. Now, I didn’t want to do it again but at least I could check that off the old bucket list.
How can we deal with this anxiety? How does this affect us or our journey to success? First, it’s all about control. As I said in my welcome post, I am the CEO of ME Enterprises. I control what happens to me, the thoughts that I think, and my actions. You are in total control of yourself, you control what you are thinking, the choices you make, and your actions every day. I can’t control the things that are going on outside of me. You can’t control the things that are going on outside of you, so don’t worry about them. You can’t control the news, you can’t control politicians, and you can’t control the weather. You have 100 percent control over yourself and that’s the only thing that you should be focusing on. I remember hearing someone say, “If you want to change the world, begin with changing you.” There is a great speech you can find on YouTube by Admiral William H. McRaven entitled “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” If making your bed makes you feel better, then go make it. That is a success and that will bring more success to you. It is something that you can control whether you do it or not. Something else that you can control is what you watch or listen to. If the news is making you more anxious, turn it off. Have faith that we will come out of this pandemic better than we went in.
Adversity creates opportunity. The adversity of the pandemic has opened up numerous opportunities for people. People are exercising more. I see more families going on walks together, people are able and have the time to sit down together at the dinner table. For me, I began this year by saying I will get better every day. My life will be better than it was before when the world goes back to normal. The slowdown in my other business has afforded me the opportunity to research and open up this new online business and begin my blog. It has also opened up my mind to the endless possibilities that are out there for all of us. I am a Christian and believe in the power of God. I believe that I was led to create Lessons Learnt by God. God has provided me the opportunity to pass on my experiences in life through this blog. If you believe in a higher power, know that they are in control of what happens in the world and that everything is going to be better. That doesn’t mean that once the pandemic ends that everything will be perfect and bad things won’t happen again. It means that, just like this and everything that’s happened in the past, we will get through it and become better.