These are unprecedented times in the world. The coronavirus has stopped us in our tracks. We have been following the guidelines set forth by the CDC, WHO as well as other national, state and local authorities. We are sheltering in place…staying away from our jobs, our children, grandchildren, and beloved friends. This is our new normal, and we don’t know how long this will last.
This is a” first time” event in a century. Like any “first times,” they can be frightening and cause anxiety…first day of school, first date, first job, first time parent…but first pandemic? It doesn’t even sound real. This presents a threat to humanity across the globe. But the first thing that we all need to do is normalize it, understand that it IS our current standard worldwide. Let’s not give power to the pandemic, but rather keep the power in our hands and adapt and adjust to it in the best ways that we can.
We need to watch the latest news and guidelines. We must be informed, but not obsessed because panic will be the enemy of reason. In the words of American physician, writer and philosopher Debasish Mridha, “I can’t control the waves of the ocean, but I can learn to navigate my ship.”
In the meantime, if we don’t know what we are doing, we should do the things we know. Here are some suggestions for how we can help to normalize our current situation and get through this together.
1. Catch up with correspondence…letters, cards, emails, phone calls.
2. Reach out to your friends and neighbors. Find out how you may be of help.
3. Read those books that you heard about but haven’t had the time to spare.
4. Keep a diary or journal and write down your daily thoughts.
5. Go for walks and really look at the blessings of nature around you.
6. Watch the movies or series you haven’t had time to see on television.
7. Discover podcasts.
8. Explore the globe with Google Earth.
9. Learn to meditate.
10. Don’t forget to exercise at home.
11. Take virtual tours through museums online.
12. Learn a new skill or language online.
13. Write down your life story to share with family and friends. The younger generation will get to know who you are and how you came to be “YOU”.
14. Bring the outside in. Check your gardens and make arrangements from flowers and greenery found outside.
15. Write a check to the Los Angeles Food Bank. There are so many Angelenos who will be devastated by job loss.
16. At least once a week, order food to be picked up or delivered from a local restaurant. We need to help them to stay in business.
17. Pick fruits and vegetables if you have them in your garden and share with neighbors.
18. Clean your closets. Put things in bags to be donated when donation centers open again.
19. Paint, draw, doodle.
20. Play board games. Scrabble is great for sharpening your mind. If you are alone, you can play online against a computer.
21. If you like to bake, make two and share one with a friend or neighbor.
22. Open your shades and let the light come into your home.
23. Balance your checkbook.
24. Listen to music and dance as if no one is watching.
25. Virtually meet a friend or two and share what is growing in your garden.
26. Do crossword puzzles or number games to stay sharp.
27. Plant something in your garden or a container. Watch the miracle of life.
28. Now may be the time to rearrange your furniture….several times.
29. Look back at your life with your partner and remember what brought you together.
30. Take time to weed, deadhead and detail your garden.
31. Plan what you will be wearing to our 32nd Garden Tour and Showcase Estate in Autumn.
32. Feel gratitude every day and plan for the future.
I would love to hear what you might be doing to navigate your ship through the waves. Please share your comments and suggestions to me, and I will pass on your ideas to our own community.
Things will get better because they always do. This too shall pass. I ask you to stay in and stay well. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers, and I ask that in spite of social distancing, we can all remain connected, close and purposeful.
With great affection,