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Emerging from Quarantine Changed: Working on Ourselves

The Coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on our society and impacted the world like nothing we have quite experienced before. Each of us has been impacted by this situation of quarantine. Many people have suffered with the loss of loved ones, unemployment, children out of school, and everything coming to a stand still due to this horrible virus. This time period will all go down in the history books as part of the COVID-19 era.  We could discuss the ramifications of this pandemic forever, however it is important to focus on what we have learned from it and how it will have changed us.

Life is short, for many during these turbulent times they have found this out in a tragic way.  The best case scenario that hundreds of millions of people have faced over the past few months was being in quarantine.  Not being able to go anywhere, do anything, or see our family and friends has been very challenging.  Going into these uncharted waters when the quarantine began was an invitation for change.  Change is hard for anyone and is often not something that people readily embrace.  In most instances, change is looked at as something we put off or do not desire because it takes effort, focus, and intentionality.  When the reality of Coronavirus settled in and we realized that our world would indeed be shutdown for a substantial amount of time we all faced a question.  How would we respond?  Human nature was to complain, look at the worst case scenario, and focus on what we did not have.  For some, this horrible time period was viewed in a much different light.  Some people looked at it from a perspective where the glass was still half full and we could pour new time on our hands into a cup of blessing.  There was a different road to be taken. 

Like many people out there, I lost my job due to the pandemic and am still not sure when the time will come when I can go back to work.  This has not been easy.  Beyond the financial ramifications has been the loss of the interaction with peers and sometimes feeling the lack of a daily purpose. However, I have come to understand that we can only control what we can control.  What this pandemic has given me more than anything else is time.  Having an extra nine hours a day outside of work could either be used to better myself and our world or be wasted away.  We often wonder why things happen.  Why this virus hit and how it actually started might never be able to be proven or give us the answers we desire.  Why did I, along with millions of others become unemployed? Like it or not, these were the cards dealt to us and as in other tough situations we have one thing left to do...We get to decide how we will play the hand.  Time is a gift.  I have so often said, "I wish I had more time," "I don't have enough time to do that," or the ever so common, "I am too busy."  But now I had more time than ever before.  I guess this was kind of like what it felt like to be retired.  But at 31 years old, I wasn't ready for it.  So I searched for some answers and in doing so I decided to use the time to change myself and pour out my extra hours into an endeavor with the hope of blessing the world.  During the quarantine I got to brainstorming and the road I decided to travel down was through writing.  I thought about one of my life long goals, writing a book.  So that is what I set out to do.  I did not want to just write any book, but a work of inspiration. I desired to share a story, my story.  I wanted to share something that could impact the world in a positive way.  After spending upwards of 8 to 10 hours a day and a number of months, FIRE Burning Within has been fully published and is now being read.  I am very grateful to have had the time to share my ideas, thoughts, and feelings about life through a journey of faith with the world.  The writing process did not stop there and I went on to write Winning With Money: Dollars & $ense A Comprehensive Guid to Achieve Financial Freedom & Peace.  In addition, I created multiple children's books and illustrated them.  Some nonprofits that I have been a part of have also asked me to help them through writing various articles.  As Jay-Z stated, "Luck is made when preparation meets opportunity."  Things start chasing us down when we take a proactive approach and set the ball in motion.  

My point with sharing all of this is to emphasize that we can use unforeseen happenings in our lives as a crutch or a springboard.  We have a decision every day to determine how we will use the 86,400 seconds we have been given.  For me, each day is a blessing.  My hope is that through how I used my time I might be able to inspire and encourage people and in doing so make a small contribution to the world.  Writing has been the passion that I reignited and uncovered during the pandemic.  What this time under quarantine has taught me most of all is that through difficulty and struggle we can come out better than ever.  

I have great hope that when we emerge from this pandemic, when come out of this crisis and can go back to work, we will be more equipped than a few months ago.  When we go back into society fully, my hope is that people remember this trying time.   In recalling the challenges, may we all focus more on the blessings than the hardship.  I hope that we rewind and look back on what we were able to do with more time, how we could live out some of our greatest passions, and the ways we were able to use the extra hours of each day to do things we have always desired.  My hope is that we will continue to be more connected with our families and friends.  The zoom calls and connectivity must not stop.  The desire to see how our loved ones are, especially the elderly and to lift a helping hand as a good neighbor must continue.  Doing kind things, being cheerful givers, helping those who are not as well off as we are, all of this can and should follow us out of the pandemic.  

Loss is not easy and it never is.   What we have faced with the Coronavirus has been challenged and varies in large degrees.  However, if we come out of this thing and bring with us the positives, the ways we have grown, and take with us how we have changed; then we can be better from it.  There will always be light and darkness in our world.  It is up to us to be beacons of light and to bring forth renewed hope!  The next time that something doesn't go your way, try to think of it not as a setback, but as a set up.  How will you respond?  What will you do differently than you did in the past?  In what ways will you grow and become a stronger person than you were before?  The choice is yours.  Now it is time to take more action.  May God bless you and your family.  Together we can defeat anything that comes our way. Keep living life to the fullest!

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