Coronavirus Aftermath- The Good

Life isn’t feeling much different these days. Some things are much different, and probably will be for a long time and that is ok.

For example, I had my first in-office doctor visit this week. I had done many virtual visits during the pandemic, including a visit with my rheumatologist, hematologist, general doctor, urgent care for an eye infection and I think that might be it.

The visit was quick and easy. They are scheduling at 80% capacity, instead of the normal 3 X’s the capacity that they normally schedule. My doctor said that even if there is a second wave of the Coronavirus they will stay open because now they are prepared to do so safely. She said they spray the entire room with cleaner after each patient. This is what the normally bustling waiting room looked like:

Weird vibes in the waiting room.

I have to admit that I’m not so eager for some things to go back to normal.

We celebrated our 19th anniversary two days ago. He worked all day, but we had some fun too during his breaks. After work, we were going to go out for dinner but decided to order Mexican carryout instead. We ate on the deck and then sat on the pool deck for a while just talking the night away. It was one of the most simple anniversaries that we’ve had, but will probably be one of my favorites. One of the best parts is that after being stuck home with three kids for over three months, they were ALL gone on the day of our anniversary. It was random, but wonderful and I thanked the Universe profusely.

Today my department, the academic support teachers, are getting together at a friend’s house. The host is our ringleader. She was my mentor and we team taught when I first was hired in at RO in 2012. Usually these types of gatherings are something I kind of dread. I’m a homebody and sometimes don’t feel like socializing. Today, and all week, I have been SOOOOOOOOO excited to see my friends!!! I can’t wait for this gathering. I was so excited last week at the clap out parade to see all my work friends. It was an amazing feeling and so unfamiliar to me, as I’ve always taken my friends and family for granted.

So now I’m an extrovert, lol.

In all seriousness, there are some things that have been great that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the Coronavirus. Let’s take a look:

  1. After a lifetime of thinking that we would drive each other crazy during retirement, I’m now confident that we will get along just fine. Ironically, after this quarantine, I feel closer and more in love with him.
  2. Karma Revolution. I will always have fond memories when I think of this story. Without COVID, this story wouldn’t have existed. It has made my family laugh- a lot. The whole process was great, and I was able to include my family because they were the only brains around to drill. This is my first story to be published and I think has given me the motivation to plow forward with writing my three novel series that I started five years ago. I’ve been working on it for hours this week and the once daunting task that I couldn’t start has been coming easily to me. For days this week I got lost in my writing and can’t stop thinking about the story that has been in my head since 2015, or maybe longer. I would love it to be a bestseller, and to have it be made into a movie, but I’m not asking that of my story. My goal is to get it out of my head and onto the paper. Then my goal is to go through the process which is still unfamiliar to me. I know need I’ll Beta readers, and things like that. I plan to send my story to about 77 publishers and I’m expecting to get around 76-77 rejection letters. Then I will self-publish. Even if I sell just one copy (to myself) it’s still a win. I got the story out of my head and will not die with my music still inside (thank you Wayne Dyer). I don’t think I would be this motivated if it weren’t for getting Karma Revolution published, which required COVID.
  3. Hubby working from home. This saves him two hours everyday from not having to commute. They are bringing people back slowly next month, but you know what? He is way more efficient and less stressed at home, so he is going to continue working from home unless he needs to be there for some reason. He figures once everything is completely back to normal, he’ll still work from home about three days per week.
  4. New projects for hubby at work. He works for a large furniture company. There was a project they were going to outsource for a big chunk of money. Then COVID hit and they laid off 60% of employees and closed all the stores. Anthony was able to take on the project, delegate some of it to his team members and it ended up being a great thing. He did a great job and beamed after the meetings where he showed it to the CIO and other high flyers- and he saved this company a boat load of money. This would not have happened if they didn’t close because of COVID.
  5. I am now a hugger. I used to hate hugs. Hugs are still weird because of COVID. At the parade last week, Shellie came up to me and offered a hug but said it was ok if I didn’t want to. I think I hugged that woman 14 times that day!
  6. Socializing is fun and exiting now. And don’t even start about going out. I don’t even drink, but would love to go to a bar about now. I have never appreciated human interaction as much as I do right now.
  7. Virtual IEP meetings. For as much stress and anxiety that these meetings caused me, I would have never guessed that they would be so easy and wonderful. I think everyone in-person is still the best option. But for parents who are busy and can’t make it in, or can’t take 1/2 day off work, virtual IEP meetings might still be a good option, even when we are back at school. Who would have known?
  8. New traditions. Or maybe just one. The Breakfast Stream! Little Ant and I started to watch Steve and Mal George and their show every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We even got a shout out from them, lol. I will always have fond memories when I think about watching them- Stephen with his big hair towards the end of quarentantine because all the barbers are closed. Good times.
  9. Seesaw. Learned it. Hated it. Used it. Hated it some more. All in all, I think Seesaw is a great program. It could be very useful for making sub plans and for assigning homework. I HATED remote teaching, but can see the good in Seesaw, especially combined with in-school learning.
  10. Not drinking. If not drinking makes your life that much better, just think about what not drinking during quarantine does to you. I think there were legitly people drunk this entire few months. I am not judging, that could easily be me. But it’s not. Early in the quarantine, I hit my one-year soberversary. I came within a hair’s length of drinking after that. I had met my year goal and now was bored and had to stay home and everyone else was doing it. Only everyone else wasn’t doing it. I’m proud to say that I survived a worldwide pandemic without drinking over it. I couldn’t say that if it wasn’t for COVID!

