“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” — John F. Kennedy
Day 1 in the red zone in Milan. Since Saturday the 7th we are forced to stay inside the territory of Lombardy preventing from travelling inside and/or outside the region. This in order to try to contain the spread of the Corona virus that in the last weeks has caused so many difficulties and victims in our Country.
The best thing to do, according to the authorities, is to prevent from going out, stay in and avoid crowded places. This means that we are forced, we like it or not, to change our daily routine, our habits and the way we lived. I know it sounds unbelievable but if you think about the worst consequences that ignoring this conducts may lead you can easily understand why we should be all responsible citizens in order to fight this silent and invisible enemy.
I am writing this from the worst zone of the Milan’s city: Chinatown. Since the virus came in Italy Chinatown has been seen as a place to avoid so living here is weird but safe at the same time, as there are no people walking or meeting in crowd so the number of possible victims is lower, as danger is highly perceived here. I decided to diminish a lot my daily walks, my shopping cisits at the supermarket and the social life is not more controlled which means avoid going out for coffee with friends and or working from coworking stations in the city.
I know we are not ready to face this situation, of course someone will never be ready to do so. Tomorrow I was about to depart for Bologna, I booked a ticket to go to my parent’s house to visit them and bring my daddy’s his birthday present. It was a surprise. On Monday I have a scheduled flight for Copenhagen, that for sure is about to be cancelled, in order to stay three days there and celebrate my Birthday. You see, we all have to make some changes in order to make this situation easier and recover quickly. The thing is that we are facing a sever economc crisis. It’s not something to blame someone but this is the current situation here. I lost a job that was not so safe as I have to admit but blaming the virus and the economic crisis my clients decide to go away from Italy and postpone the opening of a restaurant for which I was working in order to have a good coffee selection.
Instead of feel bad and cry, I decided to go for a huge ice cream (shhh I’m supposed to be on a diet, but come on..really?!). I called my mum, felt almost desperate because I am almost 34 and I feel lost honestly. I am trying to build something that is so difficult to achieve. And she said something that my yiayia (grandma in Greek) often told us: “every obstacle, is for the better”. Which in a certain way is what the Chinese say. So why stay there feeling desperate, lost and confused. You have to stay home, you have wi-fi, coffee, plenty of food and time. Use it! I have a challenge, my personal goals: Warsaw and the coffee competition, opening my place in Milan, making tighter women’s supportive networks. So this crisis is a perfect occasion to work on all these goals.
I know that for many of you my “philosophy” won’t be easy to understand but as we cannot do something to change the current situation we are facing, the best advice is take this “imposed” rest and think about the life you are living. You see how fragile it is…We are so focused on our daily routine that we never take time to observe our lives from an outside perspective.Try to be honest with yourselfs and answer these questions:
- are you happy with your daily job?
- if you could change something in it, what would it be? (better salary, better work-life balance, colleagues, working hours…)
- are you happy with your private life?
- do you still love the man/woman that stays beside you?
- if you could change something in your relationships what would it be (talk honestly to a friend, have more fun with friends, see them more or less…)
- is it something in your body (or simply the way you look) you would change?
- have you ever thought to try a new sport or hobby? why you didn’t try it so far?
These questions are just the thoughts I have very often that led me to change my life in the last years, call them pursue of happiness if you like a label. I am not saying that you should revolution your entire life (or maybe..why not if you feel like doing it), but simply use this forced stop to re-think about what and who sorrounds you. Inspire and be inspired from Others, find a daily routine that akes you feel good, try a new recipe, read that book you let on the dusted shelf for so long, tell your beloved ones how much you love them, calla friend you didn’t hear for long… this is called LIVING.
This is just day1 here in Milan’s red zone. Tomorrow we’ll have a post about how crisis could turn into opportunities relating to work and job creations.