Today reminds me of my maternal grandmother, Julia. She had a large front porch with wide awnings and three foot red brick wall with a smooth stone ledge. All the men used to sit on that wall or prop their feet on it. No kids allowed. Adults were afraid we would fall into grandpap’s hydrangea bushes, which, by the way, were always spectacular in the summer.
In the spring either my mom or Aunt Marge would take my cousin, Julie, and I to a store to pick out our summer coloring book. (We always selected the same book!) In addition, we could each get a box of 64 count Crayola crayons that was to last us the entire year.
On a warm day while visiting grandma’s house Julie and I would often spread out on the area carpet of that porch floor and begin our seasonal competition while the adults lounged in the green wicker chairs, rockers, and swing, laughing, talking about life, sharing stories, sometimes having a beer or some iced tea…. It was determined that not only would Julie and I enjoy coloring, but the declared expectation was to start with the first page and progress to last page of that coloring book, making sure to date each page when complete. Think that was Julie’s idea. She was a natural born teacher! (We played “school” often, where she insisted on being the teacher, me and all other kids the students!) The goal was to finish the coloring book by the end of the summer. (My idea.) I don’t think either of us ever reached that goal… By August it became more of a chore than a pleasant and relaxing pastime.
My favorite crayons at that time were Periwinkle Blue and Spring Green. They were generally worn to nubbins by the 4th of July. Funny thing, but as I look about my home now it is primarily filled with an assortment of blue and green hues. Guess it is safe to say those colors have remained at the top of my list of favorites.
Fast forward to spring 2020. Been homebound and practicing extreme “social distancing” for nearly a month now. Lots of rooms in the house have been thoroughly cleaned. That feels good. Part of me is glad for the quarantine as it has forced me to deal with some tasks I had been putting off for way too long. But as I have gotten more of those tasks done I find myself struggling with how to use my time in meaningful and productive ways so that I don’t lose my mind yet feel good at the end of each day. This is a very confusing and disruptive and difficult season for all of us. It makes sense to resurrect this blog to share ideas, thoughts, and coping strategies that I have developed for myself and encouraged my family, friends, and clients to cultivate in their own lives. So many inspiring ideas have been shared in recent weeks. Despite all the anxiety and grief and distress in our world right now, I am truly humbled by all the inspirational, resilient, and good people out there…
For today… Be kind to yourself, patient and forgiving. Eat healthy. Rest as much as you can. Appreciate what you have that is good. Practice gratitude. Take time to reflect on the goodness around you. And most of all, limit your exposure to social media and the news. We all need to be aware, but it will destroy us if we allow the news consume our being. Two minutes in the morning. Two minutes in the afternoon. Two minutes in the evening. That’s it for me. Worth a try. I found those limits really helped me to calm down, think more clearly and rationally, and tap into positive energy and mood. If I am in a good place I am in a better position to help others less fortunate.
Wishing you peace. Check back soon for more updates.