COVID-A Personal Experience

What started as something that seemed literally continents away (6, 738 miles to be exact) and never to impact my life became as real as any life experience I have ever had. We would watch the updated numbers of Covid cases in Utah and think, that’s crazy, at least we are safe, so we thought.

I was at work when I got a text from my wife saying that someone she had been very close to had tested positive for Covid. Not only that, her husband had as well. I immediately let my supervisor know that I needed to leave to get tested for Covid.

Once I got home I went online and filled out the Test Utah pre-screen. After answering the questions, I was provided with a code, as was my wife to go get tested.

The process was fairly simple but if I am being honest, when they did the actual test, the words I can use to express my feelings were “extremely uncomfortable”. They swabbed up through our nose and I felt like they were touching my brain. However, after about 20 to 30 minutes the discomfort went away. Then the waiting game started.

Our results finally came two days after we took the test. My wife’s results was positive and mine was negative. There was for the first time a real feeling of fear and nervousness. We reviewed the steps we needed to take based on the information from the CDC. The same day we received our results I began to have symptoms of Covid. These included a cough, nausea, muscle aches and loss of smell/taste. Once we spoke with our family doctor he determined that I most likely was positive for Covid and needed to self-isolate.

Based on this information we had all three of our boys tested. Our oldest tested positive and our two others tested negative. Our home became an isolation and quarantine compound. At first things were fine as we all understood the need to take all the necessary percautions to ensure safety. However, that changed.

The change I am referring to is the mental toll that this isolation was taking on our entire family. For me personally I was riding quite an emotional rollercoaster. I had no idea how the inability to not taste and smell would have on my emotionally. I mean it created feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression, anger and loneliness. It is hard to explain exactly why I felt all these at different times but I did. As I take the time think about this there are some reasons these feelings became real. First of all was the realization that Covid was in our home after thinking for months that there is no way we would ever experience it, next was the fact that none of us could work which created an enormous amount of stress as we have bills to pay. Working from home was only an option for two of our sons. Thank goodness my wife’s boss was very understanding.

As the days went on, we all started to feel better, although I continued to not be able to taste or smell, which was important to help create feelings of hope and that we would make it through this experience. I have to say that I was so impressed how my wife handle the situation. She stayed very positive and really provided inspiration for our entire family.

At the end of the day, my personal experience with Covid was one that forced me to think a lot more about both my mental and physical health. It was a wake-up call of sorts. I am one who strives to be positive and uplifiting. I love making others smile but during these past couple of weeks, I have realized that ensuring that I take time for myself is important. I also realized how blessed I am to have friends, family and neighbors who care. Whether it was a phone call, text, comment on social media, dropping off Crumble Cookies or knowing prayers were being offered on our behalf, I am truly grateful.

All of this said, it is important to be thoughtful during these crazy times. Meaning, if you truly care about others then wear a mask, social distance as best you can, wash your hands often, if you feel any symptoms, quarantine and as needed, get tested. Covid is real and life is precious.

Thanks to all those who reached out during this experience.

It’s Time To Replace

When someone has a really bad hip, they go and have a hip replacement surgery. When a lightbulb goes out, we get a new one and replace it. When a athlete gets hurt, the coach puts in a replacement. So why would I be sharing these examples? The reason is, in every one of these examples, the importance of the replacement is so forward movement is not stopped. Even if there is a disruption, once the replacement is put in,  forward progress continues. Replace-Words-Featured-670x335

With all the is going on right now words are having a greater impact than ever before. Many people are living in panic, fear, crisis and greed. These feelings are creating an increase in anxiety, depression and hopelessness. Believe me, I have felt these over the past couple of weeks. However, as I have thought about this and watched stories of people doing good, I have tried to refocus my thoughts to ones of positivity. What I have done is replaced key words which has helped me change my thoughts and actions. Here is what I have been focused on:

Replace the word panic with patience. As we develop more patience with all that is going on we will have more clarity and peace of mind. We will also be more mentally prepared to help others.

Replace the word fear with faith. It does not matter if one has a religion or set of beliefs but everyone can have faith. That faith should can create feelings of hope which leads to positive actions and thus greater peace.

Replace the word crisis with comfort. The truth is, we have reason to be concerned about the world we live in right now but being able to feel comfort can change our entire outlook. Comfort comes when we listen to the professionals and do our part to be a good global citizen. Comfort also comes from an increase in faith.

Replace greed with gratitude. We can see how people are reacting by literally hoarding key essential items from stores without even a second thought about others. To put it bluntly, that is straight up greed. Can you image living with gratitude and how that can impact greed? There is no shortage of research that shows the power of living with gratitude. The more gratitude we can show to others, the better we feel. Gratitude brings peace and comfort. You cannot underestimate the power of gratitude. Take time write hand written notes to others, send a text to someone you have been thinking about, email those who are serving on the front lines.

