Amidst the greatest change this modern world has memory of, the Covid-19 pandemic is causing massive changes to the our day-to-day lives. News headlines poor out every day flooding our minds with reasons to be placed in a stressful state. I have no doubt that this is one of the most important life-altering events our modern society will face. There is so much I do not have control of, but the one thing I do have control of is how my family is going to respond to the changes that we are going through.
My kids may not understand why the world is changing right now, but I will be sure that when they remember the Covid-19 occurrence of 2020, they will remember when their family was closer than ever before.
My kids will remember a time when their parents were able to step away from an often frantic and busy pace of life to spend bundles of uninterrupted hours together.
The words quarantine and lockdown will not be scary terms for them. It will be terms that mean togetherness, closeness, and warmth.
Although I do my best to continue to focus on attending to my children’s needs as complete as I always do, last night my daughter asked me an eye opening question. “Dad”, she said, “How come you have been looking at media more these past few days?”
I responded by explaining to her how there are a lot of changes happening in the world right now and I am doing my best to keep up on them. I explained that I was doing this for our family. This is part truth. However, if I really think about what I have been keeping up with, I know I have been also observing the social media response to the pandemic. I have not participated in the discussions, but for the most part have been a quiet observer and often feeling annoyed by how quickly loosely-backed information becomes grounds for pushing side agenda.
I have a strong belief in the effects of social media, and as I woke up this morning thinking about how it has effected my mind and my time with my kids in these past few days, I renewed my resolve to limit my exposure to it. I immediately logged out of facebook on my phone, the biggest source of daily distraction. Now, if I want the latest news, I will allow myself a few moments each day to catch up, minimizing the social media spin on things.
I am doing my best to take information from both ends of the political spectrum to keep my observance balanced.
But first and foremost, I have resolved to make the emphasis of my day still on growing, creating great and useful memories, as well as moving towards my life goals. This means spending minimal time consuming news without being reflective. This also means ensuring the balance of my time is towards my meaningful outcomes.
I have been studying a book written years ago by Jeff Riggenbach entitled “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. The premise of this book presents the argument that as the medium for which we consume our news has changed over the years, the ability to think deeply about serious topics of the day has become purely consuming rather than observing and contemplating.
I have been taking this to heart lately. How can I take what information I have been garnering and contemplate on it, and ultimately use it for my life goals?
My immediate actions are clear during this Covid-19 lockdown. I will use this time to continue to create lasting memories for my kids and my family.
The world may change around us, but one thing will always be true, the bonds of our family will be stronger than any policy, than any virus, than any outside force that tries to break it. Neither health nor social liberties are ever guaranteed, but our response is always in our own balance.
Commit with me today to make today a positive one, no matter how the news or the day tells you you should feel.