I’m sure there’s a lot of other things to be thankful for that resulted from COVID, but I need to wrap this up. I think this is a good list though.

I’m sure there’s a lot of other things to be thankful for that resulted from COVID, but I need to wrap this up. I think this is a good list though.

Peace out!

Plants, They’re Just Like Us!

Today is like day #999 in quarantine, ok well it’s really around 100 days or something like that, but we are losing our minds over here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my seedlings lately, as they are getting big and need to be planted into the ground.  I have to tell you that I’ve learned some new things about plants that are just amazing to me.  I thought it would be fun to write about it, instead of my normal heavy posts.

As a vegetarian, my family loves to tease me about the cruelty of butchering and eating plants.  Especially my youngest brother-in-law, he just loves to ridicule me, but I know enough now to know that he does it out of his own insecurities, and it really doesn’t have anything to do with me.

But after learning what I now know, I’m thinking that maybe my brother-in-law’s mean teasing words are truer than we ever knew- although the leaves and fruit keep living and growing after you pick it, so there is no comparison really.  I’ve made a list of the top 5 reasons why plants are #1 just like us, #2 have a soul, #3 are frickin’ rockstars!

 

Plants are Just Like Us

5. They move.  I didn’t realize how much they move until I saw a recent video on Facebook.  Ok, I realize that this isn’t a shocking realization, but it’s still pretty dang cool, check this out:

4. They sustain life.  Also not brain busting.  We’ve been hearing for years that the bees are dying.  When the bees die, all of the plants will die and so we will die too.  But still a very important attribute.

3.  They take life.  Also a very important attribute, yeah?  Some plants eat meat (venus fly trap) but most take life in the form of poisoning it’s victim.  Sad, but true.

2. They have friends AND enemies.  WHO knew?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I am planting a ground garden this year instead of my normal container garden and found out that some plants do great near each other, and some not so much.  Just like people, some of us do great near each other, and others not so much.  So think about that the next time you do some gardening…

1. (DRUMROLL) ..   They appear to have working brain cells- these suckers are smart!  I mean, for one thing, they make their own food, all with the Earth’s elements, how awesome is that?  I think we all  take photosynthesis a little for granted, it’s something that we were taught at a very young age and just seems so normal– but it really is remarkable.  But I recently learned something even more amazing.  Did you know that if you soak a seed in your saliva, and then grow it, that seed will detect nutrients that your body is missing and grow with a surplus of those nutrients, just for YOU!  So basically it becomes a personal superfood.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, “No way!”  I thought that at first too, but changed my mind after digging a little bit.  The only thing I don’t understand is why this isn’t common knowledge?

So there ya go, folks!  Plants are JUST LIKE US!

#Day429 #quarantine2020 #losingit #losingmymind #gardening #seeds #June #fun

 

 

 

2020 is Epic

As far as this pandemic goes, things appear to be looking up. We are so lucky (so far). We had a couple of make-shift overflow hospitals constructed and I don’t even think they had to be used. I haven’t lost anyone that I personally know to COVID, yet. My little family has stayed home and healthy. The boys have now been home for 9 weeks.