Your ability to replace these and potentially other words you might be using to describe the current situation will bring a brighter outlook on your future. This is a time for each of us to develop in ways we may not have ever thought about before. We deserve it to both ourselves and the world to strive each day to be the best we can. Let us be know as a people who rose to the occasion. When we do this our anxiety, depression and loneliness will be more manageable. I love this quote:

Once-you-replace-negative-thoughts-with-positive-ones-youll-start-having-positive-results-1060x1060

Time to be a hero!

Seth

PS. Wash your hands, keep your distance, do your part

Values, vision and victory

In a world that seems to continue to create more chaos, confusion and conflict, it is becoming more important to focus on our values and vision to lead us to victory. Not what the world might determine as a victory with a celebration, trophy and parade but rather victory being defined as accomplishing those goals we have set for ourselves that lead us to greater happiness, success and motivation. We cannot afford to justify or allow negative influences into our lives or we will head down a slippery slope that usually ends in frustration, sadness, anxiety and even depression.

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It only has swearing a couple times; the sexual content is not that bad; there is more violence on the late night news; the Supreme Court made a ruling so I must change my beliefs. For many, these and many other statements are used on a regular basis to justify the way in which we live our lives. However, there is no doubt that when we get into a habit of justifying who we are, our beliefs and the decisions we make, we are actually giving up our own ability to be empowered and thus how we live and feel each day. This may not always be the case, but justifying our actions leads to a weakening of our own values, which can have both short- and long-term impacts.

As the world continues to influence the standards of society, it is becoming clear about the direct correlation to the deterioration of individuals, families and communities. As values are being swayed back and forth as a branch on a tree during a windstorm, many are finding their vision being impaired and in turn are either making decisions or seeing others make decisions that cause heartache, sadness and at times anger.

Vision

Every individual has the power to decide what their values are. To say that there is only one set of values that all must live by would be in and of itself a huge mistake. Values come from what we have been taught, what we have learned, our beliefs as well as our vision of the future, our goals. There is no question that what we believe and our values will influence others in some way.

With that knowledge, it is crucial to understand that there is a difference between living one’s values and others being influenced by them and pushing one’s values onto others without their wanting them. The key is establishing the values that can be seen with a clear vision, which in turn leads to more personal victories.

How does one go about securing a victory? That depends on the definition of victory. For some, victory means winning a game or a match. For some, it may be overcoming a trial such as a health issue or an addiction, and others may define victory simply as making it through the day.

If you look up the meaning of VICTORYvictory, you will see some type of definition like: the overcoming of an enemy or antagonist, achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties.

No matter how one may define victory, it’s something that everyone wants to achieve at some point in their life. In fact, we all will achieve victory or victories throughout our lives. Some we will recognize and others we may not. To help us achieve victory, no matter how we define it, it is important to have two other important items in our life, values and vision.

When you have been able to both identify what your values are and just as important live them every day, you will be able to focus your time and energy on the things that really need your attention. What also happens when you have clearly defined your values, you can then create a solid vision of what you want your future to look like. Having a vision of your future is so important because it can truly help you stay focused on your daily tasks, short-term and long-term goals. Without defined values and a clear vision, it is very difficult to achieve victory. Here are some ways to help one make a connection between these three important words that start with V:

  • Understanding the power of living your values. It is impossible to say that there are a certain set of values that every person in the world should have or live by. Cultures are different, people are different, circumstances are different, experiences are different and because of that, values will be different. That said, there is great power in knowing and living your values. Values are what really define us, they are the basis for the decisions we make, they are more often than not how others see us. Once you come to know what your values are and why those are your values, you can then create a vision of your future, a vision that can and should lead to victory.
  • Vision is what helps us progress. If you want to achieve a goal, you must first define that goal. You must know what success looks like. A vision is what you see in the future. This may include things such as; graduating, making a team, going to college, serving others, finding a career you are passionate about, being promoted, completing a major project, etc. These are all things that are down the road, it is not something that you can achieve in a day or even a week. It will take a determined and focused approach to bring your vision to reality. Your values will directly influence your vision. Thus, you can see why knowing and living your values is so important.
  • The best way to achieve victory is through your values. There is no predefined measurement of what victory means as it is determined by the individual. When you have made the conscious decision to let your values guide you, you free up your ability to take the necessary action to achieve success.  You will have to work for it, it won’t just happen.

When you have established your values and defined your vision, you will then set yourself up to achieve victory on a more consistent basis. What is very interesting is that when you do some research about values and vision, you will notice quickly that it is all about consistency. You cannot say you value integrity and then mislead others or cheat your organization. It will come back to haunt you.

consistency-is-keyIf you are consistent in living your values, you eliminate the clutter and chaos that might cloud your vision. Just like when eye drops are used to improve one’s vision, values play that same role. Only then can the necessary goals be created that can determine our victories. As the great coach Vince Lombardi said, “success demands singleness of purpose.”

GO BE A HERO!