Spirit Lifters–Day 301 of being “grounded”

Disclaimer: the first part of this, uh, essay, is not exactly uplifting, but, hang tight. I will get there.

I got myself through the first several months of the pandemic’s effects on my life by searching every single day for uplifting things to focus on…just to balance out all that was going on in the world.

As a practice like that can, it worked beautifully. My spirits were up, and my slowly increasing terror was easily manageable. 

20171003_162243 (2)

But somewhere along the line, it caught up with me. As my James would say (in Mississippi-Speak), I was just “slap wore out”. Most of us were. Not just with “quarantine fatigue”, but from all the other chaos we were experiencing; a deadly virus, horrific wildfires, and racial strife.

And politics?? Don’t even get me started!

Yep, just slap wore out!

20200703_085406 (2)

My exhaustion started showing up here in my blog. This is what I posted on September 18th:

https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/21344

I guess that should have been a warning…but I missed it. I had stopped practicing what I was preaching. I needed to re-establish an uplifting, daily ritual…and quick….but I didn’t, at least not right away.

20201001_161227

With the new year about to start, I am inspired by the concept of “resolutions”, even though in the past I have been reluctant to support this ritual. I have mostly seen it fail.

There is no magic just because the calendar numbers are changing, and I am a bit concerned that some are investing unrealistic hope in the year 2021 being better than what we have all just been through. That may be dangerously disappointing.

Realistically, I don’t think there will be a return to our old “normal”…ever.

And I actually hope there isn’t because too many things in that old normal were off kilter anyway…not working, even damaging, and we should not go back to that level of apathy, complacency and blind acceptance ever again.

Our New Normal could include all the lessons we’ve learned (or should have) during our forced, altered behavior. (Remember those photos in the first few days of World Lock Down, of beautiful clear blue skies all over the world??)

IMG_6187

But in the mean time, I’m going back to finding something beautiful, inspirational and miraculous every single day. I know that’s what my Dad did throughout his life, and he taught it to us. Toward the end, when he could not do much else, he’d sit on his front porch and watch for the wonderous among, and even camouflaged by, the mundane. He had a polaroid camera and would send me a photo now and then of a “miracle”. (A beautiful volunteer rose bush in his yard that he did not plant. An earthquake crack in the front sidewalk that had “healed” itself in another minor San Diego earthquake. And more.)

So I am determined to re-establish my own daily search for things to lift up my beleaguered spirits. 

Here is one of my favorite resources! The Greater Good Magazine. A free newsletter out of Berkeley about the science of well-being. It’s worth contributing to. (You’ll have to copy and paste because I still can’t figure out how to make a link.)

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/inspiring_moments_from_2020?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=6de12255ab-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_December_24_2020_COPY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-6de12255ab-74625275

One short video (30 seconds) in the latest issue ironically* brought me to tears of joy. I think it’s about the 10th one, titled Competing gubernatorial candidates try to bring voters together.

Anyway, Happy New Year. Like many other places in the world, we in the Seattle area usually bring in the New Year with a spectacular, crowd pleasing fireworks display from the Space Needle. It was wisely cancelled this year to avoid a virus super-spreader event, and was replaced by a truly amazing light show to watch from our homes! (Again you’ll have to copy and paste, but worth the 10 minutes, especially if you can see it on a bigger screen.)

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattles-stunning-new-years-at-the-needle-show-goes-virtual-this-year/281-5139fa73-61f1-44e3-bdf4-64858333a647

Well, that’s it for today. I will keep my eyes (well, all my senses) open for more Spirit Lifters to share.

IMG_6184

Please consider adding your own Spirit Lifters in the comments section.

I bet we could build quite a list!!

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

*irony best appreciated if you know about my ancestry…

Spirit Lifters-Day 55 of being “grounded” 4/29/2020

Watch this to help meet your Recognition Hunger…virtually!

 

And here is one of my favorite organizations. I have loved their newsletter for a long time and they are a wonderful resource during these days. I especially liked the collection of articles in the April 21st issue.

 

 

 

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/

 

 

And for some good feeling laughs, another episode of Some Good News from John Krasinsky

 

 

Lastly, look what I found on my walk yesterday…growing in a long stretch of icky weeds.

I’m tellin’ you…ya gotta keep your eyes open for these sweet things!

 

20200429_075517

 

Hope you are hanging in there. Please share any Spirit Lifters of your own in “Comments”.

Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance 3/31/20

I have been watching the world from a distance since March 6th.

It’s OK though. I am used to some of it already.

I am living primarily in 2 large-ish rooms, separated from my family in other parts of the house. I have two windows, one for sunrises, and one for sunsets, so I’m fine.

And I can see 4 different bird feeders, so I’m good.

I can even see surprise guests sometimes.

 

But my most important Windows to the World these days are the ones I look in from the outside. It’s how I see my son and grandson (they won’t let me take photos). We’ve had some good talks this way, divided by such a small distance created by glass. (So close, and yet so far…).

And, it’s how I see Loki, the new Christmas kitten. We had just completely bonded and then I was cruelly isolated from him when my Doc “grounded” me to my rooms 26 days ago. 🙁

 

20200104_122944
Loki, a couple of weeks before the virus hit

 

Now, my only contact is through HIS Window on the World.

Each day he waits for our window-visit

Then we play through the window…his favorite thing is if I hold up the fish video on my phone.

 

20200327_15581120200323_10504520200323_104858

He has grown so much since we started this isolation.   Sigh…

 

Well, that’s my take on distance for today. You really should check out some of the other responses to this particular Lens Artist Challenge. They are lovely, inspirational, touching posts…I’m honored just to be responding to the same challenge!

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2020/03/28/lens-artists-challenge-90-distance/

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90: Distance

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/distance/

 

And, in keeping with my  commitment to find something uplifting every day, to balance all the frightening news stories, I found this! It’s long, (15 minutes) but delightful (especially if you are an “Office” or “Jack Ryan” fan…)

 

And this:

 

 

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2020/03/28/lens-artists-challenge-90-distance/

New Mental Health Regimen

For every 5 minutes spent searching for, and reading, the terrifying news we all need to be responsible to know about now, balance it with at least 5 minutes (maybe 20) of searching for, and reading some, of the amazing good news happening all over the world right now.

Writing you from Ground Zero in Washington State, USA., I know the Bad News all too well so I am determined to add to the good.

I spotted a couple great items around here yesterday.

First, for all the struggling local parents whose working lives revolve around and depend on their children being in schools that are now closed (some for weeks), one neighborhood is doing this creative thing.

Social distancing friendly scavenger hunt

Since the only safe get outside activities include walks, I have a proposal to inject some fun! (Borrowing this from a friend out of state). Daily window scavenger hunts! Tomorrow, let’s do Shamrocks (a day late, but who cares!) Basics: 1. Put the thing in a window on the front of your house. 2. Call it exercise (walk) 3. Call it math for you kids (count the [shamrocks] each day. 4. Call it art class the day before: make a [shamrock]. Let’s see if we can find a bit of joy. If you see someone else counting on your walk, wish them luck, from 6+ feet away!

 

Another has organized a group sponsoring Food Trucks from all over to come to suburban neighborhoods (from all their gas station parking lots) to bring Meals for whole families. This both feeds folks who can’t find open restaurants, and helps support the many local food truck businesses.

Picture 1 of 12

 

And of course, SPRING just keeps happening, relentless and unstoppable…thank you Nature!