All three boys have taken this very well, but I think they are starting to crack. Will told me the other day that he had a dream that he was back at school and it was so weird to be back. I asked him if it made him happy to be back, and he said yes, and that made me sad for him. Andrew told me yesterday that he is not even looking forward to summer break. He’d rather just go back to school, instead of being off for six months, which is a very long time. A few weeks ago, Anthony, the oldest, told me that he is thriving in quarantine. I am happy for him, and recent conversations revealed that he isn’t necessarily thriving at the moment, but he is totally ok with continuing to stay home- which is good but does make me question his sanity a bit.

Our stay at home order is supposed to end in about a week. I am hoping that restaurants and stores open back up (but will operate at 25-50% capacity). I feel like it’s already ended. In the beginning there was very little traffic, but now our roads seem normal. It was nice because at first, I could take a walk and cross 10 mile at the end of the street, but now there’s too much traffic it’s best to cross at the light. I kind of liked it when the roads were deserted as I walked at lunch.

Two days ago we got A LOT of rain. There was a lot of flooding in Tawas and Midland and surrounding areas. I think Midland was really bad because two dams broke. An entire lake was emptied and I can’t even comprehend it. Debbie says that the man who owned the dams was a big jerk who harrassed lakefront home owners. He lowered the lake levels so it would be unusable, but was ordered to put the lake back last spring. I feel bad for the lakefront homeowners. I hope that man is held liable, but I’m not sure he will because he sold the dams last year. They had been in awful working order and needing repairs for years, allegedly.

Debbie and her family are all dry and safe, but I can tell that this has shaken them up a bit, being so close. And to top it off, a huge landmark and feed store right by them burned down a few nights ago. It seems like there is turmoil all over, it’s crazy.

This is kind of a sad week. Tomorrow should be Red, White and Blue Day at Oak Ridge, a huge community event. I love this day, mainly because the kids get so excited about it.

I’ll never forget the day I subbed for kindergarten just about exactly 4 years ago. It was a warm sunny day in May and the little ones had just begun their afternoon work. Someone started singing. Then they all chimed in. All were singing one of the Red, White and Blue day songs, it was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. But that kind of tells you how special this entire day is for us. In fact, people from all over start setting up chairs in the morning to save a spot for the parade. The parade is fun, marching around with kids and waving our little flags. It’s a big and beautiful ceremony, honoring our veterans.

Tomorrow is also Jules’ 6th birthday! I can’t help my mind from thinking how wonderful tomorrow should be. I would have probably taken Jules to daycare before work, giving him a special day, and would have excitedly driven to work eager for the festivities. Oh well. I’m pretty happy at home, but it is all just very sad and doesn’t seem right.

Just a couple more things.. since this weekend is Memorial Day weekend, it is time to fill the pool! I can’t even believe it- mainly because it feels like we are stuck in March. It doesn’t seem like summer should be here yet..

Lastly, my short story about “after the pandemic” is about done, it should get published in a book titled Six Feet from Tomorrow. I needed a cover for my story, Hubby made it for me. It was WAY different from my vision of it, but after I warmed up to it I really like it! It’s quite different from many of the other covers in the book, but I think that might be a good thing. Here is the cover, along with the picture that made it happen, haha!!

It’s HILARIOUS!! Mainly because the character eats the little dog, and my cover model is Dave and Sasha which cracks me up. I don’t know why, but we could all use more laughs these days, so I’m not going to question it.  This entire debacle (the story line, the photo and cover) has resulted in many much needed laughs around my house.  We need to keep creating funny things 🙂

Alright. My right hand has been in an awful flare lately, and it’s killing me to type, so I have to stop.

Peace, Love and Happiness <3

#Day421

Sadness

Today it feels like day 300 of quarantine.  It feels like a million years since we’ve been in school, yet it seems like yesterday.  Today I am filled with sadness, oddly accompanied by higher vibes than a sad day would normally bring me.  I don’t know why this is, perhaps I am accepting the changes that are inevitably ahead.

