Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: What are my tasks in this life?
Elaborating from the Daily Stoic entry from today: “What is it that only I can do? What is the best use of my limited time on this planet? Try to do the right thing when the situation calls for it. Treat other people the way you would hope to be treated.” I think this sings to me in particular right now. So many are talking about what we’re going to do “when this pandemic is over.” But that is not right now. I love the quote “The present is a gift.” It really is. It doesn’t mean you have to love the fact that you can’t see friends in person, or that there’s a scary disease out there presenting some very real dangers. It doesn’t mean you can’t be heartbroken at the fact that activities you’ve built your life around are not available to you right now. It doesn’t mean you can’t be exhausted and tired by all of this. And it especially does not mean you have to keep these feelings under wraps out of some obligation to be chirpy and perky and a paragon of positivity. What it does mean is that you need to find what you can do with this time and to do it, and to find the victories in what is currently possible. And you know what? If you were simply able to be kind to someone else today–just one person–that is a very real victory in a time like this one. Most of us are achieving way more than that. And it’s enough.
Today was supposed to be pretty much nonstop activity: Museum volunteering in the morning, then an online meeting, followed by a livestreamed concert, and then finally Pathfinder roleplaying. But the work project I’m coordinating over the weekend had a couple of glitches yesterday (although the main part–the physical moves–went faster than planned), so I decided to skip the museum to monitor the project (turned out to be a good decision, as a couple of issues turned up). In any case, I am starting to get a little bit antsy about the high COVID caseload here in Ontario – we went over 1000 new cases for the first time today, and while our area isn’t a hotspot and the Museum is pretty low risk, it’s still concerning. So I was a little bit into hunker mode as it was. The meeting went quickly, with a little bit of fun socializing at the end.
Then the livestream didn’t work, and so I’ll have to wait for the videorecording to be posted tomorrow–rather disappointing, since the sense of spontaneity, of watching a performance as it is happening, is now gone. I mean, there are loads of recorded performances I could watch any old time. I guess I’m happy to see my ticket help support a local performing group right now, but part of the thrill was seeing it in real time, even if I could not see it in person. I also have a tradition of not listening to anything by a particular group/composer on the day of a concert, so I was left bereft of Shostakovich. So I instead watched a fierce performance of Quartet no. 8 by the Quartetto di Roma:
And then another more nuanced and emotional one:
Incidentally–I have a pendant of my eight-pointed star and red teardrop motif, and it had gotten twisted and tangled somehow. Magically, it came untangled during the second movement of that second performance, which gave me a bit of a shiver. Did that mean something? Who knows?
And the weekly roleplaying was wonderful. We’re starting to level up now, and it’s a super fun group to game with–and it’s quickly becoming the highlight of my week. When I talk above about “the things I can do”, this is a big one. I likely would not have ever ventured into roleplaying again (I’d only ever done it one other time) had it not been for the current situation. This is a genuine discovery, one I want to keep up even after that hazy time in the future when there might be something closer to the old normal back in my life.
Update: While I was watching those two videos and writing this, the livestream was posted. Oh well. Too late for it tonight.