(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr. Find out more at my newsletter.)
I regularly complain about how the Pandemic has affected my projects -writing, coding, etc. You, my readers, get a front-row seat to that more than you or I would like. But I must note that having projects kept me sane during the Pandemic.
The Pandemic disrupted everything in our lives. We could not do anything as we once did without the threat of infection. We watched many of our fellow citizens fail us, and we watch them continue to fail us. Nothing is the same, and humans like at least a little sameness.
But having projects – a book, a website, a podcast – gives one structure and stability. These at least act as an anchor for one’s sense of self, a place that reminds you of who you are. Writing, art, charity, and other deep passionate activities can be expressions of who you are. Projects help us survive by letting us actively be who we are.
Every time you write, or draw or phone bank, about something that matters, that’s you being you. Maintaining these projects throughout the chaos of the Pandemic keeps you from losing who you are.
I recently realized how important this was when I assessed the impact of the Pandemic on people. In discussions with friends and family, I saw how having any project kept people mentally healthy. People without projects often faired worse.
There are lessons here for us to learn about ourselves, but for others as well. As we try to move forward in the changing Pandemic, we can maintain our projects. We can also involve others who need a focus to join our projects – or start their own.
The Pandemic has a ways to go in the US, and farther to go in the world. Socializing and society is changing. Having something that matters is going to be critical for the well-being of many.