I’m sad for the kids right now.  Some of them are fine, like mine.  I have my 11-year-old and 17-year-old plus my 16-year-old nephew.  All three boys have not mourned school, and deny missing it at all.  The older boys are both Juniors, and I have to say that if this had happened in my Junior year, I would have celebrated for DAYS and praised the Lord for his amazing gift of a never ending snow day.  Being the underachieving and uninvolved high school student, I get it.  Luckily for me, these boys have it more together than I did and are keeping up on their studies at home.  My 11 year old gets all of his work on Monday for the week.  He likes to try to get it all done before Friday so he can have a long weekend.  I am so grateful that we are ok in this area.

Some kids are not fine.  School is an escape, in some instances, their only escape.  What about those kids?  Some kids have parents who are essential workers with long hours.  Older siblings have to take charge of the household, all while managing their studies as well as supervising any siblings, essentially becoming a homeschool teacher.  And some, like one of my 2nd graders, has a fine home life, but is still having a lot of emotional struggles due to school closing suddenly and everything getting cancelled.

And I wonder how they will be in the fall.  And I am prepared, mentally, for additional challenges that we will all face.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a little bit more support for these kiddos, such as a social worker who is at our school for more than a day and a half per week (the half day that she is there is usually filled with meetings, so she really only is able to see kids for one full day).  We have many students who have gone through or going through extra tough times (like being put in foster care and changing schools- or losing a parent, that’s not all that uncommon, sadly), and have often said that we should have a social worker everyday, we sure could use one!

Then I watch the news and listen to the cuts to education they are proposing.  The biggest cut they have made in previous years was 7%.  Now politicians are talking about a 20-25% cut in funding- about $2,000 per student.

That is 1/4.  One fourth.

Data shows my district had 5000 kids in 2017-2018.  That would be a $10,000,000 loss for my district alone. What are they going to do, have elementary classrooms with 50 kids?  Will my caseload double?  Will we even have a social worker at all? I am an academic support teacher, who helps students with reading or math.  Will they cut my job?  Or will they just cut a bunch of jobs and go fully online?

If you’ve worked in a school, you probably get it.  I work in a fairly wealthy district, one that has often made the top ten ranking in our state.  However, even in this district, we have great challenges.  For one thing, the students who come in each year seem more and more needy and challenged.  It is common for Kindergarten teachers to get a huge variety of skill sets with each new class.  Some kids can’t hold a pencil or sit still for a minute, while others are reading full books.  (If you are a Kindergarten teacher– KUDOS to you, I don’t know how you do it).

Upper elementary teachers don’t have it much easier.  We have many students who are integrated into the general education class who have tremendous learning differences.  Some are reading 2-3 years below grade level.  These kids need a lot of support, including an adult available to read things to them or chunk up large assignments, plus the teachers need to adapt their lessons.  Typically, we don’t have enough support to go around for all of the kids who need it, but we do the best we can, it can be difficult though.

I can’t image cutting what we have in fourths.  Hopefully it doesn’t happened, some say it’s just Republicans trying to scare our governor who is heavy on the quarantine orders.  But I can’t say it’s not on my mind– and makes me devastated and furious at the same time.  I’m already feeling so unsure and anxious about the next school year, this just amplifies it.

I’m not sad for me, I can change my career, although I would truly miss working with students on a daily basis.  But mainly, I’m sad for this generation of kids who we will be failing if we take more from the already sparse educational plate.

I’m trying to let it go.  But I have monkey mind and it’s hard not to at least wonder what the future holds- but I know that worrying about it won’t make a difference.

That psychic from last November sure had it right!  The lessons won’t stop coming this year.  She also said that the next three years will be magnificent, so..


This has been a decent week, overall.  I was pretty productive for the most part, until today.  Today it was dark and dreary, rainy and stormy.  I had a pretty lazy morning that consisted mainly of connecting to friends/family – which can feel lazy if you’re just texting, but it was more than that today, and I think I needed it.  I talked to a few people from work about certain kids we share and I think all of the connecting helped my vibes stay higher.  I didn’t mind the stormy weather, it was nice and feels like a good excuse to be lazy.  I put off a shower, but took a nice long bath in the afternoon.

