Funny motivational speaker Amy Dee’s blog,
Last fall, Steve and I moved my elderly Mom out of her 4,000 square foot house that was packed to the gills with a forty-four years supply of antiques and stuff. Her home (located five hours away) and her cabin (located ten hours away) also needed to be sold. We had to move her into a senior facility close to us. This took place from July to November, while I traveled cross-country to deliver almost twenty keynotes.
Panicked, I would often wake up thinking about foundations experts, plumbers, open houses, negotiating offers, and sales agreements. I’d worry about sorting, selling, storing, and moving Mom’s stuff. These challenges were compounded because I’d not only deal with the problem at hand, I’d also worry about the next issue.
At one point, there were so many ups and downs that I decided not to focus on all the twists and turns. Instead, I’d deal with issues as they popped up and wait for the rest of the story. Someday, Mom’s stuff would sell, and somehow we’d get her moved. I refused to get myself worked up over what would come next. Deciding to wait for the rest of the story was a huge relief, and I became much happier.
I’ve applied this outlook to the current coronavirus pandemic. I could worry about the future: What if someone I love gets sick? How will I help my daughter, who lives out of state? What if this virus remains a problem in the fall? What if my speaking business crashes because conventions become a thing of the past?
But, rather than borrowing trouble, it makes me happier to deal with today’s issues, and wait for the end of the story.
There are at least two benefits of waiting for the rest of the story. You will stop catastrophizing about everything that may go wrong, but most likely will never happen. It also allows you to shift your perspective so you can be happier in the present, despite all the crazy stuff stirring up around you.
In Robert Fulghum’s book All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten, he writes, “As long as life exists, something will always happen next.”
Everything in this life is impermanent. When we widen our view of life, we know that someday, when this pandemic is over, another challenge will come along. So instead of worrying about the future, let’s be smart about our choices today. Let’s concentrate on enjoying what we have in the present.
Let’s wait for the end of the story.