Coronavirus: The Day After (Five Wishes)

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The Day After

What happens the day after?

This whole catastrophe is not over. I’m assuming we’re not even close. We likely have a lot more craziness ahead of us, and tons of lessons to learn. And it would seem we’re going to learn them the hard way, too.

But here is a question that’s been burning on my mind for the last few weeks. What happens the day after? I don’t mean in the world at large. I mean for me personally.

In many ways, my life has been more similar than different during all of this. I worked from home before the world went crazy. And my job hasn’t skipped a beat. I’m still quite busy every single day. And yes, my exercise has taken a big hit, but I’ve nevertheless kept fairly strong. I’ve exercised almost every day, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

That’s not to say it’s been easy. At all. Some days I feel like I’m going to crack. I feel like I’m falling apart. And I beg that things get better for me before they get considerably worse.

So Many Choices

But when life throws calamity in your face, there are only so many choices. You can collapse to the floor under all the pressure. You can do nothing and just wait everything out, hoping that when the smoke clears you can jump back to normality.

Or you can try your hardest to make the best of an objectively crappy situation. You can contemplate it. And you can learn from it. What will be if this happens again? Will I be more ready than I was this time? What would I have done differently if I knew this was coming? What can I learn from my personal experience?

And most importantly: What happens the day after the world goes back to normal? What happens when the doors open again? Am I the same person as before, or have I found some new meaning and purpose? What will my life be like on the other side of the Coronavirus?

I would like to explore five items. Five things that I wish I had done before the doors were locked, or I would love to have in place if something like this ever happens again, or that I wish I had initiated in the past, and now I will re-consider with a bit more enthusiasm.

The Day After #1: Projects Left Undone

The Day After

There are always a lot of projects on the back burner. My wife and I have spoken for a while about doing a Shabbat project in Jerusalem for lone soldiers, or a musical Havdallah program on Saturday nights. These ideas are just light images we have in our minds, and of course there’s always a whole lot of procrastination and life that gets in the way of making them happen.

And then you’re placed in a situation where they cannot happen. Even if they were up and running, they’d still be shut down indefinitely. There’s a whole lot of regret in not making dreams happen when you’re tossed into a world in which they become impossible.

So when the doors open up again, I can’t wait for the opportunity to make the world a better place, one project at a time.

The Day After #2: The Social Imperative

The Day After

The Coronavirus has really put me in touch with my need to be social. I don’t need to be social all the time. Not even close. I love being alone. But I do need to be social a lot more than I’ve been lately.

Now, I don’t consider myself incredible in social situations. Many still intimidate me. Yet I can’t wait to say hi to the world again.

I feel like I spend so much of my time out in the world wanting to greet perfect strangers. I want to compliment their hat or ask if they went to my college or inquire about their unusual exercise routine in the gym. Before the world was closed, I stood silently. And now I miss scores of people I’ve never even spoken with!

I hope to see them again on the other side. And to never be silent again!

The Day After #3: Next-Level Health

The Day After

Nothing highlights health not being quite up to par than being trapped in your home all day long, not able to move all that much, and being dangerously close to the kitchen 24 hours a day.

Over the years, I’ve had to sacrifice a gym day here and there for all sorts of reasons. Not feeling well, a holiday, time got away from me, and so on. And so I settled for a mediocre home workout, always reasoning that it’s a rare thing I have to deal with every once in a while.

And that was fine… until “once in a while” became every freaking day.

And I know I might be doing better than many, but yeah, clothes are still getting a little tighter.

So what happens now? I need to up my game. I need to have more exercises under my belt. I need to learn how to turn my home into a haven for movement. And I need to learn how to cook better with a greater variety. And how to strategize how not to stuff my face despite constant access and a whole lot of stress.

The Day After #4: Buy Buy Buy

The Day After

A fun theoretical quarantine conversation is what would you have bought if you knew you were going to be stuck at home for several months. There are so many things on our family list. For whatever reason, we stood in a store or two, came inches away from grabbing the item in question… and left it on the shelf.

And now we sit at home wishing we had just pulled the trigger. Wishing we had the comfy couch to lounge around on in our endless hours at home. Or the camera to start a new adventure as YouTubers. And the list goes on and on.

But I truly hope it won’t happen again. Never before have I imagined that I’d stand in a store and ask myself the question: Will I regret not having purchased this if I find myself stuck in quarantine for the next two months?

If the answer is yes, I’m hoping I have the courage to flop down my credit card, each and every time.

The Day After #5: The Fun Home

The Day After

And that leads to my final item. I want a fun home. A place where anyone would want to stay and hang out, because there’s just so much to do.

Don’t get me wrong. My house is a blast, from many perspectives. Three fun people live here and we enjoy our days immensely. But the walls can easily start to feel old. And it takes a lot of work to build a home filled with never-ending what to do.

So while I’m out wielding that credit card like some lunatic who thinks he makes a whole lot more money than he actually does, I hope to find myself thinking what would make my house a more exciting place to be, and to walk around stores thinking about how I can make that happen.

What will your day after look like?

Coronavirus won’t be ruining our lives forever. There is a light somewhere at the end of this tunnel. I don’t want to be the same person on the other side. I want to be better. I want to have gained some perspective. And I want to have an amazing life.

And I want to be thoroughly prepared if something like this ever happens again.

What will be different for you when you emerge from your home once again?

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Coronavirus: The Day After (Five Wishes)

One thought on “Coronavirus: The Day After (Five Wishes)

  1. Dear Rabbi Jaffe,(Yitzchak)
    As always,your keen insights and sensitivity astound me, and I am amazed at how well you put into words what we ALL have been feeling about this horrible,frightening invisible enemy that has threatened and turned our lives inside out. I, along with many millions of others in this world, are praying for the eradication of this enemy that came straight out of China.We are crying out for a cure/vaccine NOW,please G-d!!!And we pray that it will come out of Israel,or wherever Hashem designates.We are all praying(I speak for myself for certain) that our economies will soar again,even better than before this virus was the center of our lives.So happy that you have had no interruptions in your work situation which is a real blessing!!! Like you, I want to make this world a better place by contributing to causes that are so important to my life and causes that will definitely enhance the world. We need to practice discernment and be strong to confront evil where and when we see it-and not be hesitant-all despicable wet markets in the world MUST BE COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN FOR GOOD!!!!We DO NOT EVER WANT ANYTHING LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN AGAIN, but if it does, I pray that our brilliant researchers,doctors, and expert scientists will have learned about many,many other cures and breakthroughs fro all kinds of diseases and other things during this time when we have been forced to stay inside.Let’s apply these new discoveries to anything and everything else possible.Let’s learn to love even deeper, with abandonment,even with more energy and passion, those in our families,our friends,and others we haven’t even met yet, and to TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED-to always have a mind of thankfulness and gratitude for every priceless blessing from Hashem-and acknowledge that He and He alone,not man, is the Giver of ALL BRACHOT!!!!!

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