And some very exciting news!  We are the proud owners of a new stove, woohoo!!!  Ours has been not working right for awhile now, so we’ve been keeping our eye out and found a good one I hope. It’s getting delivered tomorrow morning and I’m so excited!  It is nicer than ours, it is a convection oven and has an air fryer built in.  I will be doing lots of cooking this weekend.

The End

#Day414

A Better Way

Each day
was the same
Until it was
not
One day
Children stopped
Going to school
People stopped
Gathering
Parties cancelled
Weddings postponed
All over
the world
people stayed home
and wore
a mask
when out
Stores closed
Sports games cancelled
Factories suspended
Outside was silent
Not dissimilar to
A cold
winter’s spell
Only it wasn’t
cold
And it wasn’t
winter
Birds chirped
Flowers blossomed
Trees bloomed
Babies frolicked
Frogs sang
The people were
still
And the planet
mended
Smog disappeared
And the
people sang
from their
living room
To an audience
in their
living room
And the people
had parades
in their cars
to celebrate
birthdays
They decorated
their windows
With rainbows
and made colorful
Masks for
other people
Days were joyous
until the people
and the planet
healed

Day 400, Gratitude & Regrets

When I first stopped drinking, I had some big regrets for a long time. One of the biggest one was feeling like I failed my youngest. I was a normal drinker when my oldest was young, but was in the midst of alcoholism during the time I had my youngest (did not drink while pregnant, but started again right after).

I felt awful for a long time, especially comparing myself to young women sobering up before settling down or while their kids were still little. As a side note, we should not compare ourselves to anyone, ever.

After quitting drinking, I saw how much closer my youngest was to my hubby than me. They were way more bonded, from years of my hubby actively being there, while I was drinking every night passed out many nights before tucking him in.

It killed me a little inside, knowing that I couldn’t go back and change things.

After a few years, much soul work and getting my mental state working properly, I focused more on the things I had going for me, not the regrets.

I’ve been so grateful this week for the time I’ve had with my youngest during this quarantine. We’ve played card games, video games, had good discussions, made delicious food together and a lot of laughs. I realized that he and I are more alike than I ever knew. And many times he turns to me, instead of it always being my hubby.

He listens when I talk about the Universe and always excitedly tells me when it’s 11:11, 1:11, 2:22, etc– or when the Universe gives us a sign. And I love it, because my hubby and other son are NOT universe fans, lol.

You know what I don’t have? Regrets. I was thinking this morning that my experience would probably be much different if I had drank after my one year anniversary. I am 100% sure that I would not be cherishing this time like I am now. I am so grateful for sobriety.

#Day400

The Death of Should

Many of my teacher friends are embracing this idea of online education. They have cute home offices, perfect camera set ups for lessons, etc.

I’m not feeling it at all, we SHOULD be at school!

I’m feeling annoyed and sad, which I tend to do when things don’t turn out the way they SHOULD.

I always seem to get in a tizzy when things aren’t the way they SHOULD be.


I also get super down when I don’t do the things I know I SHOULD be doing.

Today I’m burying SHOULD into the ground 💒⚰️🪓

Thank you, you horrendous word, for always keeping me cautious and on my toes. You are no longer of service to me. Be gone. 🙅🏼‍♀️

The Opportunistic Alcoholic Voice

Thursday April 2 was a great day for the most part.  This was the day (from my previous post) that I had a spiritual walk and a blissful day.

I was cleaning up the kitchen with my nephew and instructed him to clean the stove.  I was seasoning an iron pan and had just turned one of the gas burners off so I told him to be very careful, that burner was still very hot.  In the next instance, I noticed him cleaning around the grates on one of the other burners.  I zoomed over there to show him how to lift up the grates to clean underneath, when without even thinking I grabbed the hot grate.

OUCH!!

It wasn’t too bad, fortunately, but it did hurt and blister.  Truthfully, it was ok the whole evening as long as I kept something cool or cold on it.  The minute I removed cooless, my skin would burn like the pit of hell.

I went to Walgreens for burn cream and wrap.  Sadly, it didn’t help the pain and I had to wash it off and put ice on it because it was still burning to high heaven.

I was so worried about being able to sleep, would I have to sleep with my hand in a bucket of ice?

