3 Questions (to ask yourself about COVID-times)

I was recently interviewed, on a fun podcast called “3 Questions”, by Erika Yocom (Virtual Personal Assistant) and Pamm Myers (Pamm Meyers Social Media Marketing). They ask the same 3 questions of all their guests, and I found them to be thought-provoking enough to share with you here.

I wonder how YOU would answer the 3 Questions?

The podcast hosts asked 3 questions about what I've learned about myself; how I responded to COVID-19; and what's next. How would YOU answer? Click To Tweet


Link to 15-min. video: https://fb.watch/3mCIDo3KVJ/

Link to 15-min. audio: https://3-questions.sounder.fm/episode/hazel-thornton

(If you Google “3 Questions podcast Hazel Pamm Erika” you will find several other ways to listen.)


Here’s an outline (not a transcript) of my answers:


QUESTION 1: What have you LEARNED about yourself during this COVID-19 situation?

  • Even introverts get lonely sometimes!
  • Lack of time isn’t why I haven’t finished all my projects. Everyone responds differently to stress, and we’re not all in the same boat. We’re all weathering the same storm but we’re in entirely different boats. Some are in yachts, and some in rowboats, while others have already shipwrecked. (As I wrote in Are you feeling adrift too?)
  • Turns out I like my hair longer. Who knew it was wavy?


QUESTION 2: How have you RESPONDED to this situation?

  • The first thing I did was to start writing. First, for Introvert Retreat (Social Distancing: Introverts, we’re up!) and then for my website. In the Survive and Thrive Resource Roundup I tried to keep everyone (including myself) up to date on masks, how the virus spreads, ways to spend quarantine time, how to stay mentally healthy, etc. but after about a month of that I got burned out because things kept changing. So, I stopped.
  • The rest of the year I watched Netflix. Just being honest. If you were more productive than I was, more power to you! Think I’m joking? Click here to see the list of shows I’ve watched (and books I’ve read):  Hazel’s 2020 COVID “Accomplishments”


QUESTION 3: What does your FUTURE look like on the other side of this?


How would YOU answer the 3 Questions?

If you’d like to share your answers, please do, in the comments below!

Copyright 2021  by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
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  1. Seana Turner on February 1, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Those are fun questions. I think you were pretty productive, Hazel! I’m not sure I could make as compelling a list as you did. I think the big headline for many of us is the point you made about lack of time not really being the reason why we aren’t doing specific things. I think we just don’t want to, and use that excuse. In reality, we just avoid what we don’t want to do. At the end of the day, nothing changes unless we take some sort of action, whether a small step squished into a busy day or a small step in the middle of an empty day!

    • Hazel Thornton on February 1, 2021 at 10:32 am

      And….if time isn’t the reason we haven’t done the things yet…(setting aside for a moment all the ways we know to get things done, like breaking them down into smaller steps, scheduling them, asking for help, delegating them, and dumping them from our to-do list)….an extra layer (or three) of stress isn’t going to help, is it?

  2. Lucy Kelly on February 1, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Hmm, my 3 answers are

    1. What did I learn about myself? I discovered/confirmed that I’m not the introvert I and others assumed I was. This time has been tougher than I thought it would be in terms of isolation.

    2. How did I respond? Many of my coffee date friends were good sports about leveling up to masked, socially distant walk dates. I made and am still making a conscious effort to make sure I get out and connect with people that way as safely and regularly as times allow.

    3. What does my future look like on the other side of this? Back to in person organizing will be the biggest and most welcome change for me. I’ll also enjoy coffee shops again when the weather is cold – ice/snow/freezing temps have thwarted quite a few of my walking with friends plans so far.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your new book!

    • Hazel Thornton on February 1, 2021 at 10:46 am

      Maybe you’re an ambivert. Even introverts need social time, just on their terms (i.e. one-on-one, or small groups, and don’t give me a hard time when I want to go home, OK?). And it sounds like you found a terrific compromise. You might enjoy my post What is Your Socializing Sweet Spot?. I haven’t been seeing people in person, but I do see them on Zoom on a not-overwhelmingly-frequent basis. Zoom coffee date, anyone?

  3. Linda Samuels on February 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

    There’s nothing like great questions to get you thinking. I love these three, and of course your responses to them are so you! You got me thinking now too.

    1. Learned about self: Interestingly, I consider myself an extrovert, but have enjoyed this quieter time. I do miss being with my family and friends in the ways we used to do, but I really appreciated not having as much social activity. I kept in touch with people still, but it felt very different.

    2. How responded: At first I was in panick and safety mode- making sure we were safe, our families were safe. I felt like one of those dogs that tries to keep everyone together in a pack. Once, I felt safe-ish, I started getting some things in motion both personally and professionally. I found ways to stay connected with family, friends, colleagues, and clients, pivoted my business from hands-on to virtual, did additional training and certification, wrote a lot, became an Advisor for a new company serving exectutive woman and new moms, and made health a self-care a bigger priority.

    3. Future, post-COVID: I love doing virtual organizing, so I will continue working that way. I will definitely have more big family and friend gatherings. I’ll continue to make my health and well-being a priority. And I will remain open to possibilites and opportunities. I’m also thinking that travel will be in my future. We’ve been home. And while I love being home, I also love the stimulation that going away brings.

