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Quarantines, Priorities, and a "Hard Reset": A Different Perspective



"Every generation of humanity has had to overcome some level of war, famine, or disease. Fortunately, and unfortunately, the current assortment of adults in today's Western world haven't had nearly the same level of fear as previous generations. And that is one of the reasons we are in this position we are in..."

Chances are you are inside your home with your loved ones right now in a state that we are politely calling "social distancing". With the spread of #COVID19 on the top of the news and the lead in conversation, each and everyone of us are forced into a way of existence that is foreign and uncomfortable in free, democratic countries with free market economies.


We have physically isolated ourselves from others, erected barriers between the known and unknown, and abandoned our quest for a perfect, unified, and supportive society. The walls we've built, literally and metaphorically, around our homes prove that humans aren't nearly as evolved as we'd like to hope we'd be.


Once shit hit the fan our survival instincts kicked in and our focuses narrowed to the limited few in our intimate circles; our family, friends, and close associates.


P.S. Heath Ledger's #JOKER states it so well:



Yet, in a beautiful show of irony, our cell-phones keep us connected; always at the ready like a revolver on the hip of a Western Cowboy roaming the unknown plains of New Mexico in less civilized times. Our sense of community limited to group texts, #hashtags, and push notifications from major news outlets.


An advantage our primitive ancestors were never afforded, a world of hyper-connectivity provides each of us a chance to isolate and yet communicate; to hide and still be found.


Funny enough, I'm absolutely certain that somewhere, #DRAKE is writing a song about a girl #socialdistancing or #distancingsocially though...and I'm sure the hook will be fire.




Putting that joke I've been sitting on for days behind us - we've all been pushed into a sort of stasis. We are frozen in place as we deal with the here and now, fearful of what tomorrow and the future might bring, and concerned that what we once knew yesterday will no longer hold true.


We are left with one question with 2 permutations:


  • Do we hunker down and hold on until its all over, only to return to the grind we know?

  • Or, do we take this moment in time as a twisted "gift" and re-route?


I truly hope that we don't see this is a blip in the system or a glitch in the game that requires a hard reset. I can't help but worry that people are going to treat this virus and all that goes with like a Nintendo cartridge that freezes - only requiring a hard blow and a few slaps to fix before returning to business-as-usual.


(I giggled too at that sentence, yes that one...)


I do fear that people won't recognize the opportunity that lies before us during this time.


To be clear, I'm not downplaying the severity of the virus, the risk it poses to us all, and the painful reality that people will lose loved ones to it. I'm not making light of the economic hardship we are all bound to face, the long road to normality ahead of us, or the fact that we are still woefully unprepared for major outbreaks.


And I'm also not forgiving of the political B.S. that everyone is spitting out of the sides of their mouth as they desperately seek someone to blame. Seriously, this virus targets the left and right, red and blue, quite equally. But, that's a tree not worth barking at in this post.


Let's return to the idea of opportunity.


"Every generation of humanity has had to overcome some level of war, famine, or disease. Fortunately, and unfortunately, the current assortment of adults in today's Western world haven't had nearly the same level of fear as previous generations. And that is one of the reasons we are in this position we are in..."


Think about this for a second.


Generations before us dealt with World Wars, mass casualty from the Spanish Flu and the Black Plague, racial and ethical atrocities such as the Crusades, the Holocaust, Slavery, and Roman greed and conquering.


  • There was once a point in time where living to 7 years old was seen as a fucking accomplishment and an absolute middle-finger to the odds.

  • War would cause hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of casualties - both innocent and those in battle.

  • We once lived in a society where no one knew to avoid mixing your shit water with your drinking supply...


And yet here we are, upset that they are taking away the "like" function on Instagram. Now all the influencers and IG models will miss out on that dopamine high from having another creeper throw a heart at a photo of their ass that could have passed for porn in the 70's.





Older generations fear the unknown and buy in wholeheartedly to some talking head's rant about Donald Trump's Presidency or about how the SuperBowl halftime show ruined the purity of our Nation.


Oh, and the Millennial Generation?


Our biggest fear is spending a weekend alone with a 8 dollar bottle of wine from Trader Joe's while anxiously swiping our Tinder profiles for someone to love us for the next two weeks because we've grown up in a time of peace and abundance. Our minds have the timeline of a microwave dinner and the patience and worldview of a 16-year-old trying to get their driver's license.


You realize how silly the current generation sounds?


Now, this isn't to take away from the pains of our recent wars and the pain they've caused at home and abroad. Thousands have died as a result of wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond. Thousands more wander aimlessly as their experiences haunt their dreams and leave them clouded and empty when they wake.


