Simple things

Well how are you all doing? I think you extroverts are struggling more than us introverts, sorry about that. I have a few group chats happening with various friends, one friend is hosting a dinner party for all of us to cozy on up to Zoom while we munch away on our dinner and drink wine. I am less inclined to want to chat and visit but I know it’s important to my pals who need the conversation to keep them energized.

I have been home for nine days with the hubs, my two adult kids and my pal Cap. We connect over meals and have long newsy chats after work while dinner is being made. I like this scenario. It reminds me of staying home with the kids when they were small. I make sure I check on my parents regularly and that keeps me up to date with the sibs. I am not adventuring other than going outside at noon with Cap and going for a quiet walk in the neighbourhood so it feels like I have been away for along time. It’s only nine days yet it seems like I have endless time to do things. How is it possible that days are longer and minutes are 5x longer than last week? Why do I have so much energy?

Well, limiting human contact is energizing for me. I am not tired from the daily buzz and conversation at work. When I ‘come home’ after work (walk upstairs) I feel like I have enough energy to do a million things. I visit with the famjam, I try out new recipes (I made fresh pasta on the weekend). I am reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle (read this book especially if you are trying to find your way). I am watching Belgravia, Julian Fellowes’ new series (I like it!) I am doing art. I am writing. I am also sleeping like the dead! I go to bed at 10 and sleep until 7 now. That is a minimum of 8 hours sleep.

It isn’t all good though. When a fellow at work asked how I am doing I replied, “Living the dream in between panic attacks”. It is a scary time and it frustrates me that many people aren’t taking this seriously. I personally know three people who are showing moderate to severe symptoms and one is in hospital with Covid-19 pneumonia. We don’t know if he will be okay. I worry about my family and what if they pass it on to my mom or me? Then what? I did learn a valuable lesson in January when I was grieving. I learned to feel all the emotions and not stuff them into your socks. So I felt all those emotions from fear to anger, sadness and pain. It comes back around to joy and happiness. I pay attention to little things and laugh out loud at them. Kermit dancing to Stevie Nicks is one of those joys. My son’s gallows humour is another. My daughter is hilarious and is sharing stories she is writing for school. She will be a great writer one day. My dog plays tricks on me then laughs. His laugh is all it takes to lift my spirits.

I cobbled together enough ingredients to make the next Basically Baking challenge! I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying that! I have learned so much from it. Food has become a simple pleasure. We are mindful of waste and are even collecting veg scraps to make broth with. I wish it was warm enough to sit on my deck. It keeps snowing so that won’t be for a while but going for walks alone in the woods works just as well. Lynden my tree and I have been communing. The energy transfer is intense and I love every second of it. Of course I still meditate every day, now twice a day, today was 1120th consecutive day of meditation. Without it…I don’t want to think about the state of my mental health. I crave it every day.

I realized it is the little things that get me through. I think after this I won’t go back to big splashy things. I think the simple way is better for me, my mental health and my soul. Just a reminder if you need a place to go when things get to be too much, hang out for a while at the Edmonton Tourist Community. There are some lovely people there.

Stay healthy friends.

Chaos and calm, but how are you really?

I hope you are well. Chances are you are not infected with Covid-19, but you are still affected by it. Me too, but I am not scared and I hope you aren’t scared either. It feels like I am living in some strange alternate reality or dystopian future but I am not and neither are you. My life has taken on an air of caution, as I am sure, yours has too. Work was bonkers as we mobilize to cancel and/or postpone events. Keeping people in the loop is an important part of keeping anxiety levels low. Not knowing is harder on some people than others. A lot of you have sent me notes asking me to take precautions and wish me well.

Thank you. I mean that sincerely.

It a world where everyone is nosey to the enth degree, there is a surprising lack of questioning going on. You may be shy, so I will start.

How are you? No, really? How are you? Are you stressed because you are holding your family together? Are you the one people look to for fixing and managing things? Is your rock letting you lean on them a bit? Are you alone in this?

First of all, you are not alone. The world is also right there with you. Tell me how you are doing.

……………

Okay, I will start.

I am abundantly happy. Strange I know, but as an introvert, this time of allowing is energizing for me. I slept eight hours for the first time in, hmmm… I don’t know. Maybe since my kids were little and I had less worries.

I phoned people this week. Also strange because I hate talking on the phone. My pal and I chatted and caught up for two hours yesterday! We had the best visit. I called my mom this week. I chatted with people who usually only get an email. My niece and I caught up! She lives in California and her job is in hiatus because of the pandemic but we had a great visit and the lovely side effect is she sends me photos and notes. One side affect of this pandemic is talking to people. It feels like love.

I am cooking and baking! I love to do this. I didn’t for a long time but currently I love it again. We bought stuff to make rather than strain the freezer and canned food aisles. I have yeast and flour, things and stuff. We will be fine. In stead of tossing stale bread, I made banana bread pudding with rum sauce. FYI it tastes as good as it sounds. I made a batch of pasta e ci ci. It was warm and tasty. I watched Andy on Bon Appetit and re-created it.

We sat around the house and visited with each other. There are four adults and one dog in this house. Our schedules are busy and sometimes we don’t see eachother for a few days. We had long newsy catchups PLUS, we were laughing in ways we haven’t done in a long time. We remembered things my grandpa said. My Grandfather called himself Potow, Pioneer of the old west, and he was filled with depression and war stories of rations and lack. He was also a giant fibber. We laughed because we all have a catalogue of his stories and recipes in our memories to save us from this socially isolated time. Need a recipe for bear grease and macaroni? I got you. Need to decide where to put your outhouse in relation to the house? I got you. Need to know what to do when guarding prisoners of war with no bullets? Don’t worry, I have tips for that too. He would be in his glory right now with all kinds of advice because he lived through something similar and now his wisdom can be shared with new generations of people.

I think this time is going to be challenging for many people. We don’t know how long it will last but if China is any indication, it will be a long time. So now its your turn. What is going on with you? Let’s talk about it. So that leads me to this this thing I just started. Over on Facebook I created a community of Edmonton Tourist readers. It is a private space where you can chat about anything. The only rule to follow is kindness. It is a space where we can gather and chat and ask questions, learn new things and laugh. A place where you don’t have to be glue that holds it all together. Think of it as an old fashion barn raising or quilting bee. It is a space that is open to all genders, race and religion. I don’t know if you need this or if this is going to be a thing, but it felt like something I could do. You can join and chat or join and watch. Whatever your comfort level, you are welcome there. It may just be me there alone for a while but I am comfortable alone in my own skin so I am good. I am keeping it private because some people need that but feel free to bring along a friend if that makes you feel better. I will start with conversation starters but this is our space, not mine, so you can start conversations too. We can talk about books, recipes, things you heard at the grocery store, how you are struggling or something fun that happened. It’s all good.

This is where you find us. Edmonton Tourist Community. You are very welcome to come. I hope to see you there.