In the past, it wouldn’t be a problem, I would drink a bottle of vodka and pass out fast.  But that wasn’t an option.  And I’ve quit my vape/weed pen, so that wasn’t an option either.  I was on like day 4 and didn’t want to start over– plus I really didn’t think it would be strong enough to help-it is so mild.

I thought of my sister-in-law, knowing she had a broken ankle and some other things in the past and I thought had a collection of drugs that just sits in her cabinet, so I sent her a message.

She is a godsend!

I drove over there and she gave me a bag of goodies.  Two Rx painkillers that happened to be about 6 years expired.  She was so kind, she also gave me manuka honey, bandages and gauze.

I thought that it was ironic that I couldn’t drink or do pot, but could do the other  harsh drugs without any consequence.

I knew not to mix them, and looked them up to see which one I should take.  I took 1 pill, then 2 the maximum dose.  I felt a little light and giggly, but it didn’t knock me out like I expected.  In fact, a couple hours later I got up and took Benadryl to help me sleep.  The pain was a little better but I was wide awake.  Eventually, I did sleep ok, and my hand looked and felt a bit better the next day.

But I didn’t bring the drugs back.  I was curious.  The next day, I tried the other one just to see what it felt like.  I wasn’t impressed, but maybe because they were 6 years expired.

My mind was doing a lot of thinking about those pill bottles in the Bath and Body Works bag she sent them in.

I thought about taking some and keeping them, just in case I wanted or needed them later.  I wondered if her and my brother-in-law counted the pills before sending them over.  I even thought about exaggerating the burn so that I would be justified in taking more than I actually needed.  As the next day went on, I was almost obsessively thinking about them, it didn’t even matter that they really weren’t effective at all, it was the idea I guess.

Why?

My addiction is looking for any opportunity to get out of my head and my body.  Picking up drugs for a burn triggered it.  I should also add that both medication is known to be addictive, so hoarding multiple doses is a recipe for disaster.

The following day, hubby and I took a bike ride and I took the drugs back.  I was happy to get rid of them, my mind could now be free, and it was.

It’s now been a few days, and I’m not addicted to those drugs.  I haven’t even given it a thought, but do realize that I need to be very careful.

That Besty, my inner alcoholic is an opportunistic BEAST!

Be the Light

4/5/20

This past week has been a powerful week for me, personally.  At the beginning, I was just climbing out of the funk I was in for two weeks after life changed completely.  It wasn’t an awful funk, I was able to maintain my workouts and be pretty productive, but couldn’t shake the feeling of grief and fear I had in the back of my mind.  Uncertainty.  No shortage of it anywhere.

I feel so lucky to have gone through recovery from addiction, it is sure helping me navigate these muddy waters!

There was a time when I didn’t feel so lucky.  I had a day 1, and 2 and 3 and so forth and I felt so good.  Inevitably, after 10 days or so my addictive voice would start to make noise.  And for whatever reasons (boredom, stress, anger, denial that I really cared or wanted sobriety, you name it).  Then I would drink, and again the next night and the next, till I was able to stop again.. for 10, 11 sometimes 12 days, then back at it.  It was an endless cycle that left me questioning why all the time.  Occasionally, I would rack up 30, 40 or sometimes even more days, but when life got difficult I would always find myself heavy in a relapse.  What was the purpose of doing this over and over again?  Why is God putting me through this?

Fast forward to 2020.  I’m approaching my year anniversary of not drinking and the entire world is in chaos.  My addiction sees this as a grand opportunity.  Why not drink after that year?  Why NOT?

Because stopping is really hard.  Ironically, once you stop for awhile and then pick back up, stopping a second or third time seems more difficult.  I don’t think this has been scientifically proven, but it’s an observation that my sober circles and I have clung onto.  I’ve experienced this same phenomenon, and quite frankly, I’m terrified of being back in that cycle– but honestly I had two voices in my head, this voice of reason and then Betsy (my addictive voice).

On my year of no alcohol date, hubby brought me home a card and chocolates.  The card had a “You made it to a new level, I’m so proud of you” message.  Do you know what I asked him after reading the card?

“If I start drinking, do I go down one level, or do I go all the way down to the bottom?”

I honestly don’t even know why I asked such a ridiculous question, or what his response was.  I had mentioned it a few times to everyone in my life in the days leading up.  I wanted  all my close ones to be prepared if I relapsed.

