Notes From The Furlough: Day 44

Prediction is about as useful as galoshes on a dry day.

Please discuss. How does this play out in life?

I’ll start us out. In times of uncertainty, we grasp for any understanding of what the future might hold. If we know what to expect, we believe we can prepare, and that helps us feel safe. It’s an illusion of safety at best, but we find it comforting. The shake-up of COVID-19 offers us many opportunities to crave predictions—how long will the epidemic last, when will we be safe, what is the economic recovery going to look like, how will the virus and attendant concerns affect the fall elections. Having an answer to these questions might help us feel on firmer footing now, but that sureness is illusory. It doesn’t help us right now because the situation we’re anticipating isn’t happening now. We’ve perhaps substituted worrying with attempts to plan, but neither activity actually addresses the real issue, which is our discomfort with uncertainty.

Today’s message reminds me that what is most important is what I know to be real right now, particularly what I know to be real about myself. The best preparation I can make is to strengthen my ability to handle myself well in situations as they arise—my emotional intelligence. If I manage my thoughts and emotions well, I am happier and more effective in any circumstances, anticipated or not. I can begin today by being aware of thought patterns and choosing how I wish to react. This will help build cheerfulness and calm, two key attributes in facing any situation well. It’s good to know that I carry my best and most reliable ally inside of me.

How about you? What can you do to strengthen yourself in preparation for anything?