Cat sitting on a water well.
Courage,  Humor

Ch Ch Changes (Thanks to David Bowie)

I was planning to write this about two hours ago, but my cat Daisy was sitting on my computer chair and we all know about that!  So here I am.

WARNING: I am wearing a tee shirt that reads, “THE DEVIL WHISPERED IN MY EAR, YOU’RE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND THE STORM” Below that is a black cat followed by “TODAY I WHISPERED IN THE DEVIL’S EAR, I AM THE STORM” 

Just sayin!

How are you doing?

I thought I’d write about the changes in my household since this disaster began. Maybe you can relate or possibly it might help.

First of all, because of the nature of this blog I want you to know that I take this Virus very seriously. Some of my remarks might appear to be somewhat flippant because I am looking at what can help us rather than what is happening with this situation. Negativity is as contagious as measles…………. So is positivity.

I will share some of the changes in my behaviour and also some revelations that that have taken place. The obvious ones are that I use less toilet paper. I used to just whirl the roll with a long length which wasn’t really necessary. Now I am more aware.

I wash my hands and believe that they are three sizes smaller than they were before, so that means new gloves next winter when it is cold.

I have a lot of tea towels (I don’t know what you call them) so I use less paper towels. I even have tea towels on my kitchen door.  Who knows about this weather? Every other day it is sunshine and Spring. Then, like today, it is constant raining.  However we all know there is no such thing as global warming. (Remember I am a Brit and our humour is close to sarcasm so don’t start attacking me.)

If the weather is getting you down, get a lamp that is for seasonal affective disorder. One of my daughters has it. I bought her a lamp about eight years ago.  It’s still in the box. Of course my children listen to me – what are you thinking? I am perfect. Just ask my children. On second thought, cancel that thought.

Butterfly on a boot
Beautiful People Do Not Just Happen

Today is my entitlement day.

I have been working on my exercise bike, watching and doing chair Yoga, and following instructions from my friend Lee Milettelo. So, I got up this morning, looked at the weather, then my exercise bike and the chair strategically placed for the video on chair yoga, picked up the exercise papers and said, “screw it”. Is this my inner child having a tantrum? Possibly, because I was never allowed to have them.  Or is the adult that says – screw it? Who knows?

Then my ego took a beating.

I ordered “I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP” equipment. I did it for my children so they wouldn’t worry about me (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). So first of all I had the thing around my neck and didn’t like it. I called them – lovely people incidentally – and told them I prefer the watch-like wrist band, so they changed it.

The night before last I took off my sweater (jumper in my language, but I want you to understand) and the damn thing went off. Loud noises in my living room and concerned voices asking, “Are you in need of assistance?” I told them no, and what happened, apologizing  profusely. They said there was no need for apologies, and they were just pleased I was ok. Whew!

Last night I was getting ready for bed and guess what – the friggin’ thing went off again. Apologetic again and now I’m wondering if I should get it back around my neck. Am I really cursed being around electronics? Pause for thought……………….hmm. Nothing nada. I’ll phone them tomorrow and ask for help. Really?

Had a great time on Thursday being interviewed by my cousin the very awesome Dr. Michael Kaye (It’s on my Facebook page and his). (Added to the bottom of this post.)

It was on the stress people are experiencing these days and some of it was funny. Not disrespectful at all. Just explaining the use of laughter in these troubled times. I hope this blog will tell that it isn’t about jokes; it’s about everyday silly things that make one giggle. They are important. Humour is from the soul.

I’ve probably mentioned this before as I am so impressed with them. I am referred to people who laugh through major challenges. I found this card which was hidden under a lot of paperwork I am supposed to file; there  you go, another joke. It’s by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

“THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN DEFEAT, KNOWN SUFFERING, KNOWN STRUGGLE, KNOWN LOSS AND HAVE FOUND HEIR WAY OUT OF THE DEPTHS. THESE PERSONS HAVE AN APPRECIATION, A SENSITIVITY AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE THAT FILLS THEM WITH COMPASSION, GENTLENESS AND A DEEP LOVING CONCERN. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE DO NOT JUST HAPPEN.”

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

When I read this, I thought of Dr. Viktor Frankl in the Auschwitz concentration camp, of the work of Mother Theresa and so many others.

Beautiful People Do Not Just Happen

I am privileged to have known some of those people.

I am protective so I call them mine…..My cancer patients, my care sharers of those cancer patients, those of us who have lost out beloved spouses to cancer, the families who have lost children to cancer, to homicide, to suicide, to overdose and other injuries. My veterans, my recovering community. The poem from Dr. Kubler-Ross is in regard to them. Their humour is astonishing.

When I go, (Now via Zoom) to the remarkable Gilda’s Club, they are assembled, ready for laughing when nothing seems funny and when it is. 90% of the time, it is. I owe them so much in my quest for the underestimated healing of humour.

Added to those people are the front liners in this virus. I have three in my family whom I surround with light constantly. Spoke with one of them yesterday and another today. We laughed a lot. I find that people utilise their humour when they feel safe. Think about that. Is it sometimes an escape? Yes, and so what.

This has been said before on many occasions.  I’m repeating it. Saying thank you in these times is essential. With people who are still serving the public one way or another, a simple act of appreciation will make their day.  You will be surprised at the look of their faces because it doesn’t happen often enough.

Back to my ego smashing.

I talked about falling and not getting up situation, toilet rolls and other nonsense. Incidentally did you know there is a huge difference between silly and stupid?

Silly is joyful innocence and stupid is my worst curse word. I am silly. I even have cards from John when he was away telling me he missed my silliness. What better compliment.

When I went to Wegman’s I wore gloves and a mask. Imagine that – the amazing Dr. Kaye resorted to doing something other more intelligent people were doing already. I was astonished at myself just how  uncomfortable I felt as if I were superwoman who didn’t need to obey  suggestions. It took a while to put on that mask. Who knew?

Ego in Latin means I am. That’s a healthy ego. An unhealthy ego is, I am very important and beyond all this. I followed a woman into Wegman’s who walked past the available sanitizer sheets to wipe the handles of the carts and past the hand sanitizer. I didn’t go in immediately.  It took me a little while and when I entered the store I looked for her to give her the benefit of my high intelligence telling her what an idiot she was and probably one of the people who pass on this virus, when I lost her. I was pissed.

I never miss an opportunity to let anyone know how righteous I am.

What have I done to keep busy?

Made vegetable soup by the gallon. Made apple cinnamon raisin stuff which is yummy. Gave most of it away. Bought two cat tea cloths, both of which are on my kitchen doors. What I have tried to avoid is clearing off my office desk, which has been on my to do list for about five years because I never had the time – no more excuses. I pat myself on the back as I can actually see the top of my dining room table. I am so proud. The next thing is not only tackling the office desk, but examining my filing. Oh so friggin’ boring. Has to be done.

Here are some of the other things that help me.

I write to John every day. I do automatic writing which in my case is talking with my Angels. Whenever I feel lost without John and our two best friends Joan and Peter I tell them I’m glad they aren’t here to see what is going on in with world. Even though I know I would be comforted by their physical presence, I have their spirit presence.

Just two days ago I picked up the phone to call the UK and speak with Joan. Surprising what the memories can do. I just smiled. So,

  • consider the people you love and send them notes
  • even write them letters and mail them
  • use the phone – not text – to speak with those who you have been thinking of phoning for quite a while
  • send cards to retirement communities and to the children at CHOP or St. Christopher’s who cannot see their parents.

There is so much to do which brings one peace even if it’s being done for the joy of someone you don’t even know. I do and it is quite an experience.

I am a very tactile woman and miss hugs a lot. Now I have to cuddle something, so I have a cushion of a lamb, a little pink thing with big eyes and a  heart shaped pillow John had when he was in hospital. They are all in my bed with me and I cuddle them. If it gets worse, I have a huge teddy bear called Aluwicous who I’ve  used in the past. He has long cuddly arms. It’s great to be at a stage in life that I don’t care what people think. These are realistic suggestions!

Once I get the hