A year from now, the things in life we used to prioritize will feel trivial compared to what lies ahead. This represents the only upside to the pandemic, so let’s not waste it.
If you’re feeling a bit overweight, or if you’re unemployed and teetering on the verge of homelessness a year from now, you will likely have a new set of priorities to tackle.
You may be packing up your family, and selling whatever you can, to move back into your parents’ home before next summer.
You may be broke, but one thing will be certain, you will not be broken.
If you survive this pandemic, and remain married to your wife and continue to represent a committed and loving father, you will have that going for you. Promise yourself this before things get really bad—you will never take that for granted.
Every marriage and parent will be tested in the months to come. Patience, money, employment, cash on hand: this is not a drill, in fact, it’s even not a test. This is the reality of a pandemic.
I by no means want to scare you, but I want to be honest. Speaking of honesty—if you commit to being truthful with yourself first, then with your loved ones, you will find yourself in a better place in the long run.
The reason being is that our priorities are about to change and I’m sharing now what will get you through this—family, health, and then happiness. Take one of those priorities away and you will end up in a worse place.
And you are not alone.
The world itself is about to go through a phase of maturity that no one has experienced since World War Two. Survival itself was considered a blessing when it was all over. 70 to 85 million people died between 1939 and 1945. Taking all the wars during the 20th century into consideration, including civil wars and deaths, the number was likely 250 to 400 million people. These represent insane figures, but right now, outside your door, we’re experiencing insanity itself
Imagine what will not be important a year from now… then look forward to it.
We’ve been prioritizing things in life that are trivial and we’ve been doing so for too long. If we don’t drive a premium SUV, are we really any worse if we drive a used pick-up truck? What about the media we consume—reality TV featuring idiots trying to get engaged in a one-hour episode. The latest hot series is Love is Blind on NetFlix, where people are competing to get engaged without seeing one another.
Are you going to sit down and enjoy these kinds of shows, or concern yourself with superficial priorities, while your neighbor down the street barely survived to see his or her kid’s fifth birthday party? Were they on a ventilator at one point?
What if you’re a dad, with a potbelly and miserable for having one, but never have the time to exercise? Will you still have a sense of self-loathing if your physical condition hasn’t improved, but you’re still employed and eating high-fat foods… a year from now?
How many people have to be out of work before you realize, in twelve-months, that you are one of the lucky ones?
Will you be worried if you make a controversial decision that upset a close friend, but it represents the best decision for your family?
Maybe you will realize it’s not worth giving a shit. Maybe we’ll stop looking at chiseled and wealthy actors and actresses and stop worrying about when we’ll attain that level of success.
Mark Manson wrote a fantastic book titled, The Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and he espouses one humanitarian truth: we only have so many f*cks to give to the world. Prioritize everything, and you will be miserable. Strive to always be happy, and you never will be.
This is sage advice during a pandemic.
What’s should your number be one priority right now? You’re clan, i.e., your family. Take care of them and they will take care of you.
Wearing a mask while you food shop? Washing your hands and using sanitizer every chance you get? Good: you’re healthy and less likely to die from a disease that escaped from a Chinese science lab. What’s more important than health, right now, in your life? Lose that and you’re pushing up daisies, so keep at it.
A year from now… you’re concerned about, what, the weeds in your yard? You still have a yard, that’s great news!
Despite how miserable things are right now, imagine the things you can let go.
Perhaps the survivors will be better off and we, as a species, will figure out what really matters and move away from trivial and trite subjects. In fact, you can start right now.
Your child is likely somewhere within a thousand feet of where you’re reading this article. Find you son or daughter, give em’ a hug, and tell him or her you love them with all your heart. What a wonderful opportunity we have as parents to do so at will whenever we want. We’ll be less likely to do so a year from now… so embrace it.