Siege Diaries 1/13/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  What can I put outside my circle of control?

As I ponder all of this–the Stoic stance being that the only thing that can truly be controlled is your own mind or will–it occurs to me that “control” is the wrong way of thinking about things.  It is quite true that much of the world is outside my direct control, including, to a great extent, my body.

The right term is influence.  I may not be able to control many aspects of my body, but I can eat good foods, exercise, and get the right amount of sleep, which all tend to contribute to better health.

I cannot change the world.  I can influence my own world through my choices and my actions, for better or for worse.  

A note for the majority of my friends:

As we enter our a return to a “stay at home” order, do not feel you need to do more. Most of you are already doing everything by the book. You barely leave your house, and when you do, you wear a mask for those grocery runs. Maybe you are doing the odd takeout order pickup, or have used curbside pickup for something. You’re getting outside and walking or running, but alone or with a housemate or your kids. Some of you have jobs deemed essential, and you’re adhering to safety protocols as best you can (and we know that not all companies are good about these protocols). Some of you are designated caregivers to seniors.

Please don’t feel you must start disinfecting your groceries again, or washing your hands 20 times a day if you’re not even leaving the house. No, if you go jogging on trails and there’s no one around, you do not need to wear a mask. (Doesn’t hurt to have one with you, of course). If you have a car, it’s perfectly OK to drive around a bit if you have cabin fever. (Getting out and walking is better, but not everyone has access to quiet walking areas.)

If you’re already doing everything right, this stay-at-home order is not going to make a huge impact in your life.

I know you folks. You are not the “oh, one little visit with a close family member is fine. We’re being careful!” type. And I’m not talking about people who had a bubble back in the summer and fall and took advantage of it. I did, too. I volunteered at CWH, too, and we played minigolf. That was a completely different time. But those bubbles popped months ago.

Instead, I hope to see a few more of you online again. I am enjoying your stories of life at home–insights into your families, or sharing your art. You are all the light at the end of my tunnel, but you’re making sure I can see my way out, even though you’re far away.

The President of the United States was impeached today for the second time. Winning!

In other news, Shostakovich has a collar now. Just about to switch over to work on the cat he’s holding.