In the pandemic, I see a small circle of light.

Mark Schaefer
3 min readSep 10, 2020

I was on a live discussion with Author/Philosopher Tom Morris last week and he noted that the first definition of “corona” in the dictionary is, “a small circle of light.”

While I am certainly not in a place to reflect fondly on this bizarre and tragic COVID era, I’m settling into the “new normal” routine and can begin to see some positives of my current situation.

My small circle of light today includes:

  • I’m alive. I survived a COVID scare and have a new (healthier?) view of my own mortality.
  • Appreciation of routine. I have not had a routine for years. Maybe ever. My schedule has always been too wild and unpredictable as I jaunt around the world on the speaking circuit. I’ve learned to like a stable flow of life. We have dinner at 7. What a concept.
  • Two years ago my blood pressure was starting to get a little high. I had to take a medication to keep it under control. My life has slowed way down and I’ve been able to cut back (and perhaps cut out) the meds. I’m spending more time exercising, working in the garden (aka the squirrel feeder), and enjoying the majestic beauty of East Tennessee.
  • Getting off the road has easily doubled my personal productivity. SO MUCH of my time was wasted in airports and jets and cabs. Do I ever want to go back to that???
  • One of the ways I’m using my new time is to read. I am a prolific content creator so I haven’t normally had as much time to settle down and read a book like most people. I’m loving that.
  • My dry cleaning bill is zero. : )
  • I’m writing an exciting new book. It probably would not be happening right now without the virus in the world. Writing every day has become part of the routine. I’ve never had that luxury before. The book will be bold and beautiful.
  • I’m healthier. I’m eating better, fresher, and with more consistency. I’ve lost weight. I exercise every day.

So … this has been an experience. I’ve had high highs and low lows. But the momentum is shifting a little, I think. It helps that my business has bounced back in a dramatic fashion, but other parts of my life are calming down, too.

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Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, marketing strategy consultant, Rutgers U faculty and author of 10 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Belonging to the Brand!