When I started to think of what I wanted to write in my blog for today, the only thing that did pop up continuously, is that I do not want to write about, "Oh woe is me. Social distancing. I can't do this, yadda-yadda-yadda!" Or how many cases of the coronavirus are here and there, deaths, lack of food and supplies mainly due to hoarders, restaurants and bars closed, as well as gathering places.
I wanted to just write on how I am handling myself. Maybe you are doing some of these same things. What I do know is that the one thing that is more contagious than this virus is fear. No one makes good decisions in a panic. So I stopped watching too much news. Enough is enough. So much of the news is not true or only partially true, so who do you believe. One news station stated two days ago that the US now outnumbers China and Italy in cases, yet just this morning on the news it was stated that by next week, we could pass those numbers. Who is right? It is bad. We get it. Well, some of us do. I just won't even talk about those that don't. I just wish that I could say that is their problem, except it is not. It now becomes all of our problems.
Self-control over emotions is a good thing and in this case for me it is a matter of remaining calm. I have decided that I will not stress over things I can't control. Someone told me that is so much easier said than done. It is a self-care skill that must be practiced. Just like being happy. One must practice the skill of being happy. Just saying it does not make it so.
How I have managed to take charge of living through these challenging times is to become adventuresome. Each day I will do one thing that is new. For me this is something that I rather crave anyway. I do realize that for some it is a fear of new things because some prefer a standard routine. The fear of the unknown. Routine for me is almost a poison. A quote by e.e.cummings tells me about my human spirit. "Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiousity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
Yes, self-isolation puts limits on what I can do, yet also allows my creative mind go into overdrive, if I only listen. Trying something new requires courage. Think of the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham. No matter what Sam tells his friend about how he should try them, he never gives up and finally; courage won out and he tried them. Surprisingly he liked them.
My suggestions are just some of the ideas that I am using to keep me out of the rut of self pity. These things open the possibility for me to enjoy something new and keeps me from being bored and is a great way to just grow with new experiences.
To date some of the new things that I am working on are:
- trying new recipes that I ordinarily might shy away from
- cooking with a new kitchen gadget that I actually asked for on a Christmas Wish list but to date (and it is the end of March) have sort of neglected using them, instead going for the routine
This is an air fryer. I tried it once. It was good. I packed it away and just have not looked up recipes and pulled it out of the pantry closet. Shame on me. To put this in perspective, I have been googling recipes that may be fun to try and have come across a YouTube chef who is fun to watch and has some of the most amazing recipes. I carefully view Natasha making the recipe and that somehow gives me the courage to try it. She is on NatashasKitchen once you find YouTube. Her recipe of chicken wings in the air fryer was so easy and is now the only way I will make chicken wings. So crispy! So easy! A new way which leads me into other things to try in my air fryer.
- Natasha does have a few Instant Pot recipes. I am working my way up to try one of hers. That was another kitchen gadget that everyone I heard rave about so it went on my Wish List. I read the directions and they alone scared me. Things like how I could get burned so easily if I did this or that. Well, I tried it. (not with one of her recipes) We had frozen pizza that night. It was horrible.
My mission, if I choose to accept it, to find one of Natasha's Instant Pot recipes that I will try this week, even if I must watch her video 25 or more times to feel comfortable doing it.
- trying new exercises is a great example of what would help me and get me out of a funk using my new DVD of Tai Chi and even my weights for strength and balance
- reading, is never a problem for me, however, I tend to stick to basically the same genre...the new adventure here is to pick something that I normally would not read (it is giving me a new perspective on different genres - some of which I have enjoyed immensely such as a good friend, Greg Hunt, who writes westerns)
- along with reading, it helps in my own personal writing by reading the styles of other writers (for those not feeling the desire to write, let me share with you that I started a gratitude jar and write one sentence about something that I am grateful for each day and in my journal I just write to document what the day was like and to sometimes vent how I am feeling to get it out of my head)
Right now, as I sit at my desk that looks out to our cove, I am in amazement that a neighbor (one that I do not know because there are so many people that come and go) is hosting a party. There are 7 cars there and they all got out with foods and chairs and anywhere from 2 - 4 in each car. Not sure exactly how many live in the house? Social distancing? I think not. The problem is that these are people who then go out among the rest of us when we make a once a week trip to a grocery.
- while on the subject of writing, a new hobby that I have taken up is calligraphy...never knew just how precise one has to be with the special pens calligraphers use (let's just say that it will be a while before I can have a part time job of addressing wedding invitation, etc)
- thinking that my love for doodling spurred my calligraphy hobby on - along with painting
- painting brings me great joy and I will be going to the inside/out room to continue on from last year
- this leads me to actually working on organizing my closets, drawers, files and general cleaning such as the pollen in the inside/out room. There are no windows, only screens in this covered patio and it is Memphis where the cars turn a neon greenish yellow from the pollen.
You can teach an old dog new tricks. I really did just say that, just understand that is just a saying. I am not calling myself an old dog. I simply mean that by being adventuresome, I can try something new each day and I am hoping this continues throughout this self-distancing and beyond. Maybe we will have two dogs who are totally obedient trained. This picture took 30 plus takes before they actually could both sit beside each other and be still. We have a lot of work to get these two trained. I believe they have us trained. Let's just say that we are working together.