The Recovering Farmer

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

It seems that when I respond to various people these days I talk about “interesting times”. Perhaps that best described it a month ago but at this point there are numerous other adjectives that could be used. All I know is that everything feels surreal. Feels like a bad dream, something you can wake up from and go back to normal. Someone suggested the other day that when we changed our clocks from Standard Time we inadvertently went to the twilight zone. That’s what it feels like.

What I do know is that “normal” as we knew it may not happen for a long time, if at all. Don’t get me wrong. I am not being a fatalist here just suggesting that the new normal could be significantly different than the old normal.

I am self-employed and as such am working from home. A new normal for me is to meet clients and have meetings by videoconference or telephone. So far so good although I am of the strong belief that meeting in person still is the optimum way of having discussions particularly when conflict is involved. However everyone is keenly aware of the situation and does their best to work within the parameters we have.

My wife works in the medical community and goes off to work daily, never sure of what she will face and what she is vulnerable to. It is scary for her. To add to the anxiety of that I have reached that magical age of 60, have a compromised respiratory system and so at higher risk should I contract the virus. So my office is transforming into a bedroom as well. Just in case. Something just doesn’t feel right.

In essence nothing feels right. Along with that each morning brings on additional anxiety. As much as I/we are doing okay it’s the big unknown that brings uncomfortable feelings. If we knew that this would end June 1 or July 1 we would have something to look forward to, an end game. But the big unknown just has this pervasive way of adding more stress and anxiety.

Reading the news and going on social media does nothing to alleviate concerns. I did read one meme this morning which made a lot of sense. It simply said “don’t believe everything you think”. That gave me pause because as many of us experience, we fall into this trap of believing all these thoughts running rampant in our heads. As that happens we begin to worry, letting our minds paint a picture of what we DON’T want to have happen. It begins a vicious and debilitating cycle. It takes a monumental effort to not do that.

Gets me back to one of the basics often talked about. Do things that bring anxiety under control, at least for a bit. I have now gone on a bike ride a few days in a row. That felt good except for my sore butt and that too shall pass. Pulled out my guitar this weekend and did some jamming with my son. Okay, jamming might be overstating it, but we had fun. My fingers are screaming and that too shall pass.

And, of course, no pun intended, in the dark of the night when anxiety loves to mess with my mind, I play golf. Pick a course and play a few holes. As difficult as it maybe we need to find our happy place. For me riding my bike or playing guitar momentarily provided respite from the ongoing worries of Covid 19.So far so good, one day at a time. Make it a good one.

“Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once. Breathe. You’re strong. You got this. Take it day by day.” Karen Salmansohn

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