Taking Control Isn’t Just for You; It’s for Those You Love

Taking Control in a Crisis

Today was a funny day. It’s a beautiful, sunny early spring day. The sort of day that’s perfect for taking the kids to the park. Only I can’t take the kids to the park because it’s closed. Oh, well, at least I can take a walk with them as they bomb around the block on their bikes.

Well, as we were leaving the house, I bumped into a neighbour; a neighbour who is a pediatric nurse and who expressed concern about how the boys are handling the situation. It turns out she’s doing a few shifts a week in the pediatric psych ward of our local hospital and I guess there are a lot of kids having trouble.

Taking Control of Education

That’s fair. I described my own troubles here. If I, at this time and place in life, can have adjustment issues, it’s certainly fair for kids to have them, too.

But here’s the thing.

My boys are thriving. Schools are closed? No problem, I’m home schooling. In my deep, dark, mysterious past I was an instructor for one of the major CAD softwares. I’ve been a University Adjunct Professor, I was an English Second Language Teacher, and once upon a time a math and physics tutor.

Long and short? Teaching my kids elementary and middle school math, science and reading is absolutely no problem.

Taking Control of Exercise

What about exercise? They can’t go play the park after all. No problem, bike season is here, I’m in pretty good shape (have I ever mentioned that?) and can take them for hour long walks/bike rides around the neighbourhood.

And as for me? My Yoga club is having virtual classes via Zoom, so I’m getting my regular workouts in.

Taking Control of Relationships

Social distancing? No playing with friends? No problem, they play internet games together and use Facetime for “virtual play dates.” And, when mummy gets home from work, it’s family dinner and an evening together.

In addition, since we can’t visit my (mid 80s) parents, or my wife’s (mid 70s) parents, we’re also having virtual visits via Facetime.

So, in the end, the biggest concern for the boys is, what about the pandemic?

Well, I’ve been completely honest with them about it, answering all questions to their individual levels of understanding. More importantly, we don’t have cable. I cut the cord years ago because I’m cheap, and having me as a filter on the news coming into the house has protected them from panic.

Yes, I’ve been worried, I’ve been stressed, and I’ve gotten off track. But my boys have been fine. Isn’t that a daddy’s duty? To protect them? To “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” so they don’t have to. At least not yet?

And that’s what I’ve done.

I wrote about taking this crisis as an opportunity to make an improvement, and the things I’m doing to improve myself, and StandUpRight.ca. What I didn’t realize was that in taking control of myself, in reframing from crisis to opportunity, I was doing a favour not just for myself, but for my family.

When this ends, and make no mistake it will end, I will have

  • new habits for self-improvement (regular breathing exercises)
  • new skills for getting my message to the world (SEO, podcasting)
  • maintained my physical health and fitness (daily long, brisk walks, Zoom HIIT classes)
  • continued my boys’ educations and
  • brought the family closer together

Today was a really funny day. When I wrote that sentence to begin this post, I had a completely different story I wanted to tell. And tell it I will, just not today, because this is the story that came out.