Jack Kornfield comes through on the above Tim Ferriss Show podcast with essential reminders to stay grounded, steady and flexible in this era of uncertainty. Leave it to Jack to deliver a perspective rescue.
We just had to cancel our upcoming trip to the UK to see my oldest daughter, who is studying abroad in London. We are crushed. We had planned to take my youngest daughter and to meet my brother-in-law, whose daughter attends Trinity, in Dublin. It all lined up perfectly.
A few days ago, my daughter's US college gave her the option to stay in London, however, and she seized it (after signing a waiver). She persuaded her father and me with the convincing argument that she is subject to the same risk there as she would be here and she would rather not take an international flight just now. Can't fault her for that. Oh, and there's the small matter of not getting credit for her work this semester if she returns now. Not really a financial option for us. Nor is an extra semester of college. It's a colossal cluster. The understanding is that her UK university, which is still holding classes, will soon shift to online and that she can stay in her dorm—private room and bath, but six suite mates—until May, barring a worst-case scenario. Instagram photo-ops notwithstanding, she was and is resolute in her ability to take proper precautions including foregoing, with her professor's blessing, the plays she is supposed to be attending each week for her London Theater class.
I'm proud of her courage. She's not risk-averse and she's not irresponsible. Now the real work, as a mother, begins. Namely, I have to trust that she will make good choices, as she lets her doughty, individuating spirit shine, per Jack Kornfield's directive.
Meanwhile, as I typed this, I checked my newsfeed, as is my wont these days. Pence (not my VP) just announced a travel ban to the UK and Ireland. It's officially out of our hands.
To Jack's other point, I will endeavor to make the most of the temporary downshift. For starters, I will have plenty of time on hold while canceling flights, accommodations and events (including Taming of the Shrew by candlelight in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, alas) to read the books and magazines on my nightstand. While I still have to go to the office M-F to work with a very vulnerable population, the clearing of the social calendar and often-optional errands will allow more time to run our dog in my favorite open space (above), learn to make yummy, vegan Indian food, go to Dillon Beach, re-watch Out of Africa, and, most important, connect with loved ones, six feet away and otherwise.
"Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make peace with that and all will be well." Jack Kornfield