This whole Covid-19 thing should have me waaaay more stressed than it does. I hate uncertainty. I like plans and routine. And all this hourly/daily change should have me in absolute knots.
But it doesn’t.
I mean, sure I’m concerned about the virus and being exposed. And potentially exposing others. I don’t want to get sick and definitely don’t want to die. But I’m strangely not anxious about it.
I’m washing my hands a ton. And disinfecting surfaces. And keeping distant (which, let’s be honest, isn’t that hard for me given that I’m a hermit.)
As I was going for a lunchtime walk the other day, I started to ruminate on why I’m not more stressed. And honestly, I think it’s because so many of the stress inducers in my life have effectively been eliminated as of late.
The stress of my job? Well, we are now doing virtual meetings, so I no longer have to sit in a room and listed to political and racist banter with people I hate. Stress of finding a new job? I’ve had a good series of interviews and I’m hopeful about receiving an offer (although I’m comfortable if it doesn’t happen immediately given the current crisis).
Stress induced by music rehearsals, practicing music outside rehearsals, concerts, etc? (I had rehearsals for 2+ hours every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday). Those are all cancelled or postponed. And with this is the elimination of having to memorize music, and being section leader, and striving to be note perfect.
There was also the stress of carving out time for the gym. I mean, I pay for the membership so I need to use it. And I also felt the pressure to work out 6 times per week to keep the lbs at bay. And also to work with a personal trainer. All that has been tabled for the time being too.
And then there was the Fear Of Missing Out on weekends. The constant feeling that I should be going to happy hours or out with friends to the bars to at least be somewhat social. But if I didn’t go, I was always besieged by thoughts of “What am I missing? I bet it could be fun, if only I got off this couch!” But of course, there are no events to go to right now.
So yeah. My time has freed up immensely. All the “need tos” and “have tos” and “get tos” are basically gone. I feel like I have time to breathe, to relax. Time to reflect and count my blessings— of which I have many. And to really focus on Buddhism again.
I’m focusing on what I can control, and letting all the rest be. My wish for you all is that you may experience some peace in this time of uncertainty too.