May 13, 2020
I have decided it’s time to stop counting the number of days we have been in quarantine. Like most of us I know that following the rules is critical to the world eventually becoming right again, but man oh man it is so hard! I’m not going to lie – breaking the rules has been tempting, but then I think of all the horrible things than can happen and the people who are putting themselves on the front lines to fight this pandemic I retreat back inside my circle of fear. I think that’s what is the most difficult part of the entire situation. For me, it’s not about the sacrifices I’m making but more so the uncertainty of what we are facing in the future. The unknown has never been an environment I have been comfortable with.
I consider myself lucky because I do have the opportunity to work in my office every day since no other people are in it right now. As I’ve said many times, I absolutely love what I do for a living. It’s kind of funny that I wound up in a profession that deals with numbers because believe me, I hated math in high school! I actually went to college to be a doctor, but soon after I got there, I quickly realized I was on the wrong path. I still wound up in a field where I get to help people everyday and that is the genesis of who I am at my core. Whether I had been a doctor or a financial advisor, both professions are synonymous with having answers and not meandering in the unknown. Granted, we cannot predict what will happen in terms of markets and performance, or pandemics – but we can have plans that show us where we are now and how to get to where we want to be. That is the same for health or finance.
As I mentioned last week, I read all of the time, or I should say I used to. I cannot seem to engage with a book and it’s driving me crazy because reading is something I usually live for. I’m the girl who carries a book in my purse and when my kids are not in my car I am listening to a book on Audible. Sometimes I think too much about why this is instead of just trying to sit still, but that’s not something I am great at these days either (or ever, truth be told!). I think that’s because of feeling isolated and not socialized right now and I am sure there are many of you that can relate. Also, the things I like to read are typically more dramatic or serious in nature. The world feels heavy enough and I think I’m afraid of picking up a book that’s going to be a tear jerker or make me cry. I need to find something funny.
Yesterday I was in the office and as I sorted through my mail, I was excited to see my new People magazine had arrived (no judgements here! It’s a guilty pleasure and my clients like it too!). On the cover was Jimmy Fallon, who I happen to adore. I actually set our DVR and watch him after the evening news because who doesn’t need a laugh after watching that? In his article he talks about how, as a younger comedian, he was inspired by other late-night television show hosts after the events of 9/11 because in a time of real pain and crisis it was important to find a way to deliver happiness and have an outlet from the hurt people were feeling. People need to laugh, it’s truly the best medicine for almost anything. In this time of crisis Jimmy is absolutely correct in saying what we all are feeling – we all need some funny right now.
It’s been a very long number of days I’m no longer counting living in a new normal. We are not the best versions of ourselves without remembering to make sure we are nurturing our souls. Self-care is hard, at least for me, because I tend to put other people’s needs before my own. And while I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for the situation we are all living in, I am happy to see that we are now able to take small steps toward moving back to some degree of normalcy. This is not a time to be complacent. Vigilance is hard and we need to remember to do what is right, not what is easy. In that model though remember we are all in this together. Be kind, have patience, remember your self-care. I am determined to get out of my reading slump if it kills me! It’s time to find a book that will make me laugh. My choice – Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan. Let’s face it – many of us are feeling like this now too! I’ll let you know how it is when I’m done reading it. Whatever you do to get through during this difficult time, I hope you remain safe and healthy, and be sure to find your funny.
Iris Buczkowski is the founder of Birch Wealth Management (birchwealth.com). Original content provided by Iris is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.