I’ve witnessed a lot these past 6 or more weeks, as I’m sure most other people would say the same. As an addition to that, I would also include a change to my perceptions of what I witnessed, as I think most others would agree.
Witness: v., to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception
I used to refer to this time frame that we’re in as “strange times”, and it was strange times, because it was something that was out of our control; meaning there was no solution when “times” needed to be changed. It really meant that we, as a society, needed to adapt our personnel life, the awareness around us, our financial business, our family being, etc…everything had to be “changed”.
Change: n., The act or instance of making or becoming different
I remember when I was just out of college, 21-22 years old. I lived in Peoria, Illinois. My ambition, at that age, was to “get out of town!”, north, south, east, or west, didn’t matter! So I had an opportunity to come to SoCal, Santa Barbara to be exact. My parents next door neighbors were moving their business out here, and he had several cars for his business, and asked me to drive one out here; best news, “I’ll pay everything, out here and back.”. Took me about, uhm, ONE second to say YES, and so I contacted a friend from grade school, stayed in his place for about 4-5 weeks in Santa Barbara, and thought well, I wanted to get out of Peoria, so here I am in California, let’s look for a job, since I just got out of college with an Engineering degree. Now, it’s 1981, (WOW!), defense budgets were huge, and I got an offer on my first interview at Hughes Aircraft, Rader Division; no exaggeration at all, the interview took no longer than 5 minutes, they just needed people. I took the job, went back to Peoria for my clothes, car, and that was about it. As I was at my parents, I sat there with my mom, and said I didn’t know if I made the right decision; my family, friends, relatives, everyone who meant anything to me, was in Peoria. Could I make this “change” in my life? It would be a total different “change” to me and what I know? To my surprise, my mom said that I should go, try it out; I could always come back home. So I did. The first day I made it out here, I said to myself that that “change”, really wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a little different, but I adapted. Almost forty years, I guess I adapted well.
All of this leads up to our “stay at home” restrictions. When we all first heard this, were our feelings something like, WHAAAAAAAT, NO WAY; WHAT AM I GOING TO DO????
And then things start to settle in; because I work at home, with my fitness studio in my garage, staying at home wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I walk my dog about 3 times a day, and you always see the same people walking the same dog, and you strike up a conversation, and it’s really very nice; but now I’m not just seeing that ONE dog walking person, I’m seeing the whole family walking the dog, talking, and maybe the young toddler has the lease in their hands, with papa right with them. I’m seeing mom and dad riding their bikes on the side streets with their kids. I’m seeing groups of moms with their masks, walking together as a group. I’m seeing people going around the neighborhood, asking others if they need any help, especially to the elderly friends. After a few weeks, I see people starting to accept this new “change”; they are gathering within ones driveway, 10-12 feet away, having a beer together. I can go on and on, but the point here is that people adapted, they changed. Will it stay like that? No answers on that, but I see a lot of people staying at home working, and will this scenario stay the same? No answer on that, but it sure does make traffic seem like a ghost town! I personally, would love to see traffic stay this way. Will it stay this way? That’s one that I can safely say, probably not! (DAAAAAANG!). I also know that there are some people whose work just stopped, and believe me, I hurt for them. That’s the rough part, and the only thing that I can say to someone like that, is I don’t have THE answer, but I can tell you of what I had to do, because I work one-on-one with people, and I can’t do that, at this moment. We just have to be creative, or go with our strengths, or modify your business. I also know that restaurants can only only do take-outs, suspending a lot of personnel, bartenders, and so on; I don’t have an answer. My story: but I had to start to go with an idea that I had 3-4 years ago, but just didn’t push the “start” button; video training. I do it in real time now, but that led me on a path, that I might be able to expand; I also started to walk off site from my studio with clients, around the side streets doing exercises, carrying exercise straps with a few clients, at least 6 ft. from them, doing push-ups, squats, lunges,(forward/reversed lunges/walking lunges…), for some, pull ups from tree limbs, (if they can); anything that can be done in a gym, can be duplicated outside, or at least a varying of an exercise. It’s what I know, (my strength). For me, that’s what worked, and I highly recommend that you all should try something that, trust yourself, be creative; and be kind. I have also seen a lot of that, now that we’re all in this together.
The biggest thing that I might add, that this “change” will level out, and come to an end. My mind also believes that everything WON’T go back to what it was; it will be what it will be, and we change our life to it. We, from our personnel self, to us as a society, have always had peaks and valleys; we might be at the bottom of the valley right now, but we will start up that peak very soon. I’m writing this now, because I’m seeing so much positive changes going on, so much kindness going on, so many families spending SO much time as family time, so much spiritually-oriented time being changed, people tuning into church, masses from their own diocese, or others that might be a distance from them, but had interest in that parish, services, lectures, support groups if needed. I’m seeing so much goodness, and I have high hopes that when things start to become our natural state of affairs, that we stay in this positive frame of mind. Smile, say hi to a stranger, wave, sometimes we don’t know who it is wearing a mask, but hey, that was fun waving to whoever! Think about your heart opening up to let kindness from others fill that ol’ heart up! Maybe I’m a little optimist here, but I feel like people are not only trying to “get through this”, I but also realizing that change is ok, actually GOOD, and maybe those changes that others have operated on this past few months, were good, and have presented themselves in such a way, that they’ll use them as our peak starts to appear. I wish everyone so much good wishes, hugs, love, and calm.
God bless you,
From your parents’ next door neighbor . . . . It was quite a trip, wasn’t it? I think of you often and hope you all are doing well . . . ❤
I think of you, and all of your family often. When I try to explain the reason why I ended up moving to L.A., the story always starts with moving Jim’s business out here; or when I do a speech and someone asks me how I ended up from Peoria to L.A., it started with Jim’s business, so yes, I have you in the back of my mind quite often. I wish you the best wishes, and I pray that you, and your family are with faith, and healthy.