The New Reality – Gratefulness

I haven’t been to work for 11 days. Tomorrow, I will get up at 5 a.m., roll on over there and see what is happening. I am a surgical nurse, and all of our elective cases are on hold for now. Only something seen as “emergent” will be dealt with. I have learned a lot in the past 11 days, and here is some of it:

  • I have found my natural sleep schedule….9.5 hours. Yep. Exactly. Every night.
  • I have acknowledged that I really am a true introvert. I really don’t miss going out.
  • I have found that exercise and meditation do more for me than watching videos about IT.
  • I have accepted that I place a lot of faith in unseen forces that might help us all.
  • But, most of all, I have been practicing gratefulness almost without ceasing.

It is essential that I practice gratefulness right now, because I am so fortunate. I have a person that loves me, a safe home, enough food, and yes…even toilet paper (I’m not telling, it’s a secret).

Yes, I have lost much, much, much of my investment for the future. I am losing time at work, and I desperately wish I could be in the same room as my extended family. But, hey, they’re doing okay too. And so…I am grateful.

I feel like mother nature is shaking the cage right now. “Wake up you idiots!” Time to take a break, and be introspective. It’s time to take care of ourselves, and others, and this Earth. It’s as if we’ve been running amok like a crazy cartoon animal, and she is grabbing us and slapping us across the face. “Stop it!”

I get it. I get that these things happen every once in awhile. Some of us just happen to be living through this one. All is not lost, we are not done. Just breathe, take some time to reflect on what is truly important, and start living that way from now on. Just maybe in retrospect, we will see we really needed this. It’s going to hurt while we’re in it, but just like the sting from a face slap, it will eventually heal.

I have to tell you one more thing about gratefulness. It is magic. If you live in a state of gratefulness, there is no possibility of feeling fear, or anger. The wonderful part is, this magical state of being actually bestows great blessings on you. Try it…it worked for me.

My hope is that you are safe, and will take the necessary precautions to help slow this thing by staying inside when you can. We can do this, hang in there. Cheers, Deb

Coronavirus

Ugh. That’s all I have to say. When’s the last time you went through a plague? I really thought that maybe, just maybe, we had become advanced to the point of NOT experiencing something as pervasive and awful as a modern-day plague.

Here’s the thing though, I was talking to a patient recently who actually works for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), and this was way before we knew about COVID-19. When asked what scared him or surprised him the most, he said, “you know, we really don’t have to worry about war and nuclear weapons as much as a virus that will be completely resistant and take out massive amounts of people.” Whoa…..I guess he’s on to something there.

It seems strange that I had just asked that question a few months ago, and here we are today, dealing with IT. How do we incorporate IT into our everyday lives? Many people here in the state of Colorado aren’t too freaked out as yet. We just got word that 2 people tested positive, which is much less than other areas of the country. There is concern over travel, however. Just yesterday one doctor I work with was seriously tossing around the idea of canceling his family’s vacation cruise. I have to agree with him – just make alternate plans right now.

This will affect my decision making as well. I am scheduled to meet my daughter in London in June. Can we battle it down by then? When do I have to make a decision? This takes me back to 2001, and 911. We were scheduled to travel to Germany on September 21, but ended up cancelling. At that time, we didn’t even know if international flights would happen. I guess I’ll have to wait and see on this one.

IT is different, in that IT is growing exponentially, and doesn’t know borders or cultures. IT randomly infects anyone, anywhere. Not only did I just move out of Seattle less than a year ago (one of the most infected cities in the US), but we also just got back from Italy 6 months ago. Talk about escape! I am a nurse as well….can I continue to escape the plague?

My hope is that it will somehow mutant, changing into something less deadly, or just fade away…..My other hope is that children will continue to be more difficult to infect, because that would just be the worst. Please, please, know that IT is possible, and wash, distance yourself, and avoid crowded public places for now. We will get through this, and maybe it will make us more united as a human species. Maybe it will make us more empathetic to the trials of other people around the world.

Take care of yourself. Cheers, Deb

The Birth of Light

My buddy

Saturday, the 21st will be the winter solstice, the day of the year that we observe the least amount of sunshine, or the shortest day, here in the Northern Hemisphere. Throughout human history, we have observed many different rituals that take place on the longest night of the year.

For instance, in Scandinavia, there is a St. Lucia day, which kicks off the Christmas season. In China, families celebrate a special meal with rice balls called “tang yuan”. This time of the year is observed to remember the yin and yang of life; the positive and negative, the darkness and the sun. In England, winter solstice celebrations take place at Stonehenge, because it is thought by archaeologists that the structure definitely was built with the position of the sun in mind. And in Iran, an ancient Persian festival to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, “Yalda”, is observed with family gatherings.

Basically, for thousands of years humans have observed the movement of the planets and stars. The equinoxes were occasions that marked the passing of our lives, and our connection to the universe. Winter solstice is a time for reflection and renewal. It can be thought of as depressing, but I would like to leave you with a positive reflection.

A yogi that I follow on line referred to the winter solstice as “the birth of light”, and this really resonated with me. Not only is it the start of longer days that lead to warmer weather, but the 21st of December is my grandson’s birthday

My grandson will turn 4 on Saturday, and I can’t relate to you how much I have bonded with this little boy. 4 years ago, I was feeling pretty low. My older brother had died unexpectedly that summer. No matter what I did, I could not pull myself out of the depressing funk that permeated my daily life. I remember climbing under the covers in the middle of summer, crying unexpectedly, and having no joy in life whatsoever. It was a total bummer.

The birth of my grandson changed all of that. His birth brought joy back to me, and a love that is beyond understanding. I felt needed as a grandmother, to care for a developing person and add my tidbits of knowledge whenever I could. We have been close ever since.

For me, the 21st of December is not the darkest day of the year – it is truly the “birth of light” in more ways than one. His light shone forth, and brought me through the darkness. I hope that this will make you feel a little differently about the winter solstice, and that in your heart you will experience your own “birth of light”.

Have a wonderful week. Please follow me for more thoughts, and post a like or comment if you will. Cheers, Deb