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The World Turned Upside Down

Eric Byrd March 30, 2020 2326

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Everything is off its axis, tilted and very surreal right now. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that and take a breath. How do we stay connected and sane during these uncertain times?

Episode 016: Topsy turvy may be an accurate description of your days now that we are all sequestered, working from home, and home schooling whether we wanted to or not. The necessity for separation gives rise to opportunities for technological re-connection, but it also comes at a price. In this episode Eric talks about some ways you can frame your new reality and start to take back some power over the uncertainty. With acceptance, gratitude and creativity we can make the best of a rotten situation. We need to fight despair that comes from isolation, so how do we do that? AND if you are not coping well with despair and it is starting to get the better of you please, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at (800) 273-8255. Don’t give in to darkness, there are people who care and who will help you.

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This episode we don’t have an infographic. Instead here are some reputable links to get information about the coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak.

World Health Organization Workplace Readiness (pdf)

Centers for Disease Control Resources for Businesses (website)

Centers for Disease Control Guidelines for Large Community Events (website) 50 State Health Department Resources (website)

Episode Text:


Eric (00:02):

So all I can do is focus on right now and do the best I can do with what’s right in front of me and to keep breathing and to keep taking that next step,

Cordanna (announcer) (00:12):

Helping you make the most of your lead share or referral group. It’s the adventures and networking podcast. Here’s your host, Eric Bird.

Eric (00:21):

So much has happened since the last time we were together. I mean just this week. Well, what can I say? It seems the world has turned upside down.

Band (00:34):

[theme music]

Eric (00:44):

given everything that’s going on worldwide with this Corona virus and Cova 19 outbreak, I thought we would take some time to talk about what’s happening everywhere. To be a hundred percent honest and authentic. I don’t a hundred percent know how this is gonna relate to networking this week. The world does indeed in a lot of ways, feel like it is turned upside down. All of our routines are changed. All of our normal practices, everything is now different. So we’re probably having some feelings about that. And I want to talk about that a little bit today because with all of the social distancing and with all of the separation, there are lots of ways that we can stay connected and there’s lots of technology to help. I happen to have a background in a lot of that technology. So in a sense the last two weeks has been a flashback for me to the time when I was working with video technology and video conferencing.

Eric (01:53):

It’s in a sense like coming home to a certain degree in a very strange way. And to be honest, that makes me feel kind of weird. Being comfortable having zoom meetings and talking about WebEx and doing webinars. This is sort of old hat for me, but it’s not for most people. And so it’s been very disruptive and has been very confusing. And I was talking with a colleague of mine from the past about how we are so grateful that the technology that we’ve been working with for so long has gotten to the point where it is so advanced that it’s pretty easy to use and most people can get access to it. In one way or another. And while the technology can help us to continue to communicate with each other and to stay in touch, it does come at somewhat of a cost, even if the cost is just an adjustment to a new way of doing things.

Eric (02:52):

There are feelings that come with this. Human beings are always part logical and part and part spiritual. It’s how we’re wired. We can’t change that. So we experience all of those things simultaneously, all of the time. And I’d like to talk a little bit about what you may be experiencing as you find yourself isolated or sequestered in variously different sized groups. Maybe you’re completely by yourself, maybe you’re with one other person, maybe your entire family is forced to be together and that creates its own strange dynamics and pressures and attentions. And the first thing that comes to mind when I think about how people are reacting and inter reacting is that this can all be very overwhelming. That is what a lot of people are feeling. There’s other people who are very isolated and very much missing contact physically with other people, especially some of the friends I know who thrive on those interactions where they see people and shake hands and Pat each other on the back and get and give hugs.

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Eric (04:07):

This can be very frightening for you if that’s your situation and then on the flip side of that, there are people who I know who are thriving in this environment who are doing particularly well and very much enjoying it, at least at this point and some of them are having some odd feelings about that. Feeling a little guilty about how much they’re enjoying the isolation and the ability to work from home and control who interacts and doesn’t interact with them. And in thinking about it this week, it occurred to me that the common experience is actually uncertainty. Uncertainty is roaming the land and we are all having to face it in our own different way. Everybody is individual, so I have some thoughts to share that will hopefully be useful as you experience your own uncertainty. First of all, I recommend that you acknowledge all of that. How you feel, what you’re thinking, the good stuff and the bad stuff. If you acknowledge it, then it sort of robs it of its negative power over you. You know what it is, it’s sort of the devil you know. So acknowledge that you’re feeling whatever it is you’re feeling and know that however you’re feeling is normal and your normal is maybe different than somebody else’s normal. Everyone reacts differently to different situations and very differently to this situation, and that’s totally appropriate and totally fine. However you’re is how you’re reacting and it’s okay.

