Here was my mental list going in:
- Fix my marriage
- Keep my small business from going off the cliff
- Encourage my children to master distance learning on their own
Your list should NOT resemble this one. The key to restoring your will to live is racking up small accomplishments each day and a steady supply of memes. Don’t wade into deeper waters unless you’re an experienced quarantinee. Even then. These times have made us fragile.
But if you ignore my advice and want to learn from my missteps, for goal #1 there are two routes you can go: big or small. (Note that ‘go big or go home’ doesn’t apply during quarantine, because you’re already home.)
I banked on go big. Given that we had all this time yawning before us, and it wasn’t even possible for my husband to storm out our government monitored front door, I thought day 2 was a particularly good a time to speak my mind about our marriage. Why not bust it open day 2, knowing you still have 12 days to put it back together before you have to see other people?
“I feel like we’ve become roommates. Not the kind of roommates that hang out.”
Lesson learned: *Do NOT lead relationship discussions with something big and dubious.*
Instead, I recommend tackling microaggressions underlying your bigger issue(s), spread over days 2, 4 and 6. On day 2 we might have explored why he wears headphones that aren’t connected to anything. These are the kinds of conversations you’ll want to sprinkle strategically into your quarantine, followed by an adult beverage.
Even though we haven’t fixed our marriage yet (its only day 10), an unexpected thrill came on day 9 when he made a supafly compendium video of his 18 temperature-taking videos for the government minders. That thrilled me, all over. And made me more open to being nice.
Lesson learned: Let your quarantine-themed freak flag fly!
People’s true stripes really show under pressure and 140sqm, so own yours. And SHARE your funkiness with others.
I’ve read lots of tips related to goal #2, about how to work from home efficiently during a pandemic. What click-bait rot! Nobody’s working efficiently during a global crisis, period. Listen, at best, stake out a quiet spot in your house near a big power strip and good light. We allow withdrawals from the bags of CVS Easter candy at 11am and 3pm, now that Easter is almost certainly canceled. This is really all you can do. On our weekly investor calls, we’ve suggested dropping swimsuits via drones to the 10M people with private pools in the US (my Google search bandwidth is still in tact) and pivoting to D2C ASAP now that shops are closed. In other words, kill your darlings (i.e. pre-existing Excel sheet projections) and focus on what scifi options are going to pull you through the next 3 months.
I’m sorry to say that goal #3 has also been a near total fail, so save yourself the mental scars and...
LESSON LEARNED: keep your distance from distance learning.
E-learning is rough, especially for younger kids. Our 9-year old brought our dog in a headlock to every ‘class,’ where 90% of the kids were having tech glitches. It’s like every presentation you’ve ever given where the AV fails, times 25 students. Our middle schooler seems to have fared better though I know for a fact she was watching minimized YouTube. Only when she was in Chinese class, speaking Chinese out loud, was I convinced she was for real dialed in. I keep asking, why hasn’t creating a meme been a school assignment?? No one cares about Shakespeare and his cross-dressing love triangles in the time of coronavirus!
These times aren’t easy. Here’s a better goal list:
- Stay hydrated (water, coffee, wine in that order)
- Maintain personal hygiene – wash/Purell your hands/repeat (pro tip: make good on that resolution to floss)
- Watch ‘The Count of Montecristo’ for tips on how Dantes survived the Chateau d’If
Dedicate an hour a day to checking in with non-Instagram far flung peeps. Let everyone you love know you care, and go for the small wins!
Cover Photo taken from Behance.