Times are tough. No, times are weird! What is this period of time we are in and where will it land us? Essential workers get to go to work. Is that a good thing? Non-essential workers get to work from home, if they can. Those that can’t go to work but don’t have work to do at home, what are they doing? Are they getting paid? If not, how are they paying their bills? So many businesses are closed. Gyms are closed Salons are closed Dentist offices are closed My chiropractor’s office is closed Retail shops are closed. Specialty shops are closed. Bars are closed. Restaurants are closed except for takeout. So many people out of work and filing for unemployment. So many people out of work and not eligible for unemployment. Well, Trump is sending ‘everyone’ assistance in the form of cash with the stimulus package that he’s oh so proud of. But be careful, that’s not a gift it’s a loan from your 2020 tax refund. And if you don’t play your deductions right that could end it you having to pay it back.And then there’s those who didn’t earn enough last year to even pay taxes. If you didn’t file you likely won’t even get a check. And so while Covid-19 wreaks havoc with the economy, and of course the physical well-being of the American people, it also wreaks havoc with our mental well-being. What are you doing during these times of uncertainty? School-aged kids, including my own are bored af by now. Sure they have e-learning but that’s not the same and not enough to kill the whole day. Every Buff Biff is posting online workout-at-home videos. Artist are holding online gallery showings. Musicians are posting themselves singing, playing, etc on Youtube and Instagram. Motivational speakers and coaches are urging their followers to take this time to look inward and work on yourself. Eyes are rolling everywhere. Okay, so what are you doing? Sitting around scrolling past all these motivational posts, getting angry at Covid-19 news posts about Trump and his inadequacy, yet not doing anything about it except commenting about how much of a buffoon he is. Have you seen Tiger King? Really, that’s what your doing with this time? Netflix and Quarantine! Are you going to follow along with the crowd and spend your days and nights binging everything and everything? Never in our generation, or really any generation, has this type of experience happened where so many people are home with an abundance of time on their hands. Never is our generation do we have the opportunity to do so much for ourselves and others as we do now. So what the hell? What kind of man are you? Step up man! Take Charge! PUT THE CLICKER DOWN! (FYI, everyone younger than Gen-X, clicker means remote, okay?) So many people I talk to are at the ‘I don’t even know what day it is’ point or ‘I’m watching TV so late that I sleep in late’ point. Is that a bad thing? For a brief period no. Taking some relax time from your lives is ok. We as a society are moving too fast and missing too much. This slow down isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when this is over do you really want to look back and think all you did during Coronavirus was watch every show ever made on every app available? I admit I’ve done plenty of that myself but one day you have to wake up and realize your boredom is just opportunity lost. I’m not saying my partner and I are spending it the perfect way. But here’s how our quarantine went: Week one: Stay up late Sleep in Drink too much coffee during the day Drink too much whiskey at night Binge so many season 1 shows I got bored with season 2 Watched more movies that I’d fall asleep to then end up awake and not be able to getback to sleep till 3am Spent my day scrolling through social media bitching about Trump, discussing numbers, sending ‘can you believe…’ texts to anyone and everyone Voicing my opinion to my partner Not realizing just how much I’d miss my kids who are quarantined at home with their mom. Week two: Much the same except we… Cleaned up the yard
Raked Mulched Picked up dog poop
Planted Got a quote for a new fence Cleaned out the garage Bought a second hand Bowflex Extreme Got into Cotsco without a line and stole the last toilet paper from a carriage someone walked away from Coffee, whiskey, scrolling, texting, voicing, realizing its been a week and a half since I’ve hugged my kids Week three: Stay up late Sleep in late Coffee Whiskey Look at the Bowflex pieces in the garage Talk about putting it together…yeahhh Run to Home Depot yet again only this time there’s a line and it’s not worth it so we go to Lowe’s. We hate Lowe’s (long story) but hey, no line. Realized it’s been more than two weeks since I’ve hugged my kids. We text, call, Facetime but not the same. Week four: Stay up late Get up a bit earlier Said ‘fuck this shit’ and drove to the High School Track and started a daily routine of bringing a couple weights, ab roller, trunk twist bar, and did pushups, crunches, lunges and anything else I could think of between every lap. Continued that every day rain or shine. Realized it’s been over three weeks that I haven’t hugged my kids so I: Facetime’d my kids and watched Survivor together Facetime’d my kids to play Scattegories together Used Gamepigeon to play UNO online together And….. Researched side opportunities to create another income stream Published 2 new blog entries Finished 3 books, 2 audio but hey that counts Created Facebook support group for gay dads coming out to themselves and to their lives Created online support session for men/dads dealing with the same thing I am Called a different family member each day to check in and make sure they are ok or just say hi. Scheduled weekly calls (not texts) with them and friends I’ve been out of touch with Put them in my calendar so I’d be reminded to do it and it would become habit just like all my daily tasks at my job Committed to deepening my relationships with my partner, and those most important Committed to cleaning out the debris in the attic, my files, my closets and most importantly, my head. Thanked my partner for putting together the Bowflex. All this sounds great and you know what? It’s not just great it’s necessary. Listen, I’ll say it again, this is weird! Not everyone knows what to do. Not everyone knows how to get started doing, well anything! But look inside and look at this time we are in. Look at it like you would any crisis you encounter at work. How do you handle that? Do you run around like a chicken with your head cut off, or are you the calm in the storm. Ask anyone I know, or have ever been employed with and they will say the same thing about me that I say about myself in times of crisis: I am the eye of the hurricane. Be the calm, see what’s spinning. Take control and lead the way. How do you do it? Don’t buy into the mania, stay informed.
Stay calm, spread calm.
Be rational. Spread rationality.
Be at peace, spread peace. Be kind, spread kindness.
Act as you should. quarantine as you should, social distance as you should, promote doing what needs to be done and believe in it and yourself as the leader and the example. People need this. Someone has to do it, and it might as well be you. It’s this shade of masculinity that will show everyone just what type of man you are. And are you man enough? You’re going to need to be.