    • Hazel Thornton on February 14, 2021 at 9:23 am

      Sounds like you found ways to thrive, Linda!

  4. Julie Bestry on February 1, 2021 at 11:09 am

    As much as I enjoyed reading about your life, I feel like I have just been drowning in introspection over the last year. I wish I could spend the next year thinking of anything except myself!

    1) Like you, I realized that most of the things I’m not doing, things I thought I wanted to do, I’m not doing for some reason other than lack of time. Maybe it’s laziness, maybe it’s because I like the idea of accomplishing certain tasks more than I like actually working.

    And yes, I learned that I like my own hair longer! (I like your hair longer, too.)

    2) Although I am an extrovert, I think I responded with introversion. I did more wiring, more sleeping, more reading, and as much as I talked to other people on zoom, I found it both invigorating and painful to not physically be in the presence of others.

    3) I have yet to figure out what it means for the future. I feel like what I’ve gained in insight pales in comparison to something ineffable that has been lost, but I don’t know what it all means…

    • Hazel Thornton on February 1, 2021 at 11:25 am

      Ha! I don’t know what it all means either. Netflix, anyone?

      • Julie Bestry on February 1, 2021 at 2:56 pm

        Netflix, Paramount+ (formerly CBS All-Access), Hulu. Basically, until we figure out what we want to create, we can be good consumers.

        And thank you for linking to my post, interviewing you and the others about genealogy organizing!

        • Hazel Thornton on February 14, 2021 at 9:28 am

          The link buried in the blog post — Hazel’s 2020 COVID “Accomplishments” — lists everything I watched on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, Hallmark, YouTube, HBO (free weekend) and not Starz, to which I will re-subscribe when the next Outlander season is released. Oh, yeah, and there is a book list at the end. I just use “Netflix” as a euphemism for all things TV and movie.

  5. Diane N Quintana on February 1, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    These are great questions to ponder:
    1. I am an ambi-vert (we established that many moons ago at a NAPO conference) so while I didn’t totally mind being alone, I missed the social opportunities that I used to choose to attend.
    2. I co-authored a book and produced an organizing product soon to be released! I avoided most Zoom calls. I found that I was happy engaging on Zoom when I had to but I avoided the Zoom calls that were set up as connection points. I also learned a ton about SEO and other computer related topics that I never thought I would enjoy. hmmm
    3. Post Covid I’m traveling as much as I can to visit my son & his sweet family. And my other son (who as of today) is single.

  6. Ronni Eisenberg on February 1, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    I could think about these questions all night and there isn’t just one answer. Here’s what comes to mind first:
    1) I’ve lost 3 people whom I adored in 2020. And 2 the year before, pre-pandemic. Just when I thought I couldn’t take another loss, I had to. So, what I learned, mostly, has been the fragility of life. How would I have possibly known that the last time I spoke to a dear one, would be the last.
    Now, when somebody is talking on and on and I think I can’t listen anymore, I still listen. When I’m exhausted because my day is packed and a loved one needs my immediate attention, I head in that direction. I just don’t take any of it for granted anymore.
    2)I experienced a lot of ups and downs. I think because I allowed myself to move through it, rather then challenge my emotions, I’ve done well.
    3) Who knows what the future brings. But I do like the path that I’m on. I’m teaching a lot of online classes and I love it. So, I’ll stay around the virtual world for a while. I’ve taught myself how to do things that I’ve never done before, like making videos.I’ve had so much fun with it, I’ll keep at it.
    Post Covid looks something like this, in 41/2 months I’ll welcome my second grandchild into this world. This phase in my life has been a blessing. I am so looking forward to being blessed again.

  7. Olive Wagar on February 5, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    1. What I learned about myself: I like to collect information (Enneagram 5 anyone?). I have kept a very informal journal since March with facts & stats & good news stories. I give myself a time limit for checking the news–I don’t want to know every detail, just enough.

    2. How I responded: I took the lead in hosting a ladies’ devotional & prayer group meeting on Zoom when our regular meeting was canceled in March. I really did not know much about using Zoom at that time. We have met every week for one hour since April. And I suppose I should also mention that I now am in the habit of eating my lunch at 2 pm because that coincides with the time that the governor of my state gives his press conferences. 🙂

    3. What the future looks like: I am persuaded that I can continue to trust God to carry me through any situation or season of life–even that 65th birthday that is coming soon!!

  8. Paula Olivares on February 7, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    1. I need meaningful relationships and contact with people. I am tired of responsibility, (and cooking.)

    2. More screentime, less outdoor time. My once a week volunteer job has turned into 6 days a week online.
    The rest of the time I avoid the news by playing an online computer game with members of our “Guild” from all over the world. We occasionally stream our battles on discord with 4 or 5 guildmates helping the one who is streaming.

    3. Travel, first within 3 hours driving from my home. THen flying to visit friends and family in the U.S. Finally, back to international travel. (I have been to 69 countries and there are many more. There are 2 more years on my Russian visa and 5 more years on my Indian visa.)

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