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The coronavirus or, COVID-19, reminds me of a scary movie I saw. I thought, after seeing the movie, I am so glad this a movie and that this would probably never happen. But, in the back of my mind, there was the thought that this could happen and that we probably would not survive it. This virus, COVID-19 or whatever a new name is today, evokes depression, anxiety, and other psychological challenges; having to stay in your apartment and fear your neighbors until you absolutely must brave the grocery store. And, the new norm, hand sanitizing, masks and Social Distancing.
Stay positive during this mind-blowing, unbelievable time in our lives. How you say? That is a good question. We can, uhm, read a book, listen to an audio book, draw crazy pictures. We can play charade, Pictionary on-line with friends, or Taboo. Try, “Alexa”, “what is the question of the day?” or search YouTube for funny videos about puppies or the latest dance moves. You can listen to TED talks, podcasts, or learn crochet or knitting. Learning something new is always stimulating, and anything that will our mind off the negative of COVID-19 for a minute, is always a positive.
The third submission of my coronavirus series. This pandemic is a bittersweet problem. It is like the world on dark chocolate, bitter and sweet. This virus is bringing families together to keep them safe and it is brining families together. It, the virus, is causing depression because there is nothing to do, but now, there is time to do those projects or hobbies that there was no time to do. The coronavirus is causing people to sit around and to be unhealthy and it, COVID-19, is giving us time to get healthy by exercising, while we have nothing to do.
Can you keep your mind clear while the world is in chaos? Can you stay on the high side of your moods when right now, it is hard to stay on the high side of your moods? But what are the alternatives; depression, sadness, anger….? Get in touch with your creative being. You know, the one sitting on your right shoulder. Listen to the whispers, God has your back. Become Michael Angelo, Shakespeare, or Dean Koontz. Fall in love with your partner, husband, or wife again. Ask the questions that create a climate of discovery of your friends or yourself.
Ok, today I went into a full-blown panic anxiety overwhelmed felt helpless mode. It was one of those days when the reality of what is happening around the world really smacked me around and gave me a gut punch of an anxiety attack. I had to go see my 80-year-old mother with a mask on and she had to wear a mask to protect herself from me, me of all people. I visited friends, practicing responsible social distancing, of course. We all looked like scared deer, with not one, but two sets of headlights coming at us, scared of death.
You heard the song “I Will Survive”; we must survive. This cannot be the end of humanity. The story doesn’t end with a virus. We must learn from our indifference when this was not in our backyard. Appreciate going to the grocery store and how important the grocery clerk is. We need to say, thank you for your service to them too. They are on the front line of this war on humanity. The next time you go to a hospital and you see a nurse, medical technician, or a doctor, say thank you and never question the bill again.
What makes you smile? This is a great question during this time when so many have forgotten what make them smile. Well, I will start this conversation with puppies, French Bulldog puppies make me smile. They have great conversation; that’s right, conversation. French Bulldogs have bouncy personalities and they melt like putty when they tire. Next, I love a big hearty bowl of soup with oyster crackers on the side. Soup warms your soul. And last, but by no means, least, I smile after eating a big piece of cheesecake with strawberries drizzled on top. Okay, what makes you smile?
Have you ever felt like you were living in an alternate reality, you run thoughts in your mind that if I ever find that portal, I can get back to my real life? Right now, everything seems so surreal; this reality feels like a terrible movie that you paid too much to see. You wait on pins and needles for the main character to find patient zero, to create the cure, and just in time, to save the world. But in our story, there is no main character; and it will take more than two hours to save the world.
When times are good again, I am going to what? Then I thought, I didn’t appreciate when times were good. Life should be precious with or without a pandemic. It shouldn’t take the threat of getting violently ill or of dying to bring out the best in humanity, and some people, still have not learned. I hope my best writing will come out when times are good again. I want to write Pulitzer Prize stories of heroics feats of kindness and philanthropy and to see Hilton donate hotels to the homeless. I hope when times are good again…
Thank you for giving me this platform to voice my anxiety during these sensitive times. I really understand what the rest of the world is feeling; we ARE really in this together. For the first time that I can remember, in my life, we are in this together. This is an alien invasion from this planet, the war of the world. If am freaking out; I know the children don’t understand why they cannot play with their friends. I find myself hypersensitive to everything, going down the rabbit hole, feverishly clawing to stay in the light.
