Dillon Giancola: Find your new normal


Last week, I wrote about how strange it felt to not have any sports on to follow and watch. It seems that many of you feel the same way. It wasn’t that we didn’t know it would be strange — it’s just that we didn’t actually know what it would be like since it’s never happened before in our lifetime.

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It’s now been almost two weeks since all the cancellations began. It’s still weird, but I’m starting to get used to it. If anything, the lack of sports has seen me spending less time in the morning checking stats and highlights, and having less dumb arguments with my friends. I’m not saying I’m ready to make this a permanent trade, but I am able to see some short term benefits.

Yes, it really has been as weird as I thought it would be, but not quite in the way I predicted. I thought the biggest impact I’d have is that I would be bored all the time. Many sports fans definitely are bored and I’m only speaking for myself, but it hasn’t been that bad.

I know that’s because the world still feels so chaotic and things are changing every day. Eventually things will form into place and the boredom will set in. There are only so many books you can read and only 10 episodes of Love is Blind you can binge-watch.

However, what I didn’t realize is how much of my daily routine depended on sports and how that loss of routine would be felt. When the only thing you have to talk to your friends and family about is how they’re dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, you can’t help but feel miserable a lot of the time.

Without having sports topics to argue about, we end up arguing about the government, generation Z, and the government again.

Yes, I know that sports are in essence an outlet from everyday life. But I didn’t realize how much of an escape sports really were until all of a sudden I needed an escape more than I ever have before, and sports weren’t there to provide that for me.

This doesn’t mean we just spend our time moping and complaining. In all likelihood, there won’t be any sports for a long time still to come. But it did show me how important it is to have something you build your day around.

Instead of coming home and turning on the TV, open a book for 15 minutes. Even if you’re not going to school or work right now, make it a point to wake up at the same time that you normally would. This isn’t me preaching or acting like I have it all figured out, but it’s what has worked for me so far.

Perhaps the biggest thing you can do is keep in contact with your friends and family, if they don’t live in the same house as you. And when you do talk to them, ask them how they’re doing, and tell them how you are. There will always be time to argue about people hoarding groceries, but make it a point to not do that.

Yes, having a big part of our lives removed so quickly can be jarring and can have negative effects if not addressed. It also made me wonder what have people who hate sports been doing all this time?

Yes, it’s weird that Tom Brady is going to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer next season, but it’s not weird to speculate with your friends about why he left New England. What is weird, is to realize that there’s many people around us whose lives didn’t change one iota due to the loss of sports.

But there lives did change. No matter what interests, passions and loves anchor our days and make up our routines, the loss of those things is felt all the same.

Life will continue, and we’ll all be OK, but we have to put the work in, and find ways to make up what we’ve lost in the meantime. And when life finally does return to normal, we can celebrate like we never have before. 

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