During this Coronavirus and COVID-19 crisis, I’m reminding myself that it is springtime and that when I’m stuck in a day that’s grey and lonely… oh, sorry, I just finished months of rehearsal for a high school Erev Shira production of “Annie,” lyrics by Martin Chanin.

It is indeed springtime while the scenes around us are increasingly apocalyptic. For the Egyptians in my life, the scenes trigger memories of an Arab Spring revolution that brought death and division. For some Americans in my life, the scenes bring up times of riots or depression. For the religious folks in my life, they are seeing signs of prophecies or an urgent need for us to connect to God or God(s). For many others, the general feeling is simply one of ominousness.

At the same time, I remind myself that this all is actually driven by optimism, a belief that our actions will save lives. So there’s that.

Years from now, we will reflect back on the lessons we learned during this time. Perhaps those lessons will be about public health, resilience of sectors and economies, family and community relations, political innovation, social welfare programs, digital workspaces, the right to education, the role of the arts and in-person gatherings, or inter-generational and international empathies. Perhaps the shared experience will transform this brilliant, breaking world for the better.

I can easily stay and work from home for much of what I do for a temporary period of time. I just need to buy a board from the hardware store in order to teach tap dance on video.

With having no children, what is going to be more difficult is finding work/life balance and some joy in this quiet home. So I officially vow to make good use of this time. Here’s what I am promising myself every single day for the foreseeable future.

  1. Check-in with at least one person I care about. This might be a relative, neighbor, coworker, student, associate or close friend. This might be via video, phone call, text, or visit with distance. Connection will be important for both them and me.
  2. Go offline and get fresh air. This one is going to be difficult to reinforce, as I can easily get super comfortable and lack the motivation. But I publicly make the commitment to this daily, for self care. Getting outside also will encourage me to get dressed. But remember, you’re never fully dressed without a smile.
  3. Learn or write something. Ideally something good that’s helpful to others. Because.
  4. Play, like a kid. Dance, like I need. Clean, like I should. Repeat.
  5. Drink and eat healthy. I need that reminder.
  6. Make or conserve money. I am not sure I could bet my bottom dollar. I’m going to have to be smart, hard working, innovative and open during the next few weeks/months.
  7. Ask important questions. Stay vigilant. Challenge myself. Don’t let folks get away with sh*t or shi*tty behaviors. Stay alert to developments. Distill the lessons.

What will you do every day? So far today, I have only done three on my list. Need to get going. I’m here if you want to check-in. See you when the sun comes out. Tomorrow.