2020.10.15

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” Rumi

The past week was emotionally challenging. COVID continues, the American election season is in full gear and work life is demanding. Perhaps it was the combination of all these things that sent me spiraling into feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness.

After a few hours, I was calm again, and able to talk with my mate as we had a glass of wine and watched the chickens run about. We wondered about the effect of daily news reading on our emotional state, and we decided to stop reading any news until the election is over.

No more news, no Facebook, no Twitter and no email newsletters from the Morning Brew (this one’s tough) or OZY. Easily done.

After 48 hours, I am happy to avoid all the news sources. Still I felt I needed to something more. Time to add daily gratitude back into my day. A photo I’ve taken with a quote on gratitude for each day… Today is day 1.

Dream

May 2020, St Petersburg, FL

Life is but a dream…

There have been many a night when I hoped that I would awake to find that COVID was a bad dream. The virus, the conflicting news, the variety of opinions (always based on facts), the social media posts and memes combined to be a nasty brew of information. Occasionally, a laugh or two.. and most of it leaving me frustrated and lost.

Moments of joy came in a few forms.

Being in the kitchen has been comforting. I have enjoyed looking for different recipes to try. In the process, it’s been wonderful to come across great blogs. Cooking with the New York Times, Monkey & Me Kitchen Adventures (WFPB recipes) and Korean Bapsang have been great sources for many delicious dishes made. Definite sparks of joy when we use all our produce and very little is wasted.

Video calls on FaceTime and Zoom have kept us in touch with friends and family. Adding a game of scrabble or chess as we zoom has been a fun way to hang together. In the last 6 weeks, we have been to a zoom 40th anniversary, a zoom club quarantine that featured live musicians of Iverna Island, and we had a friend play the piano for us. Wow. It’s all been amazing, fun and really weird to have this as the primary social spot.

My nephew came online this year. Texts, videos and messages from him always bring a smile. His creativity has been a joy to watch. Whether he is making a video for TikTok, doing a dance routine with his brother and sister, or using his 3D pen (a recent gift from Gomo), it is all a complete delight for me.

So, while I may have wanted it all to have been a dream, I am grateful.

Grateful for the many moments of joy from cooking, zooming and from the Song family.

Video below made by the Song family for the kids in their Sunday school… Enjoy!

Keeping it together

2020 began with renewed hope and new directions.

From 2017 – the end of 2019, we traveled on our nomad path, alongside a cancer diagnosis, surgery and radiation treatments. By the end of 2019, all that could be done had been done. All the doctors said “live your life” and get blood tests done every 4 months. It seemed that we could start to think a little longer term.

By February, we could not peel away from the news of the virus or the John Hopkins dashboard showing the global number of cases, number recovered and number dead.

Today, safe at home is in Florida. If I were to believe everything I am seeing online, we could not be in a worse place. Our day to day does not reflect this in any way, nor does what we experience each day.

Each day blends into the next. Crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, streamed content and zoom get togethers are a part of the day. We’re now watching our first K-drama together…took 20+ years and a pandemic.

The toughest moments often come from those that are the most beautiful – watching videos of health workers, inspired concerts on empty streets, people coming together to support one another during difficult times… These are the moments that bring tears to my eyes as I wonder… What is happening out there?

A glimpse of longer term planning turned to complete and absolute uncertainty.

MAO has been my rock during these times. We greet each other brightly throughout the day – even though we are together all day. We hold hands as we watch our K-drama and hug each other tightly when we go to bed. And we laugh together at silly things.

I am ever grateful for my MAO. Thank you for helping me keep it together.