A new world

In our area the Episcopal Diocese has said that we will not go back to church until there has been two weeks with no new cases. I am hoping that they will rethink that as I don’t think we will see a week without at least one case until there is a vaccine.

At some point we will have to resume some regular activities even if for those of us “at risk” must remain more isolated and more careful than the rest of the population. The mental health aspect is going to require us to do some things or we risk some serious complications.

I know that I am reaching my limit of just being at home and that I will have to go out into the world carefully but I will have to go out. The state has opened many things and there are people out there resuming their normal schedules. Most of them are not wearing masks but they seem to be social distancing. I can see us doing that for quite some time.

It’s a new world and one we will learn to navigate one day at a time.

Feel good jobs

I will sleep well tonight. I spent several hours pressure washing half of the front porch. The floor the house walls, ceiling and the railings. At that point I decided that it would be good to hire our neighbor’s son (who always wants the money for the jobs to help his ballgame trips in the fall) to do the other half and continue with the porch on the other side of the house.

I am a reasonably active 79 year old but washing the high sides of the house and the ceiling of the porch was enough. I need to work on those particular muscles. I will do other jobs and let him take on this one.

I really like working outside. It is good exercise to garden, mow and pull vines from the azaleas. It is time consuming but it feels so good when you are done. There is something fulfilling about a job well done. There are some things in life that you can do and see immediate results. I love those things. When mowing you can see the cut lawn looking so good row after row. Making a bed brings immediate results. There are many things that do but so many that don’t.

On with the jobs that make me feel good!

What is true and what is truth?

I was reading through my Quote Book (yes, I keep my favorite quotes in a journal) and starte thinking about this one.

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

What an amazing and true statement. I feel that we are living that right now. How much of what we hear is truth. Instead it is someone’s version of the truth. There is a big difference between those two things. When I was teaching a high school at the church one of the things I stressed was seeking truth…looking at all sides and any information available and making your own decision. Too little of that is done today. Most of what we hear could actually be classified as rumors.

It is important to teach our young people how to make assessments based on many sources before coming to any conclusion. There are too many talking heads and I am sure that there are no statesmen left…only politicians. That comparison can apply to any source from religion to politics to anything else. We must filter our information.

One thing at a time

do itSometimes I forget to not leap ahead of myself but just concentrate on one thing at a time. Getting one thing done feels good. When I do I stop obsessing on the things not done.

A long time ago I worked for a company that handled case management for insurance companies. As nurses, we reviewed medical information and (the company was a good one) usually recommended doing the right thing. It costs less in the long run and that was how we explained it backing it up with figures.

While there a huge caseload was brought on to do with workers compensation from the state of Texas. I was handed that account. It was overwhelming. The amount of files on my desk was tremendous and daunting. After struggling with how to handle it I took the files and adjusted by date it came in and status of the patient. I stacked them up that way and just pulled one at a time. It was amazing how much I was able to get done once I stopped obsessing over how much there was.

Now as I face dealing with my husband’s medical issues I have realized that I have to one stepdo the same thing. Instead of worrying (useless) I have evaluated what needs to be done in what order and have started contacting doctors ect., setting appointments and moving ahead.  We will solve things one at a time.

Making choices

Another day of sitting in my house and outdoors on the porch. It is beautiful but warm out. May is when we usually start almost summery weather. The yard is a mess so I hope that the yard people come tomorrow.. We don’t have them come often. It is too expensive but once in a while I need help to catch up. After they come I must get out and do some things myself.

gardening

I do enjoy working out in the yard except when it is super hot. It try to get out early in the morning and come in before it gets to me. Good hard work is the best exercise and I have been bad lately about avoiding it.

The prediction for us here is that we will have a huge surge in virus cases as things open up since we have not had a peak yet. We stayed inside before it really came here and now the timing my cause us a headache.

risk

There comes a time where some things that have been put off by this virus just have to be done. My husband’s medical issues, though not life threatening, have to be dealt with so some Dr. visits are necessary. We do have to live our lives and do the critical things in spite of the risk.

