Covid the Accelerant

Covid the Accelerant

Actual vespers at high tide. Nov 19.

I think Covid is one of those accelerants that make us more of who we already are.

You know the type. Alcohol. Money. Power.

It’s said that they are truth serums. Inhibition droppers. Corruption makers. We’re surprised when someone gets their hands on said catalyst, and they seem to behave differently. I argue just the opposite – they behave just as they always were. Even perhaps just more so. Money gives the resources to pursue more of what you are. Power probably makes it harder for people to stop you. Alcohol, well, at this point it’s a universal defense for anything untoward. (Note- Winston Churchill’s last words were “I should have had more wine”).

Covid should be added to the mix, or at least the pressure that comes with it. Isolation. Despair. Disruption. Doubt. They piled up and forced us into some version of our new selves. The isolation was maddening. The limitations were exasperating. The shifting rules aggravating. We are, by nature, social animals, and the drastic reduction in time out left us empty. It was tempting to fall into pitiful, self doubting, purposeless souls. Plenty of fatalities were reported, and the mental health picture is just starting to emerge. It’s not pretty.

So how to fill the days of our lives with purpose? Work is all about zoom and GDrive, so there’s an extra 2-3 hours saved in just “transfer time”. Nights out are far less frequent. Most kids are back to FTF school, and even those working remotely have become really good with their devices and their class expectations. We see less people, and spend less time going to and fro. Even Thanksgiving and Christmas logistics are less complicated.

So what we become in our future hinges partially on what to do with the free times.

On the couch binging Netflix? Nice escape, and the contents really great but.. there’s a limit. Kitchen looking like a frat house? We need to eat, but what we eat truly affects how we feel. Screaming at kids about screen time… while your iPhone shows you’re just as bad? Remember, the iPhone is a tool- use it and put it back where it belongs. There are hundreds of Covid habits we wish we never developed.

Vespers as seen by paintbrush. Nov 2020

And there are positive ways to turn it around as well. I was always interested in Watercolor, as it reminded me of the images from wonderful places I’ve have been. This shot of vespers was from Mont St. Michel as the tides of the Fall Equinox came in- when I see the painting, I’m there for a moment. And puts me in flow for an hour. I just didn’t know how to do it- until I tried. Baking baguettes? The feature image is from my experimental pandemic bread, which got a little more edible each time. It’s an amazing break from reality, and makes everyone feel at home. Even if your diet excludes it, it’s a great gift for the family, or a welcome addition to any outdoor Covid-compliant picnic. Learning a new language on Duolingo? Allows us to dream of when and where we’ll get to use it someday. Working out with home equipment like Mirror, Peleton or just plain old yoga? You’d be amazed the difference. And walking. Everywhere. Any time possible.

So, yes. Covid makes us more of who we already are. It’s up to you what that becomes.

I mentor two kids and several entrepreneurs. Similarities are coincidental.