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  • Writer's pictureMark Stefan Reinoso

The Feels, Part 3: "COVID-19"

The world is awash in panic. Businesses are shuttered. People are hoarding supplies, freaking out about staying away from people, fighting over toilet paper, wearing masks, bathing in Purell, and other measures.

With everyone urged to stay home, we have a lot more time to sit around. My wife and I are cooking and drinking and eating a little bit more than normal. With the gymnasiums closed, I have stopped working out and am a lot more sedentary. Abby and I were talking the other day, and she brought up something interesting: She thinks I like chaos, that I operate better in a crisis than in normal life. At first I dismissed the idea, but the more she talked about it, I began to see her point. She said the last few weeks, when the world has been panicking, I have been remarkably calm, or at least a lot more positive. Apparently I have been sleeping a lot better, and I seem very content. She said that in many ways, she's never seen me happier. She's been looking at my with those googly eyes, so I think she's kinda impressed. Who knew I needed a pandemic to impress my wife for the first time?! That's not to say things are rosy for me, quite the opposite. I have 200k into my remodel that's almost done, and now isn't the best time to try to sell a house for a good price. I've actually incurred credit card debt over this. My Bed and Breakfast has taken a massive hit, with now almost 30k in cancellations in the last few weeks and more to come, no doubt. My other 2 businesses have slowed, but more importantly, people have dramatically stopped paying, which is causing a cash flow issue. It's a serious situation. I'm very self aware in business, I know what my strengths and weaknesses are, but in other parts of my life, I am completely obtuse. I've never been good at realizing when a person was interested in me, I never get those "hints". I didn't realize I was short until I was 26, and then someone crushed me for a good week with a just simple question about it. It took me almost 35 years to realize I do the majority of things left handed, save for writing and throwing a ball and a few other things. Just 30 min ago(3/23) I was riding my kids scooter and I realized that all the neighborhood kids ride with their right foot in control, and I do the opposite. Apparently, I'm still learning a lot about myself, at 47 years of age.

After thinking long and hard, over many thoughts and glasses of wine, I think I have maybe come to agree with my wife's opinion. Am I happier in chaos? Do I make even better decisions than normal during times of distress? It seems so. Maybe it's part of my personality to see this lifestyle out. I have chosen businesses that require myriad split second decisions daily. I make more decisions in a week than the average employee makes in a year. I live by my code of dynamic pricing and job selection. But even when things are normal, I tend to create chaos with my speech, saying things that get people riled up, or creating friction with strong opinions. It's almost as if calm, average situations in public give me slight anxiety, and I rile things up just to feel normal. Don't get me wrong, with my family, I'm a very fun and loving father and husband, but in public sometimes I feel like a blender on high speed. I'm not an adrenaline junkie, heights make me nervous, flying gives me anxiety and I'm oftentimes the slowest person on the road. I'm not really sure what's going on, but it's basically business as usual for me, right now I feel pretty content. I know most other people have high anxiety or are even panicking, and I don't mean to make light of their situation. But the way I feel now, is this how everyone else feels when times are normal? Jeez, man...

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