Dr.  Allen asked me to write a seventh blog yet again from just ten minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.   The news is that California must flatten the curve (for a fourth time) as I write this in early January 2021. So far, our state has completed 42 weeks with the goal to flatten the curve, support frontline health workers and keep ourselves and our families healthy.

Three key points I’ll discuss on this blog are:

  1. Deja Vu
  2. Stoic Tips
  3. Lessons from the Ultra Marathon

Déjà Vu?  Do you feel like we have been here before and you are growing weary of waiting for a return to what you consider normal?  Stop waiting and start living.  Bob Dylan had a lyric “he not busy being born is busy dying.” In other words, stop waiting and start living.

It is only Deja Vu if you allow it to be.


COVID19 fatigue is real and understandable, but it is how you find a way forward, despite that fatigue, that is the key.  Are you being pro-active, not just every day but in every moment?  I used to dread winter in Northern California because it rained all the time.  After three years of wildfires and smoke in the air, when the cold rain now comes in the winter, I gaze skyward smell the moisture in the air and feel so grateful for the moisture and the clean air. This is only Deja Vu (or Groundhog Day) if you allow it – and allow it to affect you accordingly.  Do not!

Stoicism talks about the Trichotomy of Control

Things you have no control over should not be upsetting as only YOU can allow them to do so.   

There are things we completely control. For example, I am going to run today by myself and I have complete control whether I do so or not.  I am playing tennis today and I have complete control if I do or not.  I cannot, however,  control whether I win or lose. If I lose the Stoic will advise me not to be upset as it is out of my control.  We gain contentment from changing ourselves rather than trying to change the world or people around us.

 

Lessons from the Ultra Marathon.  I have a colleague who is an Ultra Marathon runner.  I remember asking him one Sunday how his weekend was going. He answered that he ran 20 miles the day before as if it was his normal Saturday jog.  He then told me a story about competing in a 100-mile run. At mile 40 or 45 realized that he had another 55 miles to go and did not see any possibility of completing the race.  Then came his epiphany:  Just focus on the next step, running the current mile….. and then the next and then the next.

After all, let these be your lessons from the Ultra Marathon.

He became totally present and in the moment, taking one breath at a time.  He discovered by doing so his enjoyment level rose and the next thing he knew the race was over and he had completed a 100-mile run.

With COVID-19 it might feel at times that we are at mile 45 with no end in sight.  I would say that we are in the race, not mile 1, we will complete the race.  The question however remains…when the race is over, did we find a way to be present, keep running, keep being grateful and staying healthy?   My challenge to each of you (and myself) on this rain-soaked rainbow-appearing January California Day is this…how is your 100-mile run going?

And as always, remember our Heroes on the frontlines will live in our hearts and minds forever. Our collective will to fight systemic racism will grow in our DNA.  The question remains what each of us will choose…for me Count Me In with gratitude and love!

David – World Traveler, Poet, Actor, Taxi-Driver…Blogger