By Quinn Nystrom

It’s hard to believe we are already approaching Month Six of what has proven to be one heckuva tumultuous 2020. I predict many of us will have “Survived COVID-19” on our end-of-year Victory Lists.

And rightfully so.

We all should give ourselves a round of applause for navigating a super-scary pandemic with dignity and grace. They say experience is the best teacher, and Americans are now armed with a knowledge that generations before us never possessed. This virus was formidable, but the human spirit was/is more durable and more determined.

If you felt like these last few months have been more like a ride in a blender turned on high rather than a learning experience, you are so not alone. We all did the best we could with absolutely ZERO information to refer to as far as how to practice Social Distancing, Self-Quarantine, homeschooling, and telecommuting.

And yes…how not to hoard t.p. It will be an epic day when some people finally use the last roll in their Pandemic Stash in 2049.

All joking aside, how many of us would actually like to go back in time and write our “younger selves” on matters not Coronavirus-related? How many would like to put pen-to-paper or fingers-to-keyboard and document our victories and blunders of the past to create a handy little roadmap guide us around the future Potholes of Life? I’m thinking it might be pretty awesome to have a “how-to” guide of sorts to help our future selves avoid experiencing the pain and inconvenience of bumps-in-the-road, wrong turns, and epic fails that are yet to come.

The reality is that there are no crystal balls for us to use to predict our upcoming path to success. Sure, the bumps, wrong turns, and epic fails are something we’d just rather avoid, but the Bad Stuff of Life is also the things that mold us into more seasoned versions of ourselves.

Better versions.

Many people save the act of life reflection as part of welcoming the New Year while remembering the old. I encourage all humans to take the time to stop, appraise the situation, adjust your sails, and recalculate your journey often…not just once a year or in this case, mid-year.

Misdirection or bad choices will inevitably happen, but if you pause, gather your wits, learn from your past mistakes and keep moving forward, you are bound to get to your ultimate destination.

One thought (shared with via a sage friend) that kept me from emotionally spiraling out of control during the darker days of March and April was to keep my eyes and attention on what was right in front of me. To live the present moment instead of fixating on the 8 million “what ifs” surrounding life after COVID-19 (if there was to be one) that NO ONE really had a handle on yet. Stay in the present. Preciously words to live by

The present is a gift, that’s why it’s called “the present.” We are all guilty of wishing time away. If you’ve caught yourself wishing life away, I have news for you; once today is gone…there’s no “reset” switch. Live in the moment as often as possible, and yes, I know this is sometimes easier said-than-done.

Consider your minutes per day like money in the bank, and if you don’t use that money-you lose it every day. Everyone has 1,440 minutes in each day to invest in their life and future. To wish time away, and mire in worries of the future, pulls us all away from the joy of the present moment. I’m not suggesting people live life with an “it’s all butterflies and unicorns” outlook, but I am encouraging everyone to slow down, unplug and open their eyes to the beauty of every new day.

Peace to all of you.