A Brave New World

Today would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday. She crossed over on March 16th – something that my siblings and I thought we were ready for, but we weren’t. I really don’t t hink that you can be ready for something like this.

We were very fortunate in that my sister found a very nice group home for my mother to live in. She was able to be surrounded by things that she liked, including her books, and her koala and teddy bears. She liked where she was, and my sister lived very close, so we could do face times, and it took my sister no time to get there whenever the care-givers called with a issue (or an impending issue). She had excellent medical care, and was in minimal pain.

It is very hard to move forward without my mother, even though we did not always agree on things. She was very much a “people person”, and enjoyed gardening and being with people. For many years one of her favorite activities was working with Adopt-A-Pet, an organization that works with caring for and rehoming stray dogs, and dogs that were turned in by their owners. She worked very hard to help them attain their 501-C3 (non-profit) status.

Unfortunately my mother died during the pandemic (but not of COVID-19). While a physical issue that I have would have prevented me from being there anyway, her funeral was limited in many ways. There were only five family members at the funeral, and they had to walk to the gravesite from the cemetary gate (not a long distance). They had to practice social distancing, which made it hard for them to console each other.

It has been six weeks since her death – many days it seems much longer. I am blessed in that the human race has a tendency to remember the good, and forget the bad. At least I do. I remember that my mother instilled in all of us a love for reading, for being the best people that we could be, and for helping others.

Mom, know that we love you, and will always honor your teaching.

Words of Wisdom From Nala Cat

I follow several people of the feline variety on the Internet. They bring peace, joy, and humor into my day. Occasionally they offer a product, such as a cat toy, cat food, blankets, or tee shirts. One of my favorite fur people is Nala Cat, sister to White Coffee. She has recently come out with a beautifully presented book of commentary that helps us all to live our best life. I hope that you enjoy what she is sharing!

You can purchase Nala Cat’s wisdom here:https://www.amazon.com/Living-Your-Best-Live-According-ebook/dp/B07TZZLZDT/ref=sr_1_1?crid=23WRHO9MBKET6&dchild=1&keywords=living+your+best+life+according+to+nala+cat&qid=1586866366&sprefix=living+your+best+life+%2Caps%2C211&sr=8-1

Good Friday

On Good Friday we mark the day that Jesus was crucified. As Christians, we honor the suffering that Jesus went through for us, and that he died for our sins. This is a day of reflection, a day that we look at ourselves, and our faith.

Worldwide we are experiencing the cornavirus pandemic, which includes the need for isolation. We will not be celebrating Good Friday, or Easter, in the company of other people. This year we will be experiencing an isolated holiday.

We can reach out through digital media, including phones, Face Time, Skype, e-mail, text, and You Tube. We are actually rich in resources, if we look for them.

Something that crossed my path was the concert that opera singer Andrea Bocelli is giving a free, online concert at 1 pm EDT on Easter morning over his YouTube channel (https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/a32106751/how-to-watch-andrea-bocelli-easter-concert/). Accompanied by organist Emanuele Vianel, he will be singing alone at Milan’s famed Duomo di Milano. (He will literally be in the cathedral with only his accompanist, due to the continued need for isolation in Italy.)

May you all have a wonderful Good Friday, and a joyousd Easter!

Surviving Change

We are in a time of major change. Because of the coronavirus many people are out of work, many people are working from home that normally would not be, we are experiencing a level of death that we had not expected, and we feel out of control. How can we keep ourselves grounded and centered during this time, and what can we expect our future to be?

Here are some of the things we can do to make it through this time:

  • We can acknowledge our feelings, and our fears.
  • We can be willing to talk about what is going on.
  • We can actively listen to what those around us are saying.
  • We can expand our perception of what life is.
  • We can re-prioritize our needs and our goals.
  • We can offer help to others.
  • We can ask for help when we need it.
  • We can limit our time with toxic people/situations.
  • We can give thanks for that which we have on a daily basis.
  • Consciously live in the present.

What tools can we use to cope:

  • Write our thoughts out in a journal.
  • Take a walk (keeping a good social distance from others).
  • Do a breathing meditation.
  • Listen to music.
  • Get up and dance.

What challanges can we expect in our near future?

