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First Things First

I am a depressive.  For practically all my life one of my biggest struggles has been to bring order to the chaos of my life.  For years school provided the structure I needed and work has done the same since then.  Now, with the onset of COVID-19 shutdowns I had to ask myself, “What now?”

First, I am fortunate that my employer determined that they really did reside in the 21st Century and allowed us to work from home.  That’s a plus, but how to proceed from there?  I started by determining my needs: income, exercise, nourishment, sleep, relaxation, and order (not necessarily in this order).  For me the need for Order is the key to getting the rest of what I need.  I therefore set for myself a schedule that provides a place for all my needs listed.  Because I need money to pay my bills, I start with a work schedule that begins early enough so that it can end early enough for relaxation and sleep.  Throughout the day I exercise on a nearly hourly basis walking and numbering my steps using my Fitbit.

Second, I am again fortunate that I have family and a supportive wife home with me.  I depend upon her for meals and snacks.  My wife also takes on the management of our children, their schooling and chores.  Now I am very controlling and a big-time codependent.  Here I have had to discipline myself to let her do as she sees fit.  Not only does this free me up to concentrate on my work, but it also liberates me to enjoy the limited amount of time I have scheduled for relaxation.

Third, I set boundaries around my schedule to protect it. I refuse to handle more than I can handle or do more than I can do. This plan might not have worked five years ago as I was not nearly as healthy as I am now.  Since then I have worked to better define myself by knowing my strengths, weaknesses, and needs daily.

This is my formula for getting through the here and now.  I do not know what the future holds, but I do not concern myself with the future.  I will handle the future in the future.