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A Family Pandemic Status Update

So much has happened over the last three months. Frightened and confused into submission to stay safe and be good citizens, we found ways to entertain ourselves. We played Uno until Fiona wanted to cry every time she lost. We had Room day and a date night in the garage. We’ve had lovely walks in the woods. We ate meal after meal together.

A Family Pandemic Status Update on Shalavee.com

 

Fiona began playing the piano, climbing tress, and learned how to ride her bike. And like every other kid that had never been home schooled, she gave me grief every time she needed to do homework. We adopted a new cat from the woods to be Fiona’s special friend. We named her Sass.

A Family Pandemic Status Update on Shalavee.com

A Family Pandemic Status Update on Shalavee.com

Eamon found new creative ways to annoy us with his stubborn teenageness. Constant struggle over his obsession with his techno devices. Staying up late talking to his girlfriend. The boy is missing all of his musical outlets and his bored out of his gourd. Except for the one chance he had to play at the Farmer’s Market. He is composing music though. And may finish reading a book. They’re both learning sign language from a close friend.

A Family Pandemic Status Update on Shalavee.com

My husband Mark lost all of his work and applied and received for Federal aid for his business. And somehow was able to enjoy his time off from his constant overwhelm. He refers to it as his temporary retirement. He’s been busy gardening and working on our Studio/Garage space feverishly. He learned how to edit video for our fellowships sermons. And started back with bike riding and golf.

A Family Pandemic Status Update on Shalavee.com

A Family Pandemic Status Update on Shalavee.com

I tried to stay strong for my kids but went a little batty having no any alone time to myself. I only got out for walks and grocery shopping for a long time. I’ve been forced to quit my allergy shots. And of course, still sneezing and dripping since March. I’ve continuously created art daily for 66 days. And struggling with the blog’s revamp but am keeping up with my writing in bigger exciting ways. I continue to value creativity for it’s own sake. It substantiates me, lets me feel like I’m acquainting myself with parts of me I’ve yet to know. And that is a wonderful feeling.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Resistance/Horror vs. Acceptance/Change

This Corona Virus pandemic took we normal people for a ride we didn’t see coming.  Surely it was an inevitability to the scientists who understand these things, but to the rest of us, this felt like another broadcast of the War of the Worlds. And we met the onslaught of information and commands with resistance and horror. We all get that feeling that it won’t be us, we hate to not be in control, and we are such creatures of habit that the grief of this change was ridiculously hard on us. Not to mention, the source that was giving us information was untrustworthy. 

And now, almost three months later, as Summer is about to start here in the US and we’re already feeling in the swing of being off, there’s a switch inside me wanting to be flipped. I am tired of having to be purposeful, responsible, productive, and protective. Tired of misery and abstinence. Of being bad guy teacher, dietitian, and sterilization maid. I am ready to adopt a new normal at my house.Resistance/Horror vs. Acceptance/Change on Shalavee.com

As it seems obvious, we are still in need of being extra careful out in the world. The strongest caution is we don’t need to be spitting in eachother’s airspaces. But walking and talking 6 feet from one another is highly doable and pleasurable. Hugging with masks on and clean hands is probably a great thing. We need to adopt our own guidelines of acceptability and safety. And not judge others for theirs. I’m ready to make a to do list of all the fun and creative things I want to accomplish. I’m tired of being the old me. 

So as we move into acceptance that this will all be different and kinda sucky for a little while longer, why not try to actually head for the fun. Stop trying to continue to live the life you used to lead and start a new one. Make a to do list of creative and fun things to do. We are alive afterall. Let’s celebrate that. And let’s embrace our gift of life by enjoying it. Let’s be less what we used to be and more of what we want to be. 

Be the change since it would truly seem there are no better choices. What else can we lose?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Are You in Feeling or Dealing Mode?

Where I was a dealer and not the feeler in the beginning of this lockdown, now no amount of cooking, cleaning, or wine is making this quarantine better for me. I was writing to do lists for a while. But even that is not bestowing me any sense of normality. I’m carrying my pain, my children’s pain, and concern for our mothers’ health. And all I really want to do is just spend a week alone.

