Monday, April 13, 2020

Daveland Challenge

In a pivotal scene from “Gone with the Wind,” Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) attempts to put the make on Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). Both their families are starving after having lost their fortunes during the Civil War. Before he gives in to Scarlett’s charms, Ashley shares some very insightful wisdom (thanks to author Margaret Mitchell!) that is just as applicable today as it was then:

In the end what will happen will be what has happened whenever a civilization breaks up. The people who have brains and courage come through and the ones who haven't are winnowed out.

The COVID-19 situation is definitely one of those times when people either sink or swim. I challenge my readers to be among the survivors and offer some tips that you will hopefully find useful.

1. Learn a new skill. I see so many people bemoaning how bored they are. Become a DIY'er! Learn how to sketch! Pull a MacGyver and create your own home gym! Clean your house! Do some yardwork! The list could be endless!

2. Improve an old or rusty skill. I've often said I'd love to get out the saxophone or violin again and start playing again...or the paint brushes...or the sketchbook...and depending upon how long this quarantine lasts (and how long it takes me to finish my current projects!) I just may do that. What talent or skill from your past have you neglected because you don't have enough time?

3. Work on that positive attitude! Recently, a friend posted on their social media, "I'm so depressed." That was it. Where does one begin on that one? While I understand completely that these are some scary times, just what do you expect to come from dumping a message like that into the universe? Sure, you'll get the typical "Oh, you're a fabulous person!" responses from maybe fifty of your closest (social media) friends (who you've never met and probably never will). After that little hit of dopamine, that worthless puff of smoke up your ass won't even get you a cup of coffee. So...instead of feeling something that makes you happy. And if you can’t find even one thing that makes you happy, then it’s fair to say that you are one of those people who enjoy being depressed. Yup…people like that do exist. For me, spending time with my dog always puts a smile on my face. Going for a run. Taking photos. Watching a favorite movie like “Pitch Perfect” or “It’s Complicated” (keep it funny and upbeat, people!) can do wonders, just as a classic TV comedy like “I Love Lucy.” The high I get from any of those activities lasts a lot longer than a social media zap. What’s your favorite happy activity?

4. Reinvent yourself! Remember Fagin’s song from “Oliver!” titled, “Reviewing the Situation”? If you’ve been unhappy with the cards life has dealt you (or the ones you’ve chosen), take a good solid look at yourself and make a change. You can either say, “It‘s too hard” and stay miserable, or put that brain to use and figure out a more productive fruitful path. Take the restaurant industry for example; some have closed their doors and others have reinvented themselves by providing pickup/takeout services. I saw a line two blocks long the other day for a BBQ restaurant near me. Kudos to the owner of that place for examining the current situation and figuring out how to make that proverbial lemonade!

Daveland suggestions of what to cut back on or avoid:

1. The media. Sure, everyone needs to stay on top of the news (and I use the term “news” very loosely lately), but do we really need as much as we get? Find out from reliable informed sources what you should be doing, mix in a good dose of common sense, and then go about your day. Realize that a "medical journalist” is not the same as an actual doctor or a source from the CDC. And while we are on the subject of doctors, remember that there are many different types; unless they are a specialist in the field they are discussing, their opinion may not count for squat. And finally, don’t get sucked in by the sensational and negative headlines. If it starts out with “could” or “might,” then I typically ignore it. There's a long list of coulda’ shoulda’ woulda’s out there, and if you get sucked into that rabbit hole, just about the only thing you’ll gain is a headache and depression.

2. Your computer/cellphone. Disconnect. Go back to basics. Enjoy life and reality (not the virtual one). While I don’t know that I necessarily believe the theories about 5G towers causing COVID-19 and other health issues, I do believe that having an electronic device next to your ear all day long cannot be good for you. I know I've stopped making calls while I walk my dog; instead I choose to enjoy that activity rather than attempt to multi-task. My dog and my friends/family deserve my undivided attention.

There you go. I hope you’ll take the Daveland Challenge to find something positive during what we are experiencing on this little planet together. Got any tips for staying positive lately?

See more photos at my main website.


Matthew said...

Love it Dave! I've pulled out my electric bass and started going through the beginner books again... one page at a time. And let's not forget running!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Daveland said...

I knew I could count on you,, Matthew!

Fifthrider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stu29573 said...

Well, my sideline as bass player has been pretty much wiped out, but now I have the time to rebuild the deck on my trailer! I just finished it! Now I'll paint the silly thing! My stepdad asked me why I was doing it (I never really use it) and I just said, "Because I want to!" Now is the time for all those "Because I want to's" in life!
And good call on the media. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Solid advice, Dave. Thank you.

I've been going through garage boxes and looking at old pictures, deciding what to keep. Lots of good memories there, and as I approach retirement, lots of portfolio items no longer needed.

Like Stu, I've finished a lot of minor household projects that have needed doing for a long time, but there was always a winery, or a hike, or some other thing that looked more fun.

Work has just moved on-line, my whole office is working from home, and we are almost as productive as being together in the various offices.

I hope you and yours are all well, and that some semblance of normality returns soon. Thanks for keeping up the blog. I check every day, you are part of the routine now.

Best regards.


Max said...


Daveland said...

Bryan - I wish you'd kept your comment! Always good to have another perspective!

Stu - Can't wait to see pics of the new deck!

JG - The blog hasn't been daily but there are some good posts coming up, I promise!

Max - Thanks!