urgency

No Sense of Urgency

To procrastinate: delay or postpone action; put off doing something

One of the things I’ve found during this crisis is that I have rediscovered and am now channeling my inner procrastinator. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said, “I’ll do it tomorrow in the last few months, well you know”

Yes, that concept we have been taught to avoid because it focuses on short-term happiness and goals seems to be the operative word now.

However, can we be accused of acting hedonistically when short term is all there is to focus on right now? Can we plan our lives even a week from now? Sadly no.

Aside from those that are lucky enough to still be employed and out functioning in the world, the rest of us seem to be busy trying to fill our days in captivity.

Of course there are many productive activities we can and continue doing like working from home, but many hours in the day we filled with more compulsory endeavors are now more discretionary.

I must admit that even I as an avid motion picture fan am growing rather tired of on demand, live streaming and Turner Classic Movies.

Yes, I do keep up with the latest Netflix offerings and read everyone’s comments on Facebook about the Tiger King and Unorthodox so I’m not living under a rock, however it does get old.

So begs the question, is a sense of urgency what’s necessary to cure procrastination? Or are human beings wired to move quickly when probed, like swatting a burro on its hindquarters. Andalay!

Mothers and fathers are now tasked with more to do as so many are working from home and must help teach and plan activities for their children. I know some young Moms who contend when this is over they will feel like they’re on vacation.

Perhaps these days of seeking ways to fill the time have been good and bad in many ways.

One good is obviously the fact so many have now embraced their inner Emeril. Cooks all over the world are drawn into the kitchen to refine their skills and experiment with new recipes and concoctions.

However this trend must be traced back to a primal urge for humans to eat when hungry or many times, bored, aggravated, bathing suit shopping, family dinners, depressed, hating a new hairdo or you run out of Cherry Garcia ice cream; and yes an entire carton is considered one serving.

So, the serge in cooking is actually predicated on the desire to first and foremost eat and second to fill the day. This is a positive outcome of the time in quarantine and will probably translate into new vistas of adventure for many that have never previously left the sofa to order take out.

There are many areas however one can point to and say, “Uh oh, procrastination has sunk in.” For example dressing up.

After all when you’re wearing sweats everyday and walking from the bedroom to the television screen not so much need for wardrobe changes or jewelry.

Although there are those who are exercising regularly outdoors as well, when at home it’s the bare minimum in fashion and the maximum in comfort one seeks.

Hair has become such an issue for some women that they are literally threatening to drive to other states to find a hairdresser to color their roots. Hello, Girlfriend, shampoo in tints, Amazon delivers, and a no brainer that even a baboon can do.

Elastic waists are ruling the roost now allowing room for all the extra cooking and tasting going on.

Where once women that lived alone could argue I put on make up even when I’m home just for myself. Out the window, cause unless you’re zooming not so much grooming.

Americans especially are a nation of urgency junkies. We love to receive a good kick in the behind because that’s what has always worked so well for us in the past.

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor we were up and running. We even had a theme song, “Over There Over There.” Should be played now, “The Yanks are Coming the Yanks are coming, the drums drum drumming everywhere.” We jump into action and never look back. We’re a country of scrappers and we love a good fight.

When Japan attacked General Motors, we leapt into action once again and fought back. Okay, so Japan won that one, but we did make a heck of an effort.

World Trade Center, we fought, we conquered, we rebuilt. It’s what Americans do.

Human beings need a sense of urgency, which is proven by the way they’re fighting to get businesses reopen although the virus is still out there as strong as ever.

People need a reason to get up in the morning and yes, although a new Netflix movie may be exciting it’s not enough to fill our lives.

I think one example of a positive is the virus has forced us to spend time at home with our families. To cook, eat, watch television, read, exercise, talk and create new activities together. Sadly it may be a boom for divorce lawyers, but I doubt that, last man standing rule and all.

Perhaps there was a sense of urgency to slow down and smell the roses and if anything good comes from all this captivity, I vote for family time. The other side of course is not being able to see family and grandchildren.

The scale tips both ways, but as I’ve said before we rise to the occasion.