I make sure I get a walk in everyday. I do laundry and grocery shopping twice every week. I cook 75% of our meals. I do a collage every day for my 100 day project. And I try to write these blog posts three times weekly but sometimes it’s only twice. I was in dealing mode but I’m fast melting down. Going into feeling mode. This last week I almost cried. For me, that’s a thing.Are You in Feeling or Dealing Mode? on Shalavee.com

Before this all happened, I always beat myself up because I am not working on the next big project. Because I gained weight and I couldn’t seem to shed it. Nothing’s changed. Except now I have no alone time and no gym to go to. When do I get the epiphany that this is all meant to be? And it isn’t about me? Just gonna keep writing what I’m thinking and feeling in hopes that this feels like a truth you need to hear.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

What the Humane Society has Meant to Us

On the heels of my last post, Are You Struck too by Mankind’s Generosity in this Crisis , exclaiming that we must do all we can to give of ourselves now, this is a special post on the Humane Society here in our county. I want to share a little of our family’s story of how we’ve involved ourselves and tried to help them.

When we moved here, we bought riverfront property and it was immediately apparent by the many mouths that came to be fed that there was a problem with feral cats in our county. At the time, there was a discounted program to fix, inoculate, and release the cats. I managed to have some 30 cats taken care of before the new director said we made too much money to use the program. I left her office in tears. I was pregnant and maybe the universe was telling me I needed to just worry about me. The current director agrees that more educated people may be more concerned about the overpopulation of the cats.

What the Humane Society has Meant to Us on Shalavee.com

We’ve still managed to be the custodians of critters here. All three of our indoor cats were Eastern Shore adoptees, two from our county and one at the college in Queen Anne’s county. Plus the lovely longhair calico outdoor cat, Mrs. Cheesewheat. Many cats have been caught/cared for. And anything that eats Purina Cat chow seems to be welcome. Blue Jays and raccoons and some very plump squirrels named Elmo and Cookie Monster. Anytime I spot dead cats on the side of the road, as soon as I’m stopped, I call the humane society immediately. I donate all of my old towels and blankets to them.

A very very friendly young cat visited us last year. Although there would be nothing better than to have a kitten to play with at this time of quarantine, I knew then she would make a wonderful pet for someone because we have a rule that we may only have as many animals as people. Much to my daughter’s dismay, I took her over to the Humane Society. The smell that greets you there is sobering. And so is the sight of the cages piled three high all down the hallway containing cats. I said Hi to one cat on top and suddenly there was a paw protruding from the cage below to get attention. Broke my heart.

 

My children have soft hearts and we’ve encouraged their philanthropy towards this cause. In 2015, my son donated his own money to the Humane Society. And my daughter did the same last year by donating half of her lemonade sales. Recently, we had an opportunity to be generous with some unexpected funds and the Humane Society was extraordinarily grateful. I said it was the least that we can do. And it is. 

 

In 2014 and 2015, I decorated chairs for auctions to benefit the Talbot County Humane Society. I was flattered to be asked to do this and I was pleased with the way the chairs came out. The chairs were sold on and moved on to local businesses.

I’d like to encourage everyone to consider donating anything they can to the Humane Society in your area, be it food, linens, cleaning supplies, toys, or just plain cash to the unsung heroes working there and the animals that still deserve the same care and homes they always have.

Any act of kindness to others is an act of kindness to yourself.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Now is When We Need Self-Compassion

Now is when we need self-compassion.But what if I told you that self-compassion equaled feeling sorry for yourself. Boom, you’d say no, I’m not allowed to do that. I need to suck it up, do the hard things here, and put on a good face for my family. I’d get it if you told me that. I’m living that myself. Mothers are supposed to be solid and dependable for their people.

But when both of my children found me this week to grieve on me, I knew that their feeling sorry for themselves was exactly what they needed to grieve and shed another layer of disappointment and disbelief at the loss of their lives. They are alive but not really living.Now is When We Need Self-Compassion on Shalavee.com

I had a very wise friend state, “I’ve learned when you miss something it triggers misses you’ve had from the past, and you feel them all again; I miss mom, and dad, pets, lives I’ve lived, dreams I’ve had, people I was.” Those are the moments when you get to release all that you’ve been sucking up. Because grief and unexpressed creativity can eat at you until your soul has rot spots.

I was walking the other day and was suddenly hit by a whiff of the perfume of clothing drying in a clothes dryer. I was immediately transported back to a time when I was very unhappily married. I was walking home in the cold from my job and was ambushed by the same “happy loving family” smell. Back then, I grieved for the life I wasn’t living. My recent smell experience reminded me that I am living a different life now that I cherish even if I am stuck inside with my family way more than I would like.Now is When We Need Self-Compassion on Shalavee.com

One day I may miss this situation. I may grieve when I think about how I had all the time in the world to stare into they children’s eyes and tell them how much they meant to me. I won’t miss the masks or being unable to hug my friends, but I will truly feel sorry for myself and all of us if we come out of this and we’ve not shifted into a better place as a society. If we don’t use this as a lesson of what we have and haven’t control over.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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