I am not typically one to share my personal life on the internet because I believe in keeping most things private. However, occasionally I think it is important to occasionally make connections with people all over the country or world because it reminds us of our humanity and desire for community.
If there’s one thing we all share in this world, it’s having to deal with a pandemic that tore through our lives, forcing change in a way that might have decimated our sense of normalcy.
So, how have you adapted to the changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic? I think this depends on where you live, your occupation, your sense of community, and your health. I adapted to the changes by learning to fear the future, but manage it with optimism and taking action. As a wise fortune cookie once told me, action is worry’s worst enemy.
Personally, the pandemic changed my life for the worse and for the better. For the worse because I did experience the death of family members and dealt with being at a distance from family in hospice care that I could not visit. I also was an “essential worker” and not allowed to wear PPE in the beginning because my company did not want to “scare off customers.” I learned that most companies will sacrifice workers for profit and that I owed nothing to capitalism, and that I owed myself self care and prosperity, however I might obtain that.
Eventually, I hit a breaking point and was desperate for change. An old coworker told me these magical words ten years ago and I took them to heart: You Never Suffer. It was a slogan her mother used to explain that one should never accept terrible living conditions if they can help it. One should do their best to never suffer.
Ironically, I also follow the Buddhist philosophy that suffering is inevitable. However, one need not resign oneself to it. There is a difference between purposefully allowing yourself to suffer and taking action to reduce your suffering.
The pandemic changed my life for the better because it forced me to pull myself out of my darkest point. It was as though my hands from the future grasped my torso, and lifted me not exactly into the light, but out of the thick darkness of absolute misery. I was now in a grey world: the world of reality and survival, but also contentment.
I applied to the cheapest accredited college I could, and completed an entire master’s degree online. The loan is very manageable, and I am now in a career that, despite its flaws, is easier for me to manage. I feel empowered, stronger, and more financially secure.
In emerging from this darkness point, I obtained a graduate degree, nearly doubled my wages, and learned three new skills (gardening, sewing, and sailing), and made room for more passions. I adapted by removing the components of my life that created the most damage: dissatisfaction with my career, lack of work life balance, and no social life.
The pandemic made me realize what I was lacking. Despite death and health risks, I survived. It’s not easy because I still look to the future with fear. But, I am still here. I look to the fearful future with optimism and determination. And, now I adapt by taking action. I will do my best to never suffer.