The world is beset with problems. It’s a crazy year. We all need to face these problems calmly and compassionately, but there comes a point when burnout looms and you just need a break. When you reach that point, nothing helps take your mind off of your problems like a good Netflix binge. That’s a main reason so many viewers welcomed the surreal craziness of the documentary series “Tiger King” into their homes as the coronavirus lockdown began.
Under normal circumstances, most people wouldn’t find the story of big-cat rivalry, drugs, cult behavior, hypnosis, animal cruelty, and murder to be particularly comforting. But during the COVID-19 lockdown (and especially now, when nobody seems to know what to do amid nationwide protests and riots), anything that helps get your eyes off the news can be a welcome distraction.
Despite the obvious lunacy of the show and its cast of misfits, a few lessons shine through that might prove instructive about life during lockdown. Keep reading to find out what “Tiger King” can teach us about making it through quarantine.
You’re the King of Your Castle
Joe Exotic did not get the title “Tiger King” by accident. This guy ruled his little patch of earth — and he made sure everyone else knew it. His design style was as big and bold as his personality, and he molded the G.W. Exotic Animal Park according to his vision.
If you find yourself still stuck at home with time on your hands, follow that example and take advantage of this opportunity to truly turn your home into your domain. Those home renovations you’ve been putting off are screaming for your attention now.
If the job gets too big and too messy, consider renting a dumpster to take care of the stuff you don’t need. It’s affordable — around $300 for a 10-yard bin — and most rental companies offer hands-free dropoff and pickup. You’ll be rewarded with a clearer, fresher space that represents who you truly are.
Indulge Your Creativity
Joe wasn’t bashful about inhabiting his space, and he didn’t hesitate to step into the limelight of his “music career,” either. Despite the fact that he didn’t write or sing “Here, Kitty Kitty,” “I Saw a Tiger,” or any of the other songs he hoped would launch him to stardom, Joe stayed true to his vision and style, even making some inventive (and occasionally disturbing) videos to accompany them. We’re not suggesting that you perpetrate a hoax to achieve your creative goals — but we’re not knocking his hustle. Devote some energy to your creative vision now, while you can.
Get Your Info in Order
Just like Carole Baskin’s first husband, you never know what might await you tomorrow. Take some of this extra time you have on your hands to put your stuff in order. Do you have an updated will? Does your family know where to find important documents if something were to happen to you? These are important questions to ask yourself during this time.
Keep Your Friends Close
Joe understood the importance of having his posse behind him. We all need our circle of ride-or-die cohorts. Of course, you would never ask your friends or family to help you pull off a murder, but you get the point: Relationships are extra- important in stressful times.
During quarantine, you might be feeling disconnected from those you care about most. Make an extra effort to connect with friends and family while you’re stuck at home, and don’t forget about your business connections. You can make staying in touch super easy when you create customized gifts bearing your company logo.
Don’t Forget About Your Finances
Running a big cat attraction took a lot of money. Most of the Tiger King’s time and energy was devoted to figuring out how to keep the animals fed and the business afloat. Staying financially viable may feel a bit overwhelming to you right now, as well, especially with the global economic picture looking so dark.
The best way to fight off financial woes is by putting in place a plan and keeping yourself insulated as much as possible. You can start your preparations by building up an emergency fund and setting a budget you can stick to. Then assess your credit rating and do your best to stay (or climb) out of debt. Using credit wisely is imperative when you’re between a rock and a hard place.
Get Ready for Emergencies
Global pandemics. Police brutality, protests, and riots. Wild animals. They’re all unpredictable, and they can be terrifying. It’s easier to foresee some emergencies than others, but being prepared is the best way to ensure that none of them destroy you. Packing disaster kits for your family members and bolstering your emergency savings with cash on hand are concrete steps you can take to ensure that you make it through any emergency.
Take Some Downtime
Joe Exotic had some strange (and probably illegal), pastimes, but there’s no denying that he knew how to go off-duty and enjoy himself. There’s probably a lot of stuff rattling around in your brain right now — questions about how long the quarantine will last and worries about what’s happening outside, much of which is beyond your control. You can keep it from overwhelming you by relaxing and trying to enjoy yourself whenever you can.
There are plenty of ways you can stay occupied and have fun while social distancing. Make a homemade slip-and-slide with your kids. Go for a hike. Learning and practicing a new skill can be fun when you’re bored, like driving a stick shift — a solid skill to learn any time. Teach yourself woodworking or plant a garden. Try a new card game. The possibilities are endless.
You don’t have to launch a bogus singing career, run for president, or start a big-cat feud to stay sane during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, you might want to stay away from such activities if sanity is your goal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from Joe Exotic’s wild antics. So binge away, take a few mental notes, and who knows? You might come out of the quarantine even stronger than when you went in.
Check out Ann Lloyd at www.studentsavingsguide.com