Everyone likes to complain. I have some friends—more like acquaintances really—who seem to complain more than they do anything else. A typical greeting is:
"Awful weather we're having, isn't it." or
"Do you think those Vikings will ever be anything more than an embarrassment?" or
"Do you know what I hate?"
These people aren't necessarily Eeyore types, either; they aren't depressed. They've just fallen into the trap of believing that they are a victim of their circumstances and can do nothing to change things themselves. They focus on the things that go wrong, and they get stuck there. Their problems are always someone else's fault and someone else's job to fix. I have often fallen into this trap myself.
It's human nature to find things we have in common with others. The thing we can be most sure that others will identify with is: having problems.
But there are other people I know that refuse to stay down. I'm not talking about fake, peppy people that have something obnoxiously cheerful to say—even if their mom just died. Those people are ignoring their problems. I'm talking about people that realize they've been dealt a tough hand but are determined to make the best of it. They're committed to coming out the other side of challenges as a BETTER individual.
Here in the early months of 2020, we have been faced with a challenge. It has hit different populations more seriously than others, but here in North Dakota, many of us have lost jobs, investments, and the freedom to go places that we normally go.
FIrst, we can be thankful that is all we've lost. Some have lost more than that. Then, I want to pose a question to all of you.
How Are We Going to Remember This Time?
When all this is over, are we going to look back and remember how bad things were? When chatting with our friends, perhaps two years from now, and the topic of Covid 19 comes up (and you know it will!), are we going to complain about all the things that we lost and how unfair life is?
I have a suggestion. Remember what you lost, but also remember what you gained.
People often ask each other, "Where were you when you heard Kennedy was shot?" or "Where were you when the World Trade Centers were attacked?" Those were awful events, and the bad doesn't need to be ignored, but I want to challenge you to look back on this year and ask each other, "What new hobbies or skills did you pick up during the great Covid Shut-In?" "What did you learn from that experience?" "How did it change you?"
With that in mind, now that you're thinking from the future—backwards, how are you going to spend your extra time? What will you have wished you accomplished when you look back? Here at Paracord Planet, we want to spread the joy of making things with your hands. Here are just a couple ideas of things you can do while stuck at home:
Learn a Musical Instrument
While this might not be a great time to go out shopping for a new Tuba, many of us have instruments, already purchased, just waiting to be learned and played.
Continue Writing Your Book
This is a bit of a personal challenge to myself. I'm sure many of you have unfinished or unwritten stories to write.
Experiment in the Kitchen
With restaurants around the country closing their doors, there's never been a better time to learn to cook. Look up a recipe online, and then either venture out to buy the ingredients, or use one of the many delivery options now available. You don't have to start gourmet, just give something simple a shot.
If laying around the house doesn't put you in an active mood, I don't blame you. For gym heads and couch potatoes alike, being stuck at home can be demotivating. All the same, staying active can increase your mood and boost your metabolism. Buy a chin-up bar or a yoga mat and give a new activity a try!
Play with the Kids
It can be harder and harder to engage kids these days when video games are the competition. But with a little ingenuity, you can give kids some good alternatives to staring at a screen all day. Dust off a board game or get some fresh air out in the yard if possible.
Read a Book
Though libraries are closed, you can still find books online for your phone or e-readers. This isn't something I resort to normally, but a good ebook is definitely better than nobook. Your local library might even give you access to a repository of free ebooks.
Start a YouTube Channel
If you think you have a unique perspective on the world around you, or you have a valuable skill to pass on, consider starting a YouTube channel to share your stories. Thousands of people have flocked to this medium in recent months, but well-told stories are still sure to stand out.
Plant a Garden
Gardening can be a great way to relieve stress while investing in your near future. Times are predicted to be tough economically, and so it can't hurt to be a little more prepared.
Try a New Art Form
Searching for art projects on YouTube or Pinterest will yield results in art mediums that you didn't even know existed. Here are a few obscure forms of art to learn more about when you are looking for something new to do: Wire wrapping, whittling, reupholstering, paracord crafting, beading, arm knitting, Minecraft pixel art, string art, anamorphosis drawing, light painting, cake decorating, felting, knotting, soap carving, dog grooming, origami, film photography—the list goes on and on!
There's no two ways about it, the world kind of sucks right now. But do a favor to your future self and use the extra time on your hands to try something you will later be proud of. For more inspiration and project ideas, especially in the area of paracord crafting and knotting, subscribe to our newsletter and/or our YouTube channel. Together, we can get through this.
Also, thanks to all of you that have been putting in extra hours in the wake of this pandemic (especially medial workers and grocery store clerks!), and as a result have LESS time on your hands instead of MORE. Seriously appreciated.