Reporting in on my 6th day alone in my house on an island in Maine.
My only contact with people has been with clients, friends and family on the phone and occasional waves to islanders as I walk (with a 6 foot berth) on “the back side." There definitely could be worse places to walk and probably way harder places to self isolate:
Like most of us even in normal times, I have a lot of conversations going on in my head. The volume increases in abnormal times and isolation.
One of my internal conversations was “OK, if this is 8 weeks, I need to structure this differently. I can’t just listen to news, talk to clients and connect with friends.”
Then I realize – before going to the structure of it, what do I want to make this experience for? I didn’t choose this isolation, this pandemic or the foundational disruption to so much that I have held as givens to daily life.
I can choose how to respond to it.
I was just reading an article in the NYT from a doctor imploring readers not to sit on the couch but to participate and engage – to help get equipment and to generate solutions for hospitals right now.
The expertise I have isn’t necessarily in that field – but I do know how to support people to remove obstacles, create breakthrough results, and not get stopped by circumstances. It sure seems like there is a need for that when I hear it will take 2 months to get a hospital ship from Virginia to NYC or that the shortage of medical protective equipment is so severe. It’s a call for creativity and being unstoppable. If you or anyone is in a field where my expertise could help right now to speed up results, please reach out to me. I have free time and I’d love to help.
This article is an example of a group of people in crisis mode creating a result you wouldn’t think was possible. They did certain key things: built relationship with one another, created simple principles and acted from them, told the truth to each other, and had quick stand up meetings several times a day to get the facts and address the breakdowns they hit. That’s what we need now in these circumstances.
I also noticed in my desire for structure in this temporary and isolated life, there was a different question to be asking myself. What is the purpose of this time? What do I want to make this time for? My immediate thoughts are: reset, renewal, love and connection. Contribution and generosity fit in there too.
My purpose for this time will inform the structure I design to support myself and others through it. As my almost 80 year old mentor used to tell me: “Your purpose is your leaky life preserver in the sea of uncertainty.” Better to have a leaky one than none at all!
And since they are reducing the ferry schedule to protect the ferry crew, I may need that leaky life preserver.
Stay well, stay creative and be super kind and generous with yourself and others.