Courage is Calling.

Are you Answering?

A note to my fellow extroverts

We look at the courage and the action and the will of the doctors and nurses and first responders, and we think (as we sit on the sofa with a glass of cabernet, or maybe multiple glasses), what kind of a coward am I?

I won’t even go into the pharmacy. Seriously, I’d rather starve than go to the grocery store right now. And if I’m really honest, it takes extra courage and strength for me to enjoy all this solitude.

Social distancing does take courage. To be away from the action. To be alone with our thoughts. To be cooped up with spouses who are on our nerves, or children or in-laws or aging parents. Sometimes it’s tough during the day. I don’t usually exercise alone day in and day out. Other times it’s the late-night hours that are too quiet after my husband’s gone to bed and it’s just me.

Make no mistake, the coronavirus… COVID-19, has called on our courage: Are you answering?

Courage is what I speak on. It’s not the absence of fear. It’s living in this new normal, filled will fear, but acting anyway. Taking the next step anyway. Finding our own frontline – family, laundry, to-do lists, and acting anyway. Doing the next right thing. Finding inspiration from our essential workers and doing what’s essential under our own roof. Or uncovering that goal or dream that’s been gathering dust or putting it into action. It takes courage, So cut it into bite-size pieces and use little bits of courage at a time.Or even better, finding the same courage, action and will of our first responders, and checking in with everyone we care about.

In the old days, think how frustrated we used to get when we pulled into the bank and forgot it was a bank holiday. Now, everything is closed. We should be at opening day at Comerica Park. We should be celebrating holidays with family. Instead, my fellow extroverts, our version of life is canceled for the rest of 2020. Social distancing is another way of saying nothing is what it was. In order to slow this crazy virus we have to just be. Sit. Alone. Stay home.

For some of my friends it’s a cinch. They’re my loner friends. The ones who love a quiet night with a good book. The ones who never go out. The homebodies. The introverts. But for those of us who tend towards the uber-social side of the pendulum, it’s suffocating. I love concerts and crowded backyard parties. I love a boat filled to the brim with laughter and smiles. I love conversations and challenges and telling a good joke. I love teaching yoga in a class filled with students. I love hugging.

In 6th grade, the principal recognized my gift for gab and asked me to give the daily PA announcements. That changed my life. Those were my first newscasts. I love talking to people. I love asking questions. I love to tell a good story to a lot of people at once.

And it takes courage to stay put, turn down the volume and turn off.

So, fellow extroverts, do you want to know what the courageous thing to do is? Try something new. Aristotle said “to be courageous, be courageous”. If you’ve never zoomed, there’s no better time. If you’ve never called or reached out to that person at work you usually would talk to every day… do it. Social distancing does not have to be social isolating. Call, connect, text, start a Skype party.

This week, my husband and I were scheduled for a trip to Vegas. Our happy place of music and theatre and great food and awesome hikes in Red Rock Canyon. That was before casinos and cards and chips and crowded theaters and busy restaurants were considered germ-infested virus pools. That was before touching the cards and then touching your face could be a death sentence. That was before airline travel helped spread a pandemic.

So, it’s an extended holiday on the sofa. I look to you, my quiet, content, introvert friends for advice, inspiration and calm. In fact, why don’t you tell me all at once. I’ll send you an invite to a zoom party. Let’s wear funny hats.
I’ll bring the jokes.

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