Who would have thought that finding toilet paper would be like finding gold? And hand sanitizer! If thieves were to break into your house that would be the first thing they'd steal. COVID-19 has tipped our lives upside down.
After the readers conference I was to attend got cancelled, after our dream Princess cruise to Hawaii went up in smoke, Gerhardt and I decided to get out of Washington and head to CA where we'd planned to spend spring with our son and family. Hardly anyone on the road except for truckers, keeping America supplied, God bless 'em. Strange times, folks. Now we're in sunny CA... self-quarantined.
Where are you right now? Are you working from home? Trying to home school and entertain the kids? Maybe you're in a retirement community and on lock down. Maybe you're in the health industry, working hard to keep the rest of us alive. If you are, thank you, thank you.
For those of us at home, this can feel either like a relief (if you're an introvert) or frustrating (if you're an extrovert). The kids may be driving you nuts or you may have cabin fever. Whatever the case, I have a few suggestions for how to keep on smilin'.
One I picked up from my friend Candy Paull, author of FINDING SERENITY IN SEASONS OF STRESS. (Check her out on Amazon!) On her Facebook page she talked about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed and depressed with everything that's going on right now. She decided to get out and do some yard work she'd been postponing. Seeing what she'd accomplished helped her feel empowered and encouraged.
What a good idea. Is there a chore you've been putting off? This is the perfect time do that spring cleaning.
With life slowing down it's also the perfect time to reconnect with our family members. For those of us who are now working at home and no longer commuting to work, we've gained some time, and found time is like found money. In some ways, better. You can always go out and earn more money. You can't earn more time.
Sooo, having said that...Limit your time in front of the TV, watching the news. Yes, we want to stay abreast of what's happening, but watching the same information over and over won't help our peace of mind. Instead how about building a family encouragement hour into your day? Read aloud to each other from a funny book, pick a favorite Bible passage to share (right now mine is Psalm 91), have a contest to see who can make up the funniest poem or story. work a puzzle together or play a long neglected board game, download an e-read by your favorite author, journal about lessons you're learning in all of this. Always wanted to write a book? Maybe this is the time to start. Or how about sewing face masks? My writing pal Lois Dyer heard there's a shortage and she's busy sewing masks for her local health care facility. Know an older person in the neighborhood who's self quarantining? Ask if you can leave cookies or some homemade soup on the doorstep.
This is a scary time but let's try to keep our attitudes positive and our hands clean. We'll get through this!
Girlfriends are such a treasure, and there's nothing to make you feel rich like getting away for something fun with yours. Which I did last weekend. We were on the Washington Coast, enjoying a chocolate festival, sampling all kinds of goodies... and buying some goodies, too. We even got in a beach walk.
There may not be a chocolate festival going on in your neck of the woods, but maybe there's something you can do with your girlfriends. How about a slumber party at someone's house? Or maybe just a spa day? Or a movie night? Or have your own chocolate party and share chocolate desserts.
I know we're all fearful of this new corona virus, but the CDC is urging us to not freeze up in terror and to live our lives. That's what I'm trying to do. I have the Book Lovers Convention coming up in Nashville in just a couple of weeks. I'm still planning on going and doing my part to stimulate their local economy after the tornado. And in April we have a cruise to Hawaii scheduled. On a Princess ship! I've been waiting to see Hawaii for about forty years, so I'm hoping this all will settle down and the poor cruise line will be able to sail away from their problems. If that doesn't work out, Hawaii will still be there.
Meanwhile, though, I can have fun with my friends and appreciate them. How about you? What are you doing to keep your focus positive and enjoy your life? Hope you're finding ways to do that. Even if you can't get to a festival, maybe it's time to go buy some chocolate!