Count your blessings, not your troubles

“Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope.” — Dale Carnegie

Well, here we are about one month into “safer at home.” An incredible lot of things have happened in the last month: We are advised to stay safe at home, keep at least six feet between ourselves and others (who even knew what ”social distancing” was before), only leave home for essential errands, wear a face mask when we are out and about,  WASH OUR HANDS, don’t touch our face, only go to a restaurant for carry out or drive-thru, and the list goes on and on.

On top of all this, Wisconsin, which actually was “flattening the curve,” tempted fate by having in-person elections — not really the way to do safer at home. Hopefully, there will not be negative health fallout from this venture.

Most frustrating of all for some of us, politics is taking center stage ahead of the needs of people both locally and nationally. Crazy!

So much for the crap. In the midst of all of this, I have had the opportunity to see and experience some real sunshine though this cloudy and negative scenario. A few examples follow.

I have always kept in contact with my kids/grandkids. Now, we actually have regular weekly scheduled calls/FaceTime meetings. It is interesting to me how much happens and how much there is to talk about. Without person-to-person contact, I am feeling closer to my kids than ever.

It’s not only my kids. My younger brother and two sisters rarely — maybe every 5 years or more — get together. We are now scheduling weekly Zoom calls to catch up and share what is going on in our respective lives. Quite rewarding!

My dear wife Kathy has been having a weekly Zoom cocktail hour with her siblings. She does not have a lock on this idea. My youngest son has been doing the same. He’s also playing video games in a team format with others from all over the country. I even heard that Steve Stricker, our own PGA pro from Wisconsin, has gotten into Fortnite.

Since service clubs cannot meet in person, they have also gone virtual. Both Kathy’s and my Rotary Clubs are now holding weekly meetings online. Zoom seems to be the platform that works the easiest.

The same thing is happening with my Dale Carnegie colleagues, as we have been getting together every week since the beginning of March. It is a forum for sharing best practices as well as how to navigate a whole new world of training. In addition, we are temporarily “pivoting” from face-to-face training to online. It is starting to work, as well.

Two more examples:

  1. Sometimes being a bit older is a bonus. I get to go grocery shopping in the 7–8 a.m. time slot reserved for special people — in this case, old!
  2. Finally, Kathy has been reading stories to our almost 4-year-old twin grandchildren in Sun Prairie every day! They use FaceTime. The highlight for me is when they put their feet to the camera, I “tickle” them, and they go happy/crazy, just as if I was doing it in person. If that isn’t sunshine on a cloudy day, nothing is.

Good luck in making it through this mess and carpe diem!

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