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A Place to Start June 5, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
34 comments

Many of you have expressed shock and outrage and sadness and grief at recent events.

You know that Black Lives Matter ~> that ALL lives matter.

And perhaps you want to be more involved in efforts to level the landscape and achieve the dream expressed so eloquently by Martin Luther King, Jr. half a century ago.

If so, here’s A Place to Start ~ an incomplete list of resources and organizations for fighting racism and supporting justice and equality put together by MoMA.

Another list of resources and organizations that support of justice and equality has been collated by Poets & Writers.

One world.  One people.

Let’s remember that we are all in this together.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

19 COVID-19 Fluffernothings April 20, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Humor, Mindfulness.
23 comments

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy doing nothing.

What kind of nothing?

Fluffernothing ~> stuff that’s pleasant, amusing, entertaining, time-consuming without changing the trajectory of life in any significant respect.

Here’s a few (okay, 19) examples of what I mean:

1. Ken Burns documentary on Genes: An Intimate History.  Fascinating to learn that viruses (like COVID-19, but much better behaved) are useful for something, like fixing gene mutations and curing illnesses.

2. Watching Trump trumpet his displeasure at Dr. Fauci (and reporters) when they venture too close to “the truth” (while Dr. Deborah Birx rocks her scarf-of-the-day) during press briefings.

3. Jigsaw Puzzles.  We’ve done 3 (so far) ~ 24 vintage VW buses (including a Westfalia); an attic stuffed with stuff (including a vintage wedding dress); an undersea landscape featuring tropical fish and sea turtles.

4. Walking.  About an hour or so each morning.  Mostly in the hood.  Twice at the beach.  Our beaches are “closed” but walking is allowed.

5. Reading the NY Times Daily COVID-19 Briefing . . . then rewarding myself by doing the Puzzles.  My faves:  Sudoku (Easy, Medium, Hard).   Spelling Bee (like Boggle, sort of).  Set (a series of logic puzzles).

6. Blood Sugar Rising ~ a documentary on the increasing prevalence of diabetes.  Fascinating stuff.  And scary enough that I popped into my “office” to check the results of my last fasting glucose reading, breathing a sigh of relief when I saw that it was 77 (nowhere near the danger zone for diabetes).

7. ZOOM!  Two Zoom “meetings” with my siblings, siblings-in-law, nieces & nephews.  When we are all on there together, we total . . . 19!  (I seem to be seeing that number a lot.)

8. Island Papers.  We pick up 4 (or more) local papers each week to see all the things we can no longer do due to COVID-19.  Bars that are closed.  Shows that are cancelled.  Restaurants that are boarded up, subsisting (if they are lucky) on take-out and delivery.

9. Cooking and eating.  We’ve enjoyed some delicious dishes while hunkered down  at home ~ Curried Colcannon Soup, Beer Bread, Lentil Rice casserole, Banana Bread, Pesto Pasta, Roasted Veggies, Spanakopita Lasagna, Cornbread, Scalloped Potatoes, Curry with homemade Pineapple Chutney, Sweet Potato Fries, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and . . . CHOCOLATE!

10. Netflix movies.  In the last 6 weeks, we’ve seen:  The Good Liar, Dark Waters, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Red Joan, The Farewell, Breakthrough, Short Circuit (from 1986), What They Had, The White Crow, The Addams Family, Ad Astra, The Breadwinner.  We are waiting for Knives Out.  It’s been at the top of my queue for weeks.

11. Following my favorite blogs and chatting in the comments.  And writing the occasional blog post.  I see that my last post was 2 weeks ago today.  Time flies when you’re “safer at home.”

12. Reading about the differences between the Spanish flu (which killed 675,000 Americans and 50 million worldwide in 1918) and the COVID-19 coronavirus. “According to National Geographic, Spanish flu killed with deadly speed, with many reports of people who woke up sick, then died on their way to work.”  At least with COVID-19, we stand a fighting chance.

13. Biking around the hood in the afternoon to clear my head of all things COVID.

14. Grocery runs when our produce stores are depleted.  Last trip, BFF brought home Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Green Beans, Potatoes, Romaine, Apples, Grapes, Strawberries, Bananas.  Seeing all that glorious color on the counter made me overlook the fact that the packages might be “contaminated with COVID.”

15. Swimming in the pool.  Most of the pools in the neighborhood closed, but our association of 100 homes kept ours open for “essential” exercise and therapy, NOT for sunbathing.  Only 3 in the pool area at a time so keeping an adequate distance from others is easy.

And refreshing!

