Adapting to a Post-Corona Reality

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I remember early in in the Pandemic thinking to myself, “Well Dan-o (the affectionate nickname I gave myself,) we are living in historic times. We are living in times that I could not ever have imagined. We are living times, that if I saw portrayed in a movie, I would critically dismiss as being unrealistic. Clearly, the good Lord is telling us something. Dan-o, if you leave this quarantine situation the same as when you came into it, something is very, very wrong. You need to use this period of time to grow, and to emerge from this a changed and transformed dude. You got this bro.”

As chronicled in these pages, I have indeed been working on different areas in my life where I can grow, like an eager beautiful yellow dandelion, swaying in the spring Colorado breeze.

Now, as the world is opening up, (whether it is premature or not is not my concern for this post,) it is upon all of us to consider how we will emerge from our respective caves. What was awesome about quarantine life can we carry with us into this new strange reality? How can I incorporate the many lessons I have learned into my life moving forward?

The first area where there will be significant change is my interactions with my precious family. At least 2-3 times a week we have gone out for walks and/or bike rides with the kids in the afternoon. This puts us all in jolly spirits as we come home for dinner, and for the rest of the evening.

Speaking of dinner, we have dinner together every single night, and this will continue after Covid-19. As educators who often have programming in the evening, some times my wife and I have struggled to pull this off. But we now understand how crucial it is, and we will schedule it into the day, every single day, seven days a week. We clean together for fifteen minutes after dinner, and this too can and will continue into the new reality.

Ironically, I feel closer to my folks than perhaps ever before in my adult life. Despite living a mere five blocks away, pre-Covid, it was not uncommon for me to go a whole week without seeing them (with the exception of Shabbos, where I would see them in synagogue.) Now, ironically, when we will not dine with them, nor welcome them into our home in our strict adherence to social distancing, we manage to see them even more than ever. Our afternoon walks often end in their backyard, where my kids are treated to ice pops, and we enjoy the shady backyard, from six feet apart. Again, there is no reason this should stop after Covid-19. Maybe we can even come inside every once in awhile.

Additionally, I have used this time to grow personally, learning basic productivity skills about habit formation and time management. I always love learning new skillz, but had found it exceedingly difficult to do so in my pre-Covid life, being so busy all the time. Now, recognizing the vital importance of continually to grow in these areas, I intend to set aside fifteen minutes every evening to dedicate to reading and working on these important areas in life, that can help me enhance and optimize my skillz and talents to become the best rabbi, father, and husband that I can be.

Finally, my wife and I have used this time to grow professionally, and to rethink and analyze how we do things, amid this new reality. All of our programs have gone live and become accessible to anyone with a computer, phone, or iPad. We have been forced to reconsider our model repeatedly, as we all become worn out staring at a screen all day. We have been forced to innovate and think outside of the box in ways we have not thought about before. We have reconnected with old friends who are able to tune in to our programs because we have made them so easily accessible. It seems like a no brainer that as we move forward, our online presence, and live streaming will continue as well, hopefully enabling more people to join us in what we are doing.

Above I shared “out loud,” my Post-quarantine plan. But I turn to you- my dear, loyal, thousands and thousands and thousands of readers– what is your plan? What have you learned from your quarantine, and how can you bring these lessons into the future that awaits us, to become the most optimal, beautiful version of yourself that you can possibly be?

What remains to be analyzed, is what we had to give up during quarantine that was vital to our lives and overall well-being. What things were we forced to give up that we don’t necessarily need in our lives, or that might have been detrimental to us? With this understanding, how do we move forward?

I hope you join me as I dig into this in some posts that will follow.

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