I know why we must have a purpose; it’s in our DNA. Waking up and having a place to go or a thing to do is a human being. Being, what we live for, no matter how insignificant the purpose may seem, it’s still a purpose. The alarm going off in the morning, taking a shower, putting on clothes, drinking your coffee, and going to work; planting in your garden; or cleaning your house gives you purpose. Not having a plan blurs your days. “What day is it?”, literally is a scary question. Always have a reason to get up.
Is your life what you expected it to be? Did you think you would be someone rich and extraordinary? Were your aspirations to be a Steve Jobs or Mahatma Gandhi. Did you want to run the 100 in nine flat or pole vault seven feet? Are you a Hidden Figure waiting to be found or do you have a dream like Martin Luther King? Are you Julia Child making a soufflé that does not fall when you breath? Or, are you Joe Smith, nurse at a hospital saving lives, a hero? Is your life what you expected it to be?
If you could travel to anywhere and anytime, where would you go? Did you have that significant moment in time that was life altering, a moment that made or broke your life? There is a theory that taking the wrong or the right turn at the fork in the road is a choice. I am not sure if it is true or that we a destined to be what we will be, which was decided before birth, or like Adam and Eve, a decision determined all our destinies, bite the apple or not. If you could stop Eve, would you?
Age is a series of changes to your life, body, mind, and your soul. Life as it travels on the journey through rivers, over bridges, and in a few potholes. The body as it changes from slim, strong, and virile to fluffy, weak, and Viagra. The mind begins to change from sharp and focused to what was I….? As the we travel the journey and the body changes and we lose focus, we get closer to the soul. The soul requires an experienced life, a body that has struggled, and a mind that has changed enough to only know wisdom.
Is a virtual world nice or….; I am getting used to the convenience of wearing my pjs and I dust my shower, just kidding, I shower. I started exercising with YouTube, I felt like I had an extra person traveling on my hips, the Michelin Man was around my waste, acorns in my cheeks, and food delivery came between exercise sets. I need a real walk. I am not sure if a virtual reality is a healthy way to live, when no touching, and communicating through an avatar is the new norm. Are we becoming a Wall-E world?
I am having writers block today; so, let’s go with that, writer’s block is my subject for today. I have studied writing for years and I still do not have it down to a science. Every day it is a struggle to start the first and last sentence. Can you believe that writing is my passion; It’s my go to when I need to get rid of the angst of the day. I do not what is interesting or who wants to know; so, I started freewriting lines. Sometimes the best prose comes from a good day of writer’s block.
Every time life throws you a gut punch or becomes so surreal it is hard to fathom, you to take a pause for the cause. You find your chi, that internal energy that brings life to your inner being. You need to be aware of yourself and dig deep to find that inner child or adult, which is what you need to make every moment count and to stay woke to the life around you. Think of yourself as worthy of your best effort in everything that you do. Make your “DASH” full and noteworthy; do not be a cliché.
Time is a blur these days; it is hard to remember the day of the week. I know what day it was when I came home a month ago March or April, I think. I recorded a movie or two, some TV shows, and a video, but I looked at those two or three days ago. I wash my hands several times a day, I need some lotion by the way; my hands feel like sandpaper. I am afraid to use to much toilet paper or paper towels, because each trip to the grocery store starts my count over again.
The southern porch brought families together. Sitting on our porch, feeling the wind, and smoking ribs on the grill, using dad’s secret sauce, of course. We played Bid Whist and danced to old school music; sat at the table, laughed, and drank mimosas on the southern porch. In October we steamed oysters until they opened and popped open a new bottle of hot sauce and horse radish, um. In the summer we boiled crabs in a big wash tub with water, beer, onions, and of course, Old Bay; you know what I’m talking about. I really miss the southern porch.
Talk to me when I need you most; talk to me when I feel the worst. Talk to me when I am scared to and cannot breathe, when all feels deadly because of a sneeze. Talk to me and make me laugh, I wish all were saved with a warm bath. I need to know that tomorrow will come, talk to me of our plans for fun. I want to feel like my life will be normal and as the world will brace. Talk to me about God’s grace. I know all will be well, we will win this race.