9-11 was a mother-fucker, and the housing crisis of 2008 still has some below the margin of living quality. School shootings are preventable and our policing practices need to be overhauled. We are not grazing over these major issues.


This doesn't belittle the need for increased social justice and the attention on undeserved populations. One of the greatest benefits of our success in conquering large-scale warfare, rampant disease, and famine is that more people are employed, possess buying power, have a political voice, and are focused upon moving the social needle forward.


Let's keep doing that shit!


But on a whole. This entire generation of humans (starting with those born in the 60's) has had it damn good when compared to those before us.


And for that reason, this quarantine has potential to change us all:


And while a magic wand would work wonders to move the entire society at once towards a better way of living - it just doesn't exist. Instead, we must focus inwards. We must focus on OURSELVES.





The Fix


There does exist a chance for those of us who remain healthy, or get the virus and recover, to use this pause button for good. There is a rare moment where the rat race has been shut down and the chase has temporarily been suspended.


This sort of silence allows for contemplation and course change. It allows us to stop the insanity and begin moving towards clarity and poise.


Think about, the definition of insanity, at least in Albert Einstein's words, is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".


How many of you have been caught in the wheels of life and just keep doing the same thing over and over again.


The same morning routine, the same food choices, the same jobs, the same commutes, the same binges of television and video games at night, the same half-hearted "I love you's" to your spouse.


To be clear, having a routine is not bad. And having a "bad" routine doesn't make you, the person, "bad". Let's face it, we are a biological species governed by survival instincts and feel-good hormones.


We'll avoid behaviors and habits that hurt and impose stress while emphasizing the ones that give us that beautiful release of dopamine and all of its delicious friends...


We fall into routines to find ease in our days. We do things out of habit, often subconscious, because it flows with the rest of the events in our calendar and just seems to "make sense".


But think about it.


Right now, your routine and your excuses are F.U.B.A.R.




You can't bitch about not having any time to:

  • Read

  • Exercise

  • Connect with your intimate family and friends

  • Reconnect with your spiritual side

  • Prepare a meal that doesn't require a microwave

  • Sleep more than 5 hours


You can also:

  • Lessen your caffeine intake

  • Decrease your random snacks and treats (shit's closed bruh)

  • Have more sex with your partner

  • Actually clean your house and scrub those baseboards you always skip

  • Take the time to actually read about whatever you wish you knew more about -


This includes: diets, exercise form, how the human body actually works, economics, international law, why Harry Potter was named Harry instead of Stan, and anything else that fits your fancy...


The point here is that you've got a chance to change your own narrative.


Sure, you could sit around and pound White Claw and NETFLIX until you've run out of booze and your internet starts getting throttled...


Or you could begin your own Renaissance.


What if we emerge from this crisis with a greater commitment to our own development, a better clarity on how good we really have it, and a better grasp on just how fragile "life" is?



Think about it: A tiny microscopic virus within the mucus membranes of one person on an airplane could soon spread to millions as a result of normalized social contact. It seems that COVID-19 isn't capable of killing as many as we originally feared, but it will still be fatal to many. Imagine if this virus had "bigger teeth and wider jaws"...


And yet, we alienate people with different religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds as our own. We continue to actively assign new labels to ourselves in an effort to stand-out and be noticed within a crowd of billions.


We have a fitness industry loaded with "influencers" who are treated and paid like superstars for pushing bullshit supplements and half-naked photos while real coaches are in the trenches making real people's lives better hour-by-hour.


Let's face this fact right now: We are all human and when it comes to viruses and outbreaks; it's exactly like the Chainsmokers sing:


"If we go down, then we go down together".





The Call to Action


Take this quarantine to work on yourself.


  • Deconstruct long held beliefs.

  • Build new skills and healthy habits

  • Learn. Anything.

  • Reconnect with others.

  • Reconnect with your inner child.

  • Reconnect to the greater "whole" in a sense that we are all humans trying to get by

  • Let go of useless stuff in your home and life

  • Decompress from the social pressures that drive us

  • Chase the best you


Closing


I know this blog was a lot. I've probably got some of you feeling motivated while others feel annoyed that they took the time to read this. But, the thoughts had ruminated for days - the images of this blog began taking shape and here we are.


It feels good to be back to "personal" writing too...


I don't write as much on my personal site as I'd like as I've very committed to building my new employer, The St. James, into a juggernaut in the health and wellness space. I spend all damn day writing classes, SOPs, and education for our team.


But with that slowed down I feel it's time for even me to begin new habits and reignite old ones. Including this here blog and my articles on various sites.









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