Coronavirus Crossroads II: Don’t waste the experience

We have crossed the threshold into May, the beginning of yet another month of coronavirus quarantine. It’s a milestone for sure,, and it brings us into another phase with more questions, fears and uncertainty.

You don’t need to know all the answers, and you can face uncertain times, but hang onto hope and don’t give up.

So what does it all mean to you? How does that impact you and your family? What should you be doing now?

Here are some thoughts, observations and questions as we meet at yet another Coronavirus Crossroads.

You’re feeling perplexed, exhausted, ambivalent or even a little afraid.

Guess what, that’s okay. Don’t let anyone look down on you because of how you feel right now. These are extraordinary times, and there are many confusing voices out there. Put aside what’s happened in the past and face your fears and uncertainties.

If friends or family ridicule you for a position or stance you are taking — and you are confident in this position — stand your ground. Nicely and respectfully. Tell them, this is how you feel, it’s where you are at this time and that you need to do what is best for you and your family.

Our situation is fluid, so things will change, perhaps quickly at times, so be flexible. Remember, it’s alright to be a “little afraid”, but you can not live in constant fear.

These are unique times. “These are the times that try men’s souls.

This is not a time to make significant decisions or take risks, personally, financially, emotionally or otherwise. In other words, not the best time to make big purchases, make significant decisions on your marriage, plan big trips, or decide to move to California. Yes, evaluate where you are and adjust your expectations, address your fears and instill hope for you and your family.

If you are faced with a decision you cannot avoid, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Get in a place away from the pressure to make the decision. You can’t make a significant decision amidst bombs dropping.
  2. Take a step back, take a breath and take some time. Time may be an hour, a day or a week, but take the time you need to reach a proper conclusion.
  3. Do not be forced into the decision. If you aren’t comfortable, it may not be the right choice.
  4. Find wise counsel. Reach out to friends, your pastor, others you trust.
  5. Take it a step at a time. Ask questions, get reliable answers.
  6. Anticipate contingencies and prepare for setbacks.
  7. Ultimately, go where the peace is.

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly…” ~Thomas Paine from The Crisis (December 23, 1776). If you read nothing else today, read this! You’ll see yourself, your situation and your country somewhere along the way.

Stay sharp and informed. This is a time for you to be at your best.

Don’t get caught unawares, but gather necessary information for future decisions you will need to make. Hopefully, you’ve been using the time wisely to think and plan ahead, and you have plenty of information at your fingertips.

For example:

  • If you are off work, stay in touch with your employer if possible. Know the plans of your company.
  • If you are facing financial challenges, reach out to your creditors. Most will work with you extensively right now but stay ahead of the game.
  • Are there things you can do now (e.g. responsibilities at home, plans for school, etc.) rather than wait?
  • Can you improve your skills which will increase your versatility when you do return to work? Check out short online courses.
  • Worried about your future? Don’t fret, but talk to your pastor or an online counselor. Many are free or otherwise reasonable.

Don’t waste the experience. Learn something from this adventure.

Folks, this crisis has shone a considerable light on your finances, your health, your attitude, your family and your perspective of life. It has changed you, but it has absolutely also revealed you! The masks are gone, the pretense is out the window.

If you haven’t already made adjustments, I have a straightforward question: Why not?

I can say with confidence that you will never pass this way again and that you may never again have the opportunity to affect such a drastic change to the direction of your life. Don’t just look outward at how things should be in Washington or in your statehouse, look inward and examine your own life.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy.

  • Dave Ramsey suggests you keep 3-6 months of funds on deck for emergencies. If you had that in place, good for you. If you didn’t, that’s cool too, but make plans to start to implement that now or as the crisis abates.
  • How’s your health? If you missed it, check out yesterday’s post about the four areas of your health.
  • Go ahead, write down some possible changes, sit down with your spouse, your kids, your pastor, your friends and see how you can best move forward.

What can you do to help someone else?

This is your time to make a difference. Cook a meal, send an e-card, walk someone’s trash can back to their house, make a phone call, send a text or an email. These are the days that people will remember forever. Give them stories to tell their children and grandchildren.

They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel. ~Carl W. Buehner.

You can do it! Put a smile on someone’s face. Today!

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