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  • Writer's pictureBrent Mead

Lessons Learned through 6 Weeks of Quarantine

Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to write about what I've learned through six weeks of quarantine. I hope this provides some reassurance to you all that your emotions are valid. Hopefully, this brings some people some comfort knowing others are experiencing similar positives and negatives through this time.

For some context, I lost the majority of my work on March 12 until hopefully returning in August. I'm still teaching lessons but I've moved all lessons online, which has brought its own set of challenges and benefits.

I posted on March 14 detailing all of the wonderful things I'd accomplish during this long offseason. I pledged to spread more joy, listen to music more, play more trombone for fun, read more, and spend more time connecting with family. It's almost been two months and I feel pretty good about those goals. I've tried my best to spread more joy, I've definitely listened to more music, and have spent more time connecting with family. My trombone playing has decreased but my reading has stayed the same. Here's what I learned about myself over the last 6 weeks.

I've always been a hard worker. When I was in high school, I worked a lot of hours at a restaurant in addition to practicing often and participating in extracurricular activities. In the summers, it was common for me to work 60-70 hours each week. In college, I was always a person that 'loved the grind.' During my undergrad, I had some mental health issues that caused me to shift how I viewed hard work. I started to focus more on working efficiently and relaxing hard. I learned how to separate work and rest over the last few years of my undergraduate degree and through my master's degree. Fast forward to this quarantine, my perspective has changed dramatically.

At this point, many people have doubts about concerts in the Fall. Never in my life have I felt so out of control of the future. To be honest, this hit me harder than I anticipated it would. I love control. Many people hate the feeling of not having control. I've had days where I wanted to sleep all day and others where I've been angry at everything. Honestly, this was all new to me. I've had problems with anxiety in the past and had periods of my life that I felt depressed, but those were clearly explained by moments or events in my life. The anger has surprised me and caused more anger. When I didn't practice or try to learn, I got angry. I've learned that I value control and work too much. I didn't give myself time to accept or listen to my emotions.

Through these last six weeks, I feel I've grown in my emotional intelligence. Growing up, I basically ignored all negative emotions. Over the last decade, I've gradually learned to experience more emotion but I still have room to grow. Admittedly, there have been too many times in my life where I've been talking to my wife and said "I'm *insert emotion here* and I don't know why," or "I'm feeling some emotion and I don't know why." Perhaps that gives me some room to grow. Over the last six weeks, I've dealt with a lot of unfamiliar emotions. I've learned that I need to listen more to my body. A lot of my frustration has come from me trying to work or relax when I can't think clearly or my brain isn't ready to improve. Additionally, I tried to recreate my daily routine from before quarantine but that did not work. Honestly, I had to take a break from social media. I wasn't able to realize how it was affecting me emotionally. Because I've had plenty of time, I've had more time to meditate on these ideas.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to continue to grow. I look forward to learning where I'll grow - it never seems to be what I planned to learn.

To wrap up in a rapid-fire manner, here are some final thoughts and lessons learned:

It's a blessing that I can have a video chat with my family living hundreds of miles away from each other.

People are everything.

The most awkward experience I've had in the last few weeks is the period right after saying goodbye on a video call and actually ending the call.

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