I need a good night’s sleep; my mind wonders, I toss and turn, and my stomach churns from the stress. I wake early in the morning with a small cleansing cough and the churn from the stress starts again. I want to go to sleep with visions of walking on the beach, walking in a mall, or Target. Yep, Target, with people everywhere. I feel in my heart that we will it through this pandemic and that we will be able to handle, our new normal. In the meantime, I need a good night’s sleep, maybe chamomile tea or cocoa.
Touch you with my words. I may not be feathery and eloquent in speech; but I mean what I say. I may not use long linguistic words that you have to use a dictionary to interpret the message, but you know what I am saying. We may not have a Tete-a`-Tete with a French accent as we saunter down a cobblestone walk; but you will know I love you because of the inflection in my words. I want to speak to you with purpose to unveil my intent, and in your mind, I want to touch you with my words.
“How can I help”, is compassion, not judgement. I talked to a vendor I work with on the phone today and she apologized for not responding to my emails; I sent two emails to her for a decision on a training she was offering. She sounded weak and out of breath. I told her, “I hope you feel better and I hope you don’t catch the virus. She got quiet and hesitant to reply; I realized that she did have the virus and was afraid to disclose to anyone. I offered her a prayer and asked, “how can I help.”
“Like a thief in the night” is how I feel when I go outside. I step out, one foot at a time, look around, and I almost tip toe to my car. And that is just to go to the grocery store. I sneezed, and I waited for someone to arrest me like I committed a crime. I heard someone cough in the next cubicle; I hunched down, grabbed my face mask, and waited, for what? The doctors discuss the long-term effects this virus will have on us mentally, and what the new norm will look like. I know, PTSD.
Always start with a prayer. Life is hard enough without a safety net; God is our safety net. So, always start with a prayer. Ask God for his best outcome for you; he has a better plan. You have heard the term, “man plans, and God laughs”, let go of the steering wheel and let him drive. Listen to your little voice and make decisions with compassion and love. This country is struggling; our leadership are making plans, not with compassion and love but for political gain. But, I believe, in time they will learn, always start with a prayer.
Anxiety attacks scared to be present in life. You want to be happy, but you do not know what it looks like. You want to be valuable and motivating, but you are too scared to fail without trying or too reap the benefits. A panic attack, a moment of understanding of vulnerability, humanity, and mortality in the same instance. You are walking through the moment one breath and thought at a time; your head is switching back and forth with unfocused thoughts. You are having a panic attack; but you can change your world. Stop and breath, reap the benefits.
Can you appreciate a sense of humor right now? I used to laugh myself to tears. I loved a good standup comedian, but now I change the channel. It is like I cannot stomach a good sense of humor. I am not sure what that is about or who can live without laughter. Laughter is the nectar of the gods. It is cleansing to the soul to laugh that gut wrenching laugh out loud. Having fun was like the pursuit of happiness; now it is almost painful to smile. I want to welcome humor again and laugh myself to tears.
Have a cup of tea and delight your senses with jasmine steam. Inhale a cup of peppermint tea and let the aromas coast you to relaxation and euphoria. Have a cup of Ginseng and boost your life with energy and Zen. Feel the scent and swirl of a Starbucks’ hot cinnamon tea, which quarks your jaw bones from the tantalizing aroma. Drink a cup of lemon zest to fizzle down and sooth a grumpy throat. Steal a cup of chamomile and to whisk away into the night on a wave of goodness and calm, with just a cup of tea.
Write me a song that will melt my heart, sing lyrics that will set us apart. Tell me you love me from that loving place; fill me to brim with no empty space. Show me where to go in the far reaches of my mind, taking us to the end of time. Write me a song about the moon and the stars, holding hands as we soar to Mars. Keep me smiling and blushing red when you ask me one day to share your bed. So, sing me a song and melt my heart, sing lyrics that set us apart.
There it is I see it now. I have completed my task, and it is right on time. I knew I had it in me, but the challenge was great. I did not want to fail; I did not want to quit. Do something you always wanted to do. If it is worth it, you will get through. The euphoria and endorphins are such a satisfying high as I saw myself getting to the finish line. This seemed so hard at the start, but I am finished now, I did this part. I will remember this it’s time to start.
The Tip Jar