I didn’t have a strong urge to run out the next day and get alcohol, and as the days passed and soon I was at like 370 days of sobriety, I realized the utter ridiculousness of my prior thinking.  It was Betsey and her antics.  Even though I hear from her very minimal these days, she took a grand opportunity to try to get me.  And she almost did!  This is a real life example of the saying, “While you are working your recovery, your addiction is doing pushups.”

Now, I can see the whys.  You bet your bottom I will be eternally grateful for all the restarts and relapses I dragged my rugged soul through!  I wholeheartedly believe that those are the #1 (and maybe the ONLY) reason why I was able to shut up my addictive voice when she was oh so conniving and convincing. Any weaker, and I’m pretty sure I would have caved.  In the days leading up to my one year no alcohol anniversary, I was being very kind and gentle with myself given the worldly situation, and honestly didn’t know until the day came and went if I would relapse.

The week after, I felt more content than ever having rode out that wave.  I can’t even imagine where I would be right now and how I would be feeling if I had started drinking.  I’m sure I would still be nightly drinking, maybe some day drinking too with being home all the time.  Life would be black and miserable, whereas right now it is so harmonious, yes I feel harmonious staying safe at home even with what is going on in the world.  

Which brings me to the title of this post.

I took a walk a few days ago and passed a neighbor who I didn’t recognize.  I moved to the other side of the street as we passed to respect the 6 ft distancing suggestion.

Let me just say that people out and about walking and riding their bikes have been weird these days.  Kind of unfriendly, but it’s more of like “I’m going to look down and not acknowledge you because I’m not really sure if I should be out here right now.” type of thing.  It’s not intentional rudeness, it’s fear.  Everyone is filled with fear right now.

As I passed this woman, we gave a nod and a small wave, she looked down and sad.  I wanted to say, “Hey, it’s alright.  Everything is going to be alright.”

After I thought that, I got teary eyed and emotional.  I’ve learned to pay attention to those times, they are meaningful.  I instantly felt so grateful for my recovery and growth and had a feeling that I needed to be a light for people.

As I walked on, I realized that I forgot a grocery bag for picking up my dog’s poop.   He always poops and it’s big horse poop too so I immediately felt awful.  I was too far to go back for a bag, so I asked the Universe for a bag.

I don’t ask the Universe for much, and try to thank her for every sign and good fortune that comes my way.  Gabby Bernstein always says to ask and you shall receive and it will be immediate, so I thought this is a good trial.  I just needed something that I could use to clean it up– an old chip bag or grocery bag,  please Universe.   On my walks, it’s not uncommon to find some trash here or there in the ditch, so this request was not far fetched.  Not long after, I came across an unused, actual poop bag on the sidewalk.  I was floored!  The Universe had my back and this walk was so just therapeutic in so many ways.  I felt incredible afterwards.  As if on cue, Jules pooped minutes after finding that bag.

The next day I walked again and on this day the sun was shining brightly, whereas we had just had a stretch of rainy/cloudy days.

I passed two neighbor friends, both were their normal jolly selves, which felt so good.  I felt so blissful as I walked and slightly guilty for feeling such joy when the world was coming undone.

Meanwhile I’m reading and practicing the Lotus and the Lily book, and almost to the end.  A few days prior I was supposed to think about and name the upcoming year.  I had a few ideas, but none really resonated.   The book says to keep paying attention and the right name will come.  After that feeling of Be the light, I think I have my title!

I am going to work really hard to live each day with love not fear.  I will repel negative messages with positive ones and will do my best to spread light and love.  So many people need it right now.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go on social media for a few minutes.  I’m in many different Facebook groups (gardening, rheumatoid arthritis, recovery, writing, local community groups, etc) and have noticed so much negativity lately, even in the normally nice groups, it is unreal.  After Trump was elected president, I didn’t think any more division was possible.  But this pandemic has made it happen.  People have such extreme beliefs and can’t see any other point of view.  It’s almost more difficult than the pandemic itself.

I hope you all are able to find your happiness at this time.  It is truly a horrific time for many, particularly those who are in the healthcare field or who have essential jobs.

If you are struggling, try to find the light.

If you are good, be the light.

Light and Love <3