August 9, 2020: Keeping Positive and Sane In A World Going Crazy
I thought 2020 was going to be an absolutely, incredible year for two reasons. One was superstitious, as my lucky number is four (add the 2020 digits together) and the fact that 20/20 meant perfect vision….leading to thoughts of a perfectly, wonderful series of upcoming events.
The pandemic changed all of that, leading to dramatic changes and challenges for the world. In conversations with family and friends, we’ve shared concerns, fears, hopes and coping strategies. For many, the old habit of “retail therapy” has been impacted by limited access and worry about public places combined with anxieties about the economy.. For others, the uncertainty of what our future looks like leads to unease and a prevailing sense of sadness. Spending time with loved ones has been drastically limited by concerns of virus exposure. So what do we do to keep positive and sane in world that seems to have gone crazy?
My 89 year-old stepmom, Rita Oellers, is my role model for someone who has embraced her life in all its stages. To maintain positivity during this quarantine time, she has created a routine that mirrors as much as possible the one she lived before social distancing. Rita was an active participant in her place of residence with her involvement in book clubs, exercise classes, field trips, speakers, committees and dinners. All of that has changed, with exposures to others drastically restricted. But Rita has created a daily routine of exercise, gardening, walking outdoors, reading and connecting with others via phone calls and social media. Not the same as preCovid, but the normalcy of her routine helps her to maintain her positive energy.
Sometimes it’s the joy found in favorite activities. During a conversation with my daughter this week, we discussed how sometime’s it’s little things. which keep us going. Heather is an artist, sensitive to the world around her. When shopping yesterday and feeling overwhelmed by the thought of the world’s problems and the specter of grocery shopping, she found herself wandering in an aisle of art supplies. Heather reminisced about the feelings of anticipation she used to have with the beginning of a school year; where tucked in her school bag was a brand new notebook with crisp, clean pages and a pack of clic-pens. The soft clic of the pencil was like a key in a lock, inviting her to draw and write with precise lines……a little thing she had control over in a world that has run amok. An avid gardener, Heather has also found the process of planting seeds, cultivating and maintaining her organic gardens creates both a sense and place of peace. While working from home in a demanding profession as a marketing director, she has discovered that taking breaks to wander through her extensive gardens is a powerful antidote to stress.
For Ron and me, it’s heading outdoors where the lessons in nature reaffirm daily how change is a part of life and even the most difficult times eventually pass. When the future is so uncertain, we find solace in the sight of wildflowers continuing to bloom, greeting them as old friends along the trail, who return each year to brighten the landscape. Like Rita, connecting with loved ones via phone calls, social networking and/or Zoom meetings helps us feel connected.
Although the worry about our future lingers, I’ve taken the time freed up from all of our show cancellations, to explore activities that keep me focused on the present moment….meditation, painting, drawing, photography and reading from inspirational sources.
We can’t change what’s happening in the world, most of it’s out of our control. But each one of us has our own ways of coping during stressful times with effective strategies to help us navigate an all too uncertain world.
We would love to read and share what ways you have discovered to keep healthy, motivated and positive. What has worked for you?
Here are a few quotes to inspire you. We appreciate your reading our blog, welcome your thoughts and invite you to share this with others who might find it meaningful.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today”.– Thich Nhat Hanh
“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.”– Doe Zantamata
“The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.”–Seneca
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”– Lee Iacocca
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”– Robert Frost
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”– Mary Anne Radmacher
Stay healthy and strong!
August 12, 2020
Always look forward to your blogs. Inspiring and very well written. You do a great job of finding interesting quotes to add to your blog.
August 12, 2020
Thank you so much Rita for reading our blog and for sharing you reflections and thoughts. You continue to be an inspiration on how to live well!