Control & doing 'enough'.

[To set context briefly: I have now been aware of the Coronavirus for a couple of months, but only a week ago did it start really affecting my particular community. It has been a crazy week as more and more gets shut down on a seeming daily basis. Currently schools, restaurants, and public social gatherings are all shut down, but many State employees and some others are still going into their offices. We still get mail, meals can be delivered, and we can go to the store.]

Me: “who is making sure that the poorer people in our community, particularly those in homeless shelters, have hand sanitizer?” *Let’s not get hung up in this moment on the nuances and bias behind my asking this question. Bear with me as I use this question I actually did consider to get to a broader point.*

Me: “Liz, I’m sure that someone has supplied the homeless shelters with hand sanitizer. You are such a controlling person. Just because you do not know things are happening doesn’t mean they are not happening. Let it go, you cannot do and know everything. That is not your responsibility”

Me: “Oh Liz, what kind of an attitude is that? You are shifting blame and responsibility. If we all do that then we will not be taking care of our community. You do need to take responsibility for things.”

Me: “Wait, but I really cannot do everything. What is my role? How can I take responsibility to be a good citizen, but also recognize that I cannot do everything?”

I’ve been having similar internal dialogue a lot lately.

What is my role in this moment? People are suffering. Who should I help? What about my own life, needs, business?

I will continue to struggle, and I imagine I’m not the only one. Here are some of my thoughts in this moment, subject to change.

How are you grappling with this subject?

  • I will still prioritize self-care. For me now, this includes:
    • Exercising daily. Strength and cardio. Nothing very long, but emphasizing challenge and consistent improvement with strength training.
    • Sleep. About 8 hours a night, but keeping my alarm set for 4:30am except for one day per week. Without an exercise class, I have had trouble actually getting myself out of bed immediately, but I have deeply valued extra snuggle time with my husband and I still get up relatively soon after the alarm.
    • Maintaining a schedule as best I can.
    • Eating healthy meals, but also allowing for comfort meals. We had pizza and ice cream last night, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
    • Working on habits of meditation and reading each morning before beginning my workday.
    • Walking more often. Making calls while walking. Getting the dogs out at least twice per day.
  • I spend time getting informed about what is happening around the world, but I also minimize that exposure.
  • I will support local businesses by buying gift cards or meals to go (though we rarely eat out so restaurants will not really be missing our financial contribution – but I feel a greater desire to support them now).
  • I am reaching out to people individually to see how they are doing.
  • I will be doing more to reach out to my health coach community, and as a lawyer to find people I can help in this time. I think both services can be important right now, and I can offer both virtually. As an estate planning attorney, I think this is an important time for people to get documents in place. I plan to offer free educational opportunities, and am thinking about ways that I can offer free workshops to get health care directives or a power of attorney in place.

In summary, I am deciding that my role is to take care of myself and then to reach out as an estate planning attorney and as a health coach. Will this solve all problems? No. Are there other things I could be doing? Surely. But I have unique skills in these two areas that I work in. This is how I am choosing now to show up in the world. And, if I can give a few people the peace of mind of knowing they are taking steps now to live a vibrant life, and to know that they have a plan to pass on their assets and their values to the people that they love in the way that they want to, then I will feel pretty great about helping those few people.

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