  • Our entire health care system will have to be re-evaluated.
  • One-time stimulus payments will offer some financial help.
  • People will re-evaluate which expenditures are important, and which after not. Things like new cars and new clothes will be much further down on the list.
  • People will be making more of an effort to set aside 3-6 months’ worth of money to cover bills.
  • There will be an effort to stock essential foods for at least 60 days.
  • Many people who lost their jobs will be looking for jobs.
  • We will be looking at the November elections in terms of how the current crisis was handled, and what we found out about our government.

This is not a time to be afraid. It is a time to move forward with confidence into a future that is unlike one that we have ever known.

The New Normal

We have a whole new vocabulary now, starting with “self-isolating”. We’ll add “pandemic” just to round things out. What does self-isolating mean? It means staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people. We are advised to self-isolate if we have symptoms of the coronavirus, if we have tested positive for the coronavirus, or if we are waiting for test results. It is suggested that people who fly also self-isolate for two weeks (14 days) after they return home.

Most states are restricting the movements of tfheir residents, and requiring businesses that deal with large numbers of people, such as casinos, restaurants, hair dressers, nail salons, and tattoo parlors, to temporarily shut down.

We can restrict our own movements by staying home, avoiding contact with other people (or keeping a six foot distance from other people), washing our hands (for twenty seconds, with soap), and cleaning frequently touched surfaced daily (door knobs, refrigerator handles, oven and micro-wave handles).

We are advised not to use public transport, not to go to social meetings, and not to have visitors. Do not go shopping unless necessary (such as the pharmacy or grocery store).

There has been panic buying by the public, especially for such items as TP, kleenix, paper napkins, disinfectant, and meat. I am lucky, in that I only have to purchase for myself. And I work from home, so the “isolation” is already a normal for me.

Individuals and organizations are stepping up. Neighbors are checking on neighbors. Distilleries worldwide are making hand sanitizer. Clothing manufacturers are volunteering to make faced masks and surgical gowns. In the sports world, the four Formula 1 teams based in the UK are offering their technical expertise in manufacturing respirators. Ferrari, a Formula 1 team based in Italy, is looking into offering the use of one of its factories for producing respirators. A French perfume maker is dedicating three of its factories to producing hand sanitizer. The list goes on.

When this pandemic (defined as a disease prevalent over the world) is over, there will be a new normal. We need to help define that new normal. People that I follow for advice include Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and Dr. Anthony Fauci. You need to follow the people that make sense to you. Don’t panic – take things a day at a time, an hour at a time. We can make it through this!

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html – Guidelines from the CDC (Center for Disease Control).


https://www.themuse.com/advice/coronavirus-work-from-home-tips – Working from home

May each of you stay safe, help each other, and find grace in each day.

Accepting Self

Accepting myself is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Like many others, I have chosen to wear many different masks in life. I reflected what was appropriate for the situation I was in, or for the group of people I was with. I never reflected anything that I was not, but I often did not reflect all that I was.

I have done well in three different professional fields, yet I still hold on to some level of feeling “not good enough”. One of the strongest tenets in life is that our homes reflect who we are. Sound like I am on a tangent here? That would be far from the truth.

While I have always tried to create a home that reflects who I am, at this stage in my life I feel that I can do this in a stronger, more dynamic way. I have sorted and given away things several times since my move to Nevada four years ago. I feel that I am at a level now that I can sustain, and that I am ready to have my home reflect me in a different way than before.

The new year is showing renewed hope for me.

The Alchemist

“The Alchemist – A Graphic Novel” is food for the mind and the soul. I just finished reading it, and it was a marvelous journey. Written by Paulo Coelho, with artwork by Daniel Sampere, it is an incredible collaboration that defies description. (It is an illistrated interpretation of Coelho’s story “The Alchemist.) It is what I needed, right now, at this point in my life.

I absolutely could not put this book down. The beautiful imagery, the intense colors, and the magical storyline grabbed me and would not let me go.

The story follows the life of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd. He is happy with his life, but he ends up on a search for treasure. Along the way, he meets many different people, and is placed in many different situations. Each has something to teach him on his journey to find his own story, his “personal legend”. He becomes, essentially, an “alchemist” inhis own right.

To me, our personal wellness journey covers all levels of our being – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. We find all of that in this book. We see how all parts of ourselves are bound to our personal story/personal legend.

The original book (in text) is a classic – as is the graphic novel version!