On a walk with my husband later in the afternoon, he had a suggestion. The solution to feeling listless might lie in more lists. In less flexibility.
But I’ve loved the newfound flexibility!
And you love lists, he reminded me. You especially love checking things off lists, he pointed out.
These things are true. I’ll let you know how it works out! And maybe you’ll let me know what you do when you feel listless?
My friend Dionne Lucas, Director of Retail Marketing and Sales at the National Museum of African American Music here in Nashville, doesn’t struggle with this particular problem. Her perspective inspires and encourages me, and I hope it will encourage you too…
Hi Dionne! I miss you! But I love to hear how you are staying busy and engaged. How you’re managing life in the Time of Corona.
How has your daily work changed at the National Museum of African Amerian Music? When is the Museum set to open?
My work schedule is busier than ever. I am on a series of Zoom and Microsoft Team meetings with co-workers and partners throughout the day. Not having to commute to meetings allows me to schedule more meetings to execute on the many tasks required to open the museum.
This Corona pandemic has also forced me and the team to consider contingency plans in case something like this happens once the museum opens.
The Museum is scheduled to open Labor Day weekend 2020. However, our first priority is to ensure the safety of the staff, construction workers and everyone involved in this project.
Please remind me what grade your lovely daughter is in… and, how is she doing? Is she enjoying the extra time at home?
You are so kind to ask about Elle. She is in the 7th grade and misses her friends and teachers dearly. Considering the circumstances, she is coping well. The teachers provided worksheets and additional assignments on Google Classroom.
She is enjoying me, her and Kevin being home together everyday and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Normally, we are moving fast and trying to keep up with each others’ schedules.
What are some of the things you are doing that you wouldn’t normally do?
I am enjoying this time at home and reconnecting with the family, but I do miss being around my co-workers and friends, like you Jennifer. On the days when the weather is nice, it is especially hard to stay inside.
I walk 3 miles a day for my own mental and physical health.
I make a point to reach out to friends or family daily that I don’t communicate with frequently under normal circumstances.
More regularly, I find myself engaging with social media.
Has life in your neighborhood changed?
The neighborhood feels different. Everyone is trying hard to be polite, but keep their distance. Sometimes the encounters even feel awkward. I don’t see as many kids outside playing or as many people walking their dogs. I see uncertainty in everyone’s eyes.
What is your state of mind? Does it change a lot, day to day, or do you feel like you’ve settled in and adjusted to Life in the Time of Corona?
My state of mind changes from day to day. Sometimes I’m happy and focused on the simple joys of life. Things like enjoying a good cup of coffee, a thoughtful text message or a hug from my daughter. Other days are somber from watching too many sad reports on the news and hearing of someone else I know that it impacted negatively.
Overall, I’m adjusting well. I am a busy body. I’m hardly ever still, but I’m learning to find peace and calm in being still.
What are you secretly or not so secretly enjoying about Life in the Time of Corona?
I’m secretly enjoying drinking wine daily. On the other hand, I’m not so secretly enjoying cooking multiple times a day. I love to cook, but I feel obligated because I’m home.
What’s the biggest hardship? What do you miss most?
I miss going places with my friends and family the most, like taking Elle shopping and having dinner and going to concerts and events with Kevin. I miss hanging out with Victoria and Earnestine.
What has not changed at all?
Every day I wake up early, get dressed and put on makeup. It helps me feel like things are normal. I really need that.
Some people are feeling busier than ever in the Time of Corona. Are you?
For some reason it feels like my workload has nearly doubled. Constantly working, cleaning and organizing. Helping Elle more with her school work is also out of the norm. Her dad is taking the lead with her work, which is extremely helpful. I don’t mind being busy. It keeps my mind on the things that I can impact instead of worrying about the things I can’t.
What are you reading? What would you recommend?
I’m reading Finding My Voice by Valerie Jarrett. I love to read about people’s journey. It gives a deeper appreciation for who they are and a better appreciation of their accomplishments. I love the inspiration that I get when reading about the perseverance of others and the tough choices they had to make. I even like to hear about the bad decisions and the fact that learning from the bad decisions are integral to the journey.
I am reminded of just how few people really know me and the importance of sharing my journey with others to bless and inspire others. It is my responsibility. My life is a series of crossroads, plans and prayers. That’s why I am enjoying this book.
What are you watching? What would you recommend?
Netflix is dangerous. I am watching “Dynasty” and “All American.” Also, I watched the Quincy Jones documentary again. I recommend all of them.
Other forms of stress relief in the Time of Corona?
Listening to music is healing. The music can transport you to happiest days that represent your greatest joy.
Yoga supports my mental health. It forces me to focus inward and realize the beauty of each breath.
What are you most looking forward to when we return to “normal”? When do you think that will be? (I know that’s not really a fair question…)
There are so many things I am looking forward to. I am most looking forward to giving a big hug to my friends and seeing that they are safe.
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