Saturday morning I was sitting on my couch drinking my coffee and I got a DM on Instagram that said:
“So strange question and you totally don’t have to answer! Having gone through the missile scare do you think it has made this whole coronavirus panic easier or harder for you to deal with? That was a very real panic situation for you and Hawaii that the rest of the US (and the world!) didn’t share.”
Did Going Through The Missile Scare Make The Coronavirus Panic Easier Or Harder?
Usually I have a gut reaction to questions. I’m a pretty black-and-white person and a realist at heart (the glass is the glass and it’s refillable), especially when it comes to situations like these, but her question left me thinking. To be clear – I didn’t mind the question at all. I always appreciate when people send me questions that encourage me to dig a little deeper.
Of course, Dane was sitting beside me and we talked it out a little bit, because in a lot of ways, we do feel more prepared and in other ways, we are left scrambling.
When the missile scare happened in Hawaii, we had very little time to prepare, and we knew it was almost imminent death with a very hard-and-fast timeline. For this global pandemic, it has always felt like we have a much longer amount of time to “prepare” (how could you ever adequately?) with a very grey-area timeline, which honestly makes it much, much harder (in my opinion). To me, it feels like a tsunami of sickness and death is looming and the initial East coast crash is simply the beginning.
That said, like the missile, it seems like a lot of people are handling coronavirus in different ways. For over a week, even our state officials didn’t seem to be taking the pandemic seriously. I say that because stores, restaurants and businesses were left open and our mayor even encouraged people to “go to the zoo”, as if the rest of the mainland was chasing their tail for something that wouldn’t exist here. Up until last week, tourists kept arriving in droves thanks to cheap airfare, which left hotels and beaches packed, no doubt the exact opposite of social distancing. It felt infuriating.
I remember going on social media after the missile scare and seeing many, many people making light of the situation that felt so real in my heart and fresh on my mind. Life can flip on a dime and I wasn’t ready to laugh about it.
I think what the Hawaii missile scare gave me that has been helpful (but not a cure-all) in this time of such uncertainty is perspective. For those that have followed along here for years now, you know that after those 40+ minutes of panic, Dane and I vowed to live our life without regrets. We never wanted to look back and say “we wish we had…”, so we started living with focused intention.
Since then, we’ve found gratitude in the everyday. There is more joy in the small things and happiness in the tiniest of moments. Finding contentment in the here and now comes more quickly.
They say that the smallest change in perspective can completely transform your life and that the way we view things/life from a distance helps us appreciate them/it. For 40 or so minutes in 2018, I wasn’t thinking about the bullshit of daily life. I wasn’t letting something small upset me or ruin my day. I wasn’t thinking about social media, or responding to e-mails, or how much laundry I needed to get done. I couldn’t have cared less about what the scale said, or dishes in the sink. None of it mattered.
When the state of Hawaii got on board with self-isolating and quarantine late last week, I finally felt myself exhale a little bit. But only for a moment before I let my mind go to a dark place of — how many ventilators? how much PPE? how will supply chains be impacted with food deliveries to the islands? what about our homeless population? Like I said, my mind works realistically.
And while I definitely feel like I have perspective on this situation…I can honestly tell you that nothing in life, prepares you for life. I have really good moments and really dark moments and I think that many can probably relate to that. We are all out here growing and wilting just the same; learning as we go.