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What Are You Doing With All Your Spare Time?

June 1, 2020

She couldn’t go out. As a musician, all her gigs were suddenly cancelled. She was stuck in her small Memphis apartment with her cat, Mr. Peabody. Or maybe just Peabody, that wasn’t clear.

Rachel Solomon had the same issue that many of us have had over the past 3 months. We are stuck at home with nothing to do.

But, is that really true? I know for me, I’ve built a couple of bathroom cabinets. I helped my son replace the tie rods on his car. I replaced the alternator on one daughter’s car. I replaced the starter on another daughter’s car. I changed the oil on four of the five cars that regularly sit in front of my house.

I have friends who also devoted themselves to projects or found innovative wasy to social distance. My friend Kelly decided that if he has to quarantine with his wife and five sons, that they could just as easily quarantine in the mountains as in their house. Every weekend, and many week nights, he and his boys have attacked the back country either on foot, or on motor cycles. He’s been able to spend quality time with his kids.

My friends who are writers have had no touble staying busy. It’s what writers do after all.

And yet, I have other friends who are absolutely lost during this time. Their lives were very much focused on friends and social life. That life is on hold and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Even though I’ve had project to work on I realized this weekend that I’ve been treading water. I have some big projects I’m working on. Or rather, that I should be working on.

The average American has packed on 5 lbs during this lockdown. And yet, I have a cousin who has not only dropped weight, she is following an aggressive workout routine. She’s done 32,000 pushups over the past year. And the lockdown didn’t slow her a bit.

We are all scared. Scared of the virus. Scared for our at-risk loved ones. Scared of the riots. Scared of what’s happening to our country. There’s lots of fear. And it’s tempting to give in to that fear. To decided to hide under the desk until its over.

Everyone has to find their own motivation. This weekend, I took stock of where I am. I’ve had 10 weeks to focus on whatever I chose during my down time. (My job lets me work from home, fortunately.)

You know what my friend Rachel, the piano player did? She started performing twice weekly Virtual Piano Bars. She broadcasts from her apartment. Her first broadcase were limited by how long her cell phone could last.

Well, my phone is saying I’m at 5% so I think I have one may two more songs.

And an interesting thing happened. She got better. Not at the piano, she was always brilliant at that. But, her broadcasts became more professional. She had “flyers” made up announcing the shows. She had a virtual tip jar. (Not expected, but certainly appreciated.) She’s performed about 30 hours worth of shows over the past 10 weeks.

What have I done during that time?

Not as much as I’d like. So, yesterday I decided to make a change. None of us know how long this lockdown will last. But, if my cousin can get stronger. If Rachel Solomon can advance her career. There’s more I can do physically, professionally, and in regards to my hobbies and personal life.

I set some goals and I’m working on them.

What have you done with all your spare time?

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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