If you’re like me, you’ve settled into a kind of placid existence which gratefully lacks the high anxiety and fear of the initial onset of the pandemic. Like me, you’ve probably replaced all that with a routine that gets you through the day but offers very little in the way of challenge or inspiration.

I take solo hikes, prepare meals, engage on social media, read – my only in-person interactions are with the grocery cashier or the growers at the local farmer’s market. It’s all very responsible and will hopefully keep me healthy. Yet, it certainly lacks stimulation and personal connection.

I’ve been wondering how I should address this, considering I now understand our Covid experience is more than a temporary situation, most likely requiring adaptation to a new lifestyle.

So, how do we sustain ourselves over the long term? My answer, do something new.

The Power of New Experiences

I decided I needed to expand my horizons, albeit within my four walls, utilizing technology, and always within the safe bounds of social distancing etc.

The vehicle of the engagement is less the point, as there are countless Zoom, YouTube, and online Meetups, as well as other virtual opportunities and organized activities that bring folks together within the compliance of the health officials’ recommendations.

What does matter is our willingness to do something new, to explore new talents or to try something we have been tempted to investigate, even if it means that our initial tries are probably going to be quite poor.

Taking Up Painting

My choice was painting. I dipped a toe into watercolors years ago when a friend invited me to a class. I was frustrated with my initial endeavor and gave up almost immediately.

Now, with nothing but time on my hands, I decided to try again. I watched YouTube videos on basic techniques and spent several afternoons lost in experimentation.

Did I create a masterpiece? No, not even close. In fact, I tossed out most of my work. Was it interesting, engaging, and instructive? Did it encourage me to continue? Did it offer me a relaxing way to spend the afternoon? Yes, yes, and yes!

And for me, the most important thing was that it potentially offered me another way to connect with others. I may even sign up for a Zoom painting session with a group of novice painters hosted by a local artist.

Explore and Expand

The point is to explore and expand, resisting the temptation to let this oppressive situation limit our possibilities and get the best of us.

So, what’s your next endeavor? The possibilities are infinite, restricted only by our willingness to push beyond our self-limiting expectations. Will it be difficult at first? Will you be frustrated as I was? Probably. But my best advice is, try and see what happens.

You may find, as I did, that it isn’t your life’s passion, but it certainly can be a creative outlet to enjoy while we live life as fully as possible despite the constraints beyond our control. And I’m quite certain, you will find a sense of peace and accomplishment just for the attempt.

Have you decided to get back into life and enjoy it despite the current limitations? What do you do in that direction? Did you pick up a hobby? How is it going for you? Please share your experiences and let’s chat about our new experiences.

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