This week has touched me in ways that I realize come from my own soul searching. The first change I made with myself was to learn to listen differently. I quit trying to fix the situation with my opinion. Instead, I asked questions. Big difference to the person talking to me. I hear the story and then let them tell me what they think. Listening now consists of NOT talking.
I am NOT coming to the conversation with preconceived ideas. Every situation is different and warrants a thoughtful list of facts. That should give a thoughtful list of solutions.
I am just beginning to react to our week of protests. I needed to be made aware of my own biases. I did not have a diverse group of books, business owners, music and last but not least Instagram people I follow. I needed to broaden my world and understand what it would be like to “walk in different shoes.”
What do you miss during this time of staying home? I miss going to my favorite coffee shop — Bodhi Leaf Coffee. It’s not about the coffee as I drink tea (which they have my favorite iced green tea) but about the atmosphere and my motivation while there to write my blog. It did not matter that there were noise distractions from other customers, I was able to focus and put myself in a very calm zone. I miss the friendly faces behind the counter who always greeted me with “Hi Sherry!”
I have been ordering their coffee online for my entire family. I am doing the next best thing I know how to do by ordering their products online and surprising my out of state family with coffee delivered to their door.
I miss walking freely around my town. Most of the public places have been closed to keep us safe from group gathering. I miss going out without a second thought about my health. Who knew that masks, gloves and cleansing wipes would become a part of going out in public?
The goal is to find balance in the things you’re thinking.
Anticipatory grief is the mind going to the future and imagining the worst. To calm yourself, you want to come into the present.
You can also think about how to let go of what you can’t control.
There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.
And, I believe we will find meaning in it. I’ve been honored that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s family has given me permission to add a sixth stage to grief: Meaning.
So that word MEANING jumped out at me. What has helped me navigate the fear is trying to think about what might change for the better because of this. Here are a few of my ideas:
Traffic problems will ease if more people are set up to work remotely at least two days a week;
Teachers have become the new heroes to everyone — no one will ever wonder what they do to teach our kids;
Doctors and nurses are as vital as firemen, police officers and first responders ~~ they went to the frontline to do battle;
Custodians in every type of business are the people we never see ~~ they do their work at night when we are home ~~ they are as necessary to our survival as the CEO of the company;
Stay at home parents are set up for a thankless “what do you do all day” job ~~ that will never be a problem again;
I hope all leaders of every country realize that by working together we can overcome anything;
Kindness works — a smile or a thank you goes a long way.
I know that I am making my life simpler each day. I am seeing nature in a different way. It can teach us about renewal and that no matter what forces try to destroy it, there will always be something green growing from the ground.
I decided that once in a while I will give you a glimpse into my world and introduce some of my favorite discoveries:
(Disclaimer I am not affiliated in any way with these choices and have no monetary compensation paid to me through any of the following links)
My Podcast Find — The Moth — I love storytelling and I love honesty and this is a pure mixture of both. . .
My Book Find — On Gold Mountain by Lisa See — I saw Lisa in person at a seminar with her mother Carolyn See (1934-2016). They were so interesting and so funny! Lisa studies and writes about her Chinese heritage and Carolyn wrote and taught about writing (Carolyn’s book Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers is something I have read many times — she suggested writing 1000 words a day and to send handwritten notes to writers as often as possible). . .
Bodhi Leaf Coffee — everyone knows that this discovery has changed my world. I have found the place that welcomes me and helps me focus to get things read and written. I even started drafting a fictional essay about what this coffee stop might have been like in the 1800’s. . .
The television series Yellowstone — I wondered if I could stick with this series because it is a bit disturbing to watch. But as I’ve gotten into the story, it unfolds as a tale of a family and what leads to their dysfunction. Kevin Costner never disappoints. I like sitting down every night with a new episode and watching it with Chris.