Should

I am coming to you live from quarantine!

We are all experiencing this pandemic in our own way. Some are stuck alone in apartments while others are homeschooling their kids. Some are not working while others are working harder than they ever have. Some are isolated at senior homes while others are struggling to pay rent.

People are coping by either binging hundreds of TV shows or becoming masters of embroidery. There really is no in between. And what I sense in both the TV watchers and the embroiderers is that everyone feels they should be handling this time a certain way or they should be feeling a certain way.

The reality is, you are doing what you are doing and feeling what you are feeling. The word “should” shames your current situation and makes you feel worse.

What you shouldn’t do is discount your starting position. Maybe you are feeling angry. Your feelings are valid so rather than say to yourself, “I shouldn’t be feeling angry, I should be grateful,” take a look at your anger and start there.

The only place you can start is where you are.

Once you accept your starting position, you can go anywhere. It takes self-recognition and acceptance to begin the journey.

Yes, I am angry. Why am I angry and what is the best way to process this? Who can I reach out to for help? Who can keep me accountable?

In the same vain, we should extend this thinking to how we view others. I’ve caught myself thinking, “They should be doing more,” or, “They shouldn’t be doing that.”

Well, they are doing this or that. Instead of becoming resentful, accept the current situation as reality and move forward with a plan. By denying the current reality, we create false narratives and expectations. When those expectations go unmet, we become increasingly frustrated.

Avoiding this situation is as simple as being honest with yourself. The kindest thing you can give yourself is the truth and some grace. Let go of any expectations that you or anyone else should be doing or feeling a certain way.

Cut yourself some slack and just be where you are. I guess that’s one thing you should do.

Consumption Junction

This is the part where I tell you about the things I’m consuming whether it be literature, the cinema, music, or the finest cuisine.

  1. Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky – I have been reading Brothers K off-and-on for two whole years. I finally finished it last week. It was incredible and it makes me want to read it again at a faster pace than one page per day.
  2. The Good Place – Folks have been recommending this show to me for years. I am now getting around to watching it and I love it. If you also love philosophy and Kristen Bell, I think you will love it too.
  3. Middleditch and Schwartz – Ever heard of Netflix? This is on it and it is long-form improv. Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz recorded three of their improv shows. Normally, watching improv after the fact is lame but this was the funniest thing I have ever beheld.
  4. Long Walks – I take long walks now.
  5. Backyard Burning – Oops, I accidentally am on Spotify now. My friend Ryan Petty wrote and produced a couple of songs and I sang them. It’s all a surprise to me too.

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