Years ago my youngest daughter was going to Japan as an exchange student. Shortly before she was to leave a commercial place was shot down by mistake. I don’t remember the exact circumstances but I was afraid for her to fly so far. My husband made the comment that we can’t stay away from risk forever. We do have to take some chances….reasonable ones.

I think the country may be coming to that point. Some places have peaked and it may be necessary to go out for some things. Those of us at high risk will shelter as much as possible but there will be limits.

Blowin in the wind

I was in college when the great era of folk songs came about. I have always loved folk songs. I learned them early from a 4th grade teacher who played an autoharp and taught us to sing many of them. I love that they tell a story about the life of the people during whatever era they lived in.

In the late 1950″s and early 60’s they became popular and so many of the ones I had learned were sung by the famous groups of the day. The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, The Limelighters, Pete Seeger, The Mamas and the Papas…I could go on and on. Many new songs were written about what was going on at the time.

I find it sad that the problems they highlighted in the world are still there. Maybe we should listen to them again and really hear the message.

Deadly routine

The days slip by and all seem more or less the same. I once read something that said change things up each day to make them stand out. Then it will seem that things are more interesting. It may only be driving to work a different way. That made sense. When I was still working I sometimes had no idea how I got to work. I knew I drove there but that’s about all.

change daily

We do have to be intentional about paying attention to life even when the days can blend into one another. Yesterday I baked bread and today I worked in the yard. That helps me remember those two days. If I just sit and watch TV then nothing is different.

Even in this covid time take time to make changes each day. Do something that makes that day memorable. It doesn’t have to be  spectacular but just something to mark the day.

When we drift into same, same, same it is easy to feel depressed and anxious. Just a walk outside to watch the birds will help.

Bend don’t break

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”

Confucius

reeds

We have to learn to bend like the reed. It bends one way and then another. Eventually it stands up straight again. When times of change force us to change ourselves we must become like those reeds and be flexible. When the crisis subsides there will be a new reality. We must adapt and thrive in the new environment. We have the strength. We just need the determination.

New Joys, New Possibilities

There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.” C.S. Lewis.

Lewis is so right but not just about our spiritual life. Living in unreality is a disaster in every way. It touches us on every level. I impact our physical self. No matter our level of activity it is not the same as it was. Even how and what we eat has been impacted.

Our emotional/psychological life has been impacted. We can’t do the things we used to do. Our social interactions have been curtailed. Whether we are introverts or extroverts this is still a change. I am sure that everyone is feeling this distancing in some way. I used to be an extreme extrovert but in my latter years I am more in the middle. This change has affected me in many ways.  I miss the touch of others, the face to face exchange of ideas, the fun of simple conversation. I am lonely.

Our spiritual life has most assuredly been impacted. In some ways mine has expanded in that I spend more quiet time and intense connection with God that I have in quite a while. There are not so many distractions. I miss the camaraderie of our church community in addition to the services themselves.

Quotes about Possibilities (558 quotes)This time has created a different way of being. One that can either strengthen or break us. We have to maintain perspective. Though maybe months distant there will be a change. The view will be changed making us find a new path into the world as it emerges. We have the ability to blend into the new world around us and adapt and make it better.

Part of my nightly prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Night Prayer says:

The night heralds the dawn.Let us look expectantly to a new day,new joys,new possibilities.

May we all do so with enthusiasm and creativity.

Strength is required

one wipe

Things have been difficult here in the last few days. I hope we are on the up side. It is pretty scary to think that in the middle of covid 19 I would have to take my husband to the hospital. That is the last thing I want to do. But if that is what it takes to get him well then there is not choice. However, for now each day seems a little better but it is slow.

Today I was wondering what it must have been like the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. One day there was war “over there” and suddenly it had come home. What fear and panic must have been felt by everyone. We are facing something not at all fun but it will pass long before WW2 did. They lived with it every day for years.

We_Can_Do_It!_NARA_535413_-_Restoration_2

They were strong. They had endurance, faith and hope. We have the same things available to us. Whatever we have to do to keep on is what we will do.