Expectations from others and from within ourselves are what drives and propels us to achieve more and greater goals. That sense of urgency we experience every day is what flicks on the light switch within us and forces the electric current into our creative selves.

So if you’ve been home channeling your inner chef, Picasso, Dior, or Hemingway, once life returns to normal it will be a sense of being in the world once more that sparks you up to the next level. New businesses, books, creative outlets will be born from captivity, but sadly one doesn’t have the luxury to plan when right now. Let’s face it, the song doesn’t just say “where”, but also “when” and that’s a big factor in giving one impetus to move ahead with life, dreams and goals. Perhaps there was a sense of urgency for you to delve into your inner dreams.

Much will change in this new normal we face, but one fact remains the same, every so often we all need to slow down, relax and procrastinate just a little. Get in touch with parts of oneself forgotten or ignored. But I think everyone will agree, enough already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Old in Captivity

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Being old in captivity brings a whole new set of problems. Each age group has faced unique challenges in the face of this horrific world attack by an evil virus and the world has now seen the ravages of biological warfare on a global scale.

Much has been learned or one can hope, but each age group has had to face different and scary trials.

I have witnessed the tests younger people including my own children and grandchildren have faced.

It is however my own that I can speak to most clearly.

Did I fully appreciate Amazon before, probably not? Do I now? Have I completely embraced the whole let my fingers do the walking routine online? You bet. Will I be excited to run through a mall again and feel and touch the merchandise? You bet I will! Is chocolate still a panacea, it is indeed.

Busy brings distraction. Growing old is difficult and most of my generation have learned to use denial and distraction as the prevalent tools in their arsenal to battle back against the reality of old age.

Time doesn’t creep it pounces.

We look in the mirror and our close-up vision is compromised by time.

We compensate by using magnified mirrors that are probably the work of the devil, but we insist on a true glimpse into the ravages of time.

We battle back with plastic surgery, Botox, creams, treatments whatever we can unearth to slow the process.

Yet what I have discovered in the last few months is that the greatest tool in our arsenal is indeed distraction and without that we must come face to face with our own mortality.

And it isn’t pretty.

In the pre-covid 19 days I would see a new wrinkle and meet a friend for lunch, do some shopping, play Maj Jong, visit my grandsons, or any one of a million other activities, including work related to distract from the truth that stared me in the face, I am growing old. I am now the oldest generation, and time is winning.

The last few months have brought many deaths, some from covid, some from natural causes, but many I grew up with and around are suddenly gone.

Once I would hear about a death of an old friend and busy myself with trivial activities to ignore the fact that time was racing past. Distraction was king, and I say long live the king!

Now I have no such luxury. Binge watching Shitt’s Creek is not the same as being with family or friends. It isn’t working. It may provide a moment’s distraction, but our lifestyle is the ultimate defense against reality. Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, important life events and holidays with family and friends cannot be discounted.

We hear bad news, we move, we see a gray hair we move, we feel the ravages of time on our bodies, we move.

Without movement, we have little defense.

We need as Streisand said, “People”. We need interaction, even those among us who once considered ourselves a bit of an introvert. We’ve all realized we are part of the world and we use this world to our advantage to deal with the fears and issues we face each day.

Without interaction we are forced to see life for what is it is and that can be very painful for one who is moving into old age. It even sounds sad, but once I wouldn’t have cared. I could laugh with friends, celebrate life and keep going.

Stopping is not an option. The challenge has been to keep busy and relevant now that the world has closed up shop.

Soon we will all enter a new world, a new normal; we can’t yet predict or foresee and we will have to move even further away from the world we once knew.

This is a painful exercise even in the best of times so how we will approach these good byes now.

Part of growing older are the memories we embrace, our childhoods, our parenting years and remembering those who are now gone.

I know my generation is up to this as we have overcome before, we will again. I am forcibly optimistic and choose to be.

So to all my friends I can only say what I have been saying to myself,

More than ever it is imperative we make the most of every moment. Live fully and excitedly each day and dwell only in the present. Had we ever forgotten those rules and I have many times, we cannot again.

Happy new world coming and may it be the best years of your lives.