Eric (06:03):

So here’s some suggestions of what you might want to do at least periodically, maybe every day, maybe more than once a day. First of all, take a moment and acknowledge what’s happening. This is unprecedented. It’s big, it’s massive. It impacts everything in everybody’s life. So just take a moment to recognize that and let that sink in a little bit. Take lots of deep breaths. I find myself getting a little frantic as I’m trying to gather all the information that I need to disseminate to my clients and to try to schedule calls and get on the phone with people so that we can figure out how to help them get assistance that’s coming out and all the assistance continues to change. And I need to remind myself periodically to just close my eyes and take a deep breath or two or three and be there in that moment and just breathe.

Eric (07:13):

The last few days I’ve also started to recognize the power of being grateful. Gratitude is an extremely powerful tool in fighting isolation and despair. Find something that you are grateful for. Could be a person, could be a thing, could be big, could be very, very, very small and hold on to that. Maybe write it down, maybe record something and remind you of it. I was listening to a podcast yesterday and they shared a couple of songs and one of them really, really struck me as beautiful and so I went and found it and put it onto my playlist and I intend to play it periodically. To remind myself that there’s something bigger than this shared threat. Identify something you’re grateful for. I also find that laughing can truly be the best medicine. Laugh as often as possible. Funny videos. Call your friends and share a joke. The memes on the internet, absolutely.

Eric (08:33):

If it makes you laugh, go for it. It just might save your sanity and then the networking part, I guess stay connected with each other. It doesn’t matter how you stay connected. Just stay connected. You can call by voice. You can do video calls, smoke signals, carrier pigeons string at 10 can was string between you and your neighbor’s house. I don’t care. Just stay connected with people and be persistent. My grandson tried to call me by video the other day and it didn’t work and so then I texted him and then he voice called me back. We were very persistent. We were going to have a conversation to stay connected. You can do the same. Don’t give up.

Eric (09:25):

If you are in a situation where you feel like you’re being swallowed by despair, if it is becoming too much, then please, please reach out and get help. We do care about you if you need help. The national suicide hotline is (800) 273-8255 please call it. They are standing by, they are staffing up so that you can call them if you need them. (800) 273-8255 and actually I noticed when I looked up the number on my phone that there is a chat feature as well that you can use on your phone or on your computer. Please reach out. Don’t give in to the isolation. We’re all in this together. So in closing of this particularly strange podcast episode, I want to share a couple of things from me. First off, I’m committed to continue to do the show, but it might be a little odd for a little bit.

Eric (10:39):

We’ll figure it out. But here’s kind of my situation. Maybe you know, maybe you don’t know. I manage the small business development center here in Loudon County. So what that means is that I and my team of part time coaches and advisors are inundated with requests from all of the small businesses who are trying to get the assistance from these massive bills that are being passed in Congress to provide money to help the businesses stay in business. So we have been literally scrambling and working ridiculous hours to try to get all of this up and running and reach out and to have conversations with as many businesses as possible. And of course we’ve had to do that virtually, which means that we had to virtualize our own staff as well and put some things into place to enable us to be able to continue offering these unbelievably important services to these businesses in the midst of all of this as well.

Eric (11:38):

So needless to say, I’ve had a couple of things to do now. I don’t like to make excuses. And when I made the commitment to do this show, I meant it. And so in part, I’m to be totally honest, recording this episode because I said I would, even though I was not really sure what I was gonna say before I recorded it. So fair warning. But the upshot of that is this is a strange time. Let’s just acknowledge that things may not look like we expect them to. And this is part I think of the journey of going through the uncertainty. We don’t know what things are going to look like. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or even later today for that matter. So all I can do is focus on right now and do the best I can do with what’s right in front of me and to keep breathing and to keep taking that next step and the future will take care of itself in a sense.

Eric (12:40):

And I know that I’m surrounded by people who will help me. There are people who I know that I know will help me. And honestly, there are people that I don’t know that will help me as well. We’re hearing stories about that all over the place and it’s wonderful. So as we continue to go into this strange unknown and continue to fight, figure out how to navigate this new normal, if you will. May you find comfort in each other and may you experience solace in just being alive. And as always, life is definitely an adventure. So please, please keep exploring. I’ll talk to you next time.


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