It’s so interesting to me to observe the entire spectrum of my friends’ attitudes toward this pandemic. From the virus-deniers (“it’s a hoax”), to the panic shoppers (“I’m gonna use it eventually”), to the hazmat suit wearers (even at home), we are all reacting in different ways. Some of us have also changed our attitude as the days pass. Personally, I choose to make no judgment and I hope nobody is judging me.
What’s even more interesting is to think about the ways we intend to change in the future. Are we going to stop hugging? I hope not. Are we going to quit using hand sanitizer? Probably not. Are we going to give up the handshake? I’m okay with that. Are we going to forget the importance of the things we used to take for granted? Not me.
I think my attitude has changed in a few imperceptible ways as well. For example, I am focusing more than ever on the concept of choice. We make a gazillion choices every day; mindless, rote choices. I’ve even written about how our own choices give us power. Lately, though, I’ve been working on a new concept — that your choices don’t have to match my own. There’s power in that as well. The power of letting go of stuff that’s occupying unnecessary disc space in our brains.
My attitude has also changed toward communication. There are only a few people with whom I speak on the phone. I don’t really like talking on the phone because it requires my 100% attention. I have friends who multi-task while we’re on the phone and I feel like I’m interfering with something they’re doing, so I usually end the call. I much prefer to text and email, although each has its drawbacks. In this period of social distancing, any way of connecting is a good way. Now when I think about someone, I quickly shoot out a text to say hello. I know how much I appreciate receiving a text from someone I haven’t connected with in awhile. And when I do, I pay it forward by texting someone else, and I try my best to use words that are mindful of my own golden rule : if it doesn’t require a response, don’t respond. In that way, I think I’m being respectful of someone else’s time.
I used to get annoyed when people would forward a joke, or a video, or a meme. What’s changed for me is that now I look to their intention. I don’t laugh at every joke, nor do I watch entire videos. Instead, I smile to myself and appreciate that someone has taken a moment to think about me. What a compliment!
Another change for me is the discovery (or maybe re-discovery) of my own patience. Now that my days aren’t scheduled out to the point of anxiety, I find that time equals patience.
How has your attitude changed? Do you think it’s temporary or permanent?