16. Following the local headlines to find out how the “Safer At Home” landscape has changed from the previous week.  Are the boat ramps open or closed?  Are the parks and dog parks open or closed?  Is the curfew (11 pm to 5 am) still in effect?  Are the schools still closed?

17. Listening to Classic Rock.  Spectrum Cable offers up 40 or 50 music stations.  Classic Rock is our favorite for Happy Hour (any hour of the day).

18. Watching the yo-yo effect of the stock market.  Up!  Down!  Up!  Down!  (I filed our 2019 taxes ~ NOT fluffernothing, but similar).

19. Accepting the “what is.”  Being adaptable to the changing landscape.  Remaining curious.

20. Staying in the moment.  Not driving past my headlights.  Maintaining optimism.

21. Meditating.  Breathing in calm.  Breathing out anxiety.  Accessing my inner peace.

Aah . . . that’s better!

So . . . how are you being?

Acceptance Is Power March 26, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
21 comments

I read an interesting article yesterday in the Harvard Business Review about the “grief” we’re feeling as a result of CoVid-19 and its inherent uncertainty:

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief 

The article is worth a read.  Here’s a brief excerpt:

You said we’re feeling more than one kind of grief?

Yes, we’re also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain. Usually it centers on death. We feel it when someone gets a dire diagnosis or when we have the normal thought that we’ll lose a parent someday. Anticipatory grief is also more broadly imagined futures. There is a storm coming. There’s something bad out there. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety. I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.

What can individuals do to manage all this grief?

Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. 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.

Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance. I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.

I can accept the what is.

Aah . . . that’s better!

I’m Late . . . For An Important Date! March 14, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, Nature.
29 comments

Amid all the Alerts and Assurances I received yesterday about CoVid-19, I received a reminder about one of my favorite dates of the year ~ Friday the 13th!  The e-mail came from Speak’s Clam Bar and said, inter alia:

Looking back to the origin of legends about Friday the 13th, we can find that these days were first regarded as special, not unlucky. The day itself, Friday, was associated with good fortune and is the day that the Sabbath starts. And the number 13 represents the essence and power of a Goddess, because it corresponds perfectly with the number of lunar cycles in a year and therefore the number of fertility cycles for a woman.

Friday the 13th was meant to be a celebration of our lives and the Goddesses bringing their luck to us. When the chance comes that these lucky numbers show up, we are meant to count our blessings.

Today let’s count our blessings ~ a good meal, someone in our life to laugh with, beautiful beaches, trees, mountains, flowers, etc.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Follow Up To This Morning’s Post March 5, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Mindfulness.
11 comments

For more helpful tips from pathologist, James Robb, visit Snopes.com ~> Did A Noted Pathologist Write This Viral Coronavirus Advice?

In a nutshell:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

Stay Safe!

Clearing The Path February 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
28 comments

Not all storms come to disrupt your life.

Some come to clear your path.

Artwork by Carole A. V. Dougherty ~ available at Island Gallery West

True for you?

Utopia January 31, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Music & Dance, People, Spirit & Ego.
25 comments

I would love to live in a world where everyone gets along.
I would love to live in a world where everyone is color blind.
I would love to live in a world where everyone respects everyone.

I would love to live in a world free of greed & corruption.
I would love to live in a world with a level playing field.
I would love to live in a world where the powerful didn’t prey on the weak.

I would love to live in a world of cooperation, not competition.
I would love to live in a world where people engage in dialogue.
Sans judgment.

I would love to live in the world Alanis describes in Utopia . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Thoughts To Ponder January 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
21 comments

1. Jokes, like life, don’t benefit from over analysis.

2. Just ask:  Will this make my life Simpler?  Happier?  More Joyful?

3. Inhale/Exhale ~> where does a circle start?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Cat & The Caterpillar January 19, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

When I got to the fork, I saw a giant mushroom.  On it perched a Hookah Smoking Caterpillar.

“Hmm . . . curious and curiouser.”

From a floating smile, the Cheshire Cat emerged.

I asked the Cat and the Caterpillar, “Which way should I go?”

The Cat just grinned.

With that, the Caterpillar sat and started to chat, rather randomly at first and then with increasing clarity and wisdom:

Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road ~ it’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way!

“A good traveler has no set plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

I decided I was already exactly where I needed to be . . . so I sat to chat.

With the Cat and the Caterpillar.

And that was that.

I never reached the bend in the road.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Need A Lyft? December 23, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People.
21 comments

If you plan to use Uber or Lyft over the holidays (or thereafter), this is a useful read with good tips:

Staying Safe When Using Ride Hailing Services (Consumer Reports)

Merry Christmas!