Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
by Skip Cohen
After almost three weeks of self-quarantine, we're settling into what's fast becoming the new normal. If you're like me, defining "normal" includes anxiety, frustration, disbelief, and a complete change in my outlook on life. Getting out is now defined as a fast run to the market, social distancing, and paranoia, followed by hand-sanitizer, not touching my face and washing my hands before and after the groceries are unpacked!
I hate it; you hate it; we ALL hate it, but that doesn't mean we can't get through this and live wonderfully fulfilling lives! That old African proverb above sure seems to fit. Whether you've ever learned to sail or not, when this thing is over, we'll all be qualified to sail in the America's Cup!
This week, thanks to some great friends, we launched the f64 Lunch Bunch, an online get-together to talk about the change in business as a result of the pandemic. In every show the topic came up of the importance of remembering you're not alone. In fact, for the first time, certainly, in our history, the world is in this together.
Despite the pain of feeling isolated, there are a few things I've discovered to help get through it all.
Yesterday Sheila and I had a great day, not because of anything incredible we did, but because the two of us embraced a moment of being cool, calm, and collected. We found time to laugh! The weather's almost summer-like. I made a plate of nachos and a batch of Margaritas. We sat by the pool with a drink and munchies while the pups chased each other and wrestled.
I know we're lucky to have the weather on our side, and like so many homes in Florida, we have a pool. Wherever you are there's something you used to do at home that was fun and brought a smile to your face. That was us yesterday, and it was energizing. I'm not saying I'm not afraid, or that I have a handle on my fears, but if I make an effort I can lock the Boogie Man in the closet for hours at a time. And, when I'm in touch with being grateful for my life, there's very little that changes the Alfred E. Neuman smile on my face. (If you don't understand that last sentence, call somebody over forty.)
When my Dad was dealing with my Mom's Alzheimer's, she would come in and out of the clouds with a lucid moment. Dad would say, whenever those moments came, he was going to squeeze every drop of joy he could get out of them. He saved every one of those drops and drew from them whenever he had to deal with his sadness.
I guess that's what I'm trying to do now. We're safe for today, and all we can do is take it one day at a time. I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, but I do know if I let depression get hold of my heart, the virus wins. It's not easy, but we're all in this together.
So, pick up the phone and check in on an old friend. Cherish whoever's in your life right now. Smile over your love for helping people capture memories, but remember to check in on the stash of memories you've captured for yourself. Right now, they might be buried under a ton of emotional garbage, but take the time dig them out - it's so worth it, and it can start by just looking through files of images back in the days when Corona meant a cold beer!
Wishing everybody a day filled with memories, conversations with friends you've lost touch with, and a long hug if you're quarantined with your family, and a virtual hug in cyberspace if you're flying solo.
Oh, and apologies to my followers who heard me quote Sargeant Esterhaus and credit the wrong TV show. It was Michael Conrad on Hill Street Blues!
Happy Sunday, everybody - stay safe, healthy, and be careful out there.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.