Surviving or Thriving?

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Our collective response to the wuhan coronavirus was like hitting the brakes, pulling the emergency lever, and slamming the transmission into park, all at once. It worked, and we stopped, but there's been a lot of collateral damage. Yeah, you'd ruin your car if you did that, but if the alternative were sailing over the edge of a cliff, wouldn't it be worth it? You can never know for sure how much worse something could've been without action, but then the spanish flu infected half a billion people and killed 50 million at a time when the world had ¼ the population.

Not social distancing. (source)

What surprised me is how quickly I was ready to chuck out some important things from my life.. or at least, delay getting back to them. Our church was streaming Mass online, but when they reopened a couple weeks ago (with a standing dispensation that says we don't need to go), I found myself with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. Likewise, the gym I've gone to at least a couple times a week (for years!) finally opened back up, and I found myself not that excited to go back to classes.

It wasn't an "I haven't worked out in months, this is gonna be bad" feeling, but more of an... "I've survived this long without it, how badly do I really need it" feeling. If I were considering my Netflix subscription or ordering takeout, that'd be perfectly okay. The problem is, it's been with much more important stuff, and I've been away just long enough to think I'm okay without them, but barely long enough to actually feel the effects yet. After all, a few months without exercise is ill-advised, but a lifetime without exercise is deadly.

This doesn't count as exercise. (source)

I went back to Mass a couple weeks ago. Same with working out. It's all weird, the hand sanitizing, the social distancing, the face masks. It's a pain. But it's good to be back - "feels good" sure, but also "objectively good". I feel involved again, revitalized. I feel like this isn't the new norm (I hate that phrase), but simply something we have to do for now... until we don't.

So if you find yourself in the same boat, wondering if the things that used to build you up (body, mind, and soul) were ever really that important, don't make the decision like this. It's just about the worst time to make that decision. Trust your past self. Get back to what you were doing. Get back to normal.. or as close as you can. When you're back into the things that helped you not just survive, but thrive, then you'll be in a place to decide whether or not you truly need those things in your life.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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