Updated: Apr 8, 2020
No, I am not ill nor suspected of being ill!! Just to get that out of the way!
I remain safe and healthy in Medellin, Colombia, albeit that we just had curfews (8 pm to 6 am) and mandatory stay at home extended for another 2 weeks, they were to originally end April 13th.
Although to be honest we already expected it to be extended up to another 3 months which has been talked about but not officially announced.
Regardless of what I personally desire or miss during this time that fact is the decisions being made are not about me but about the greater WE. Our collective safety comes at the expense of some freedom.
I know I continue to be privileged with my current environment, more so than many local Colombians. I am also disadvantaged as I see my friends in North America have the freedom of going for walks while maintaining a safe social distance. I lost that privilege many weeks ago, makes you appreciate something as simple as the freedom to go for a walk.
So this isn't a poor me post, that's not my style nor the mindset I can allow myself to think during this critical time when all of our mental health is being tested.
This is about how I see this current time through the lens of Acceptance without Understanding™.
So how can I accept that my freedom to go for a walk is gone for now? How can I accept that I now have only 2 days a week where the last digit of my passport matches the assigned day of the week that I can go grocery shopping as a way to get out of the house and have exercise walking? How can I accept that it is now mandatory to wear a mask over my face when going outside even though I am not sick? How can I accept any of these changes and the ones that are sure to come?
Very simply, accepting the situation is beyond my control and finding gratitude in the things that I can find. It takes effort some days, it is a focused exercise to find gratitude. No electronics allowed, no distractions so I do it first thing when I open my eyes and come out of my slumber. It requires mental focus to not just repeat the same old things every day, it becomes meditative in nature but intentional to start my day every day. I start my day intentionally giving gratitude so I have a better mental state of mind to get through the rest of my day!
I made a very conscious decision to stay in Medellin, my 3rd stop on my around the world travel in 2020 rather than risk trying to go home to Canada. In simple terms, I know nothing is truly simple in life or at least we don't make it simple, I was safe and healthy and had a place to stay. If I went back to Canada I had no idea what I might catch along the way. When I got back to Canada I would not have a home as I gave that up to travel. I wouldn't ask a friend to house me for the mandatory 14 days isolation as I didn't want to risk them or their loved ones. After the 14 days, I still had no place to live, although I don't doubt many of my friends may have made an offer for temporary housing. Today I live in a tropical climate for about $1000 CDN a month, very affordable compared to my travel budget previously. Ultimately, I was safe and healthy, why risk that.
I can hear a few of you saying, "she says it's simple, nothing is simple". I have been trained to learn to sort through a lot of noise as fast as I can, not always as fast as I want to, to get to a clear and simple decision.
Do you want to learn how to make the complex simple and improve your mental state? Contact me to learn more.