Focus on what you can do now

I LOVE hot chocolate. While in Europe it was my go-to as I’m not a coffee drinker, and I don’t always want tea. Maybe right now you can just make something that you love–a cake, cookies, saltines and cheese. What’s your favorite?

No one knows what our world will look like next month, never mind six months from now. If you are one of those who are now stuck at home with nothing to do but worry about the future, this article is for you.

Instead of obsessing over what is to come—that which we have no control over—we should focus on what we can do now. If you’re at home with family, get to know each other better, but also try to respect personal space if possible. If you’re solo, download books through online portals, or better yet, read those you’ve been meaning to for years, or ask for friends’ discards; but only if you’ve got a way to wipe them down first (sanitizer-wipes?). It’s important to not get stuck in future-think. A wise woman I know once told me that looking into the past causes depression, and looking into the future causes anxiety, meaning that the best place for us to be is right here in the present.

I made a list of things I want to work on during this time of restless upheaval:

  • Business as a tour guide/hiking tours
  • Write
    • Memoir
    • Personal essays
    • Travel articles/essays
  • Learn
    • German
    • Spanish
    • Linguistics
  • Read
    • Writing techniques
    • Personal essays
    • Memoirs
    • Travel articles
    • Comedy
  • Exercise/Healthy mind
    • Yoga
    • Cardio (boxing, even without a bag)
    • Hiking (as long as it’s allowed)
    • Meditate (5 minutes a day at least)
  • Cooking
    • Learn to make a new meal every week: whether it’s soup, casserole, or something different.
  • Socialize
    • Call friends
    • Send messages to friends
    • Prepare entertaining conversation starters
  • Music
    • Learn new songs
    • Dance alone
    • Find a way to download music for cheap/free (can I keep the songs I download from Spotify, or do they disappear as soon as my account expires?)
  • Volunteer
    • Local farm/horses
    • Local shelter
    • Offer to deliver groceries

Maybe there is something you’ve been dying to read about or learn, and now is the best time to go for it. Maybe you just need to keep from losing your mind, so you need to focus on something other than current affairs. That’s fine. Don’t stay trapped in the bad shit. You’ve got to get out and focus on some real things. It doesn’t matter where you are or what’s going on outside: you can keep yourself centered and calm if you just focus on the present and set yourself up for success or productivity at the most basic.

I love travel, people, and stories. So inbetween “work” projects, I like to think about who I’ve met and what I’ve learned during my travels, and spend some time writing about them. This is my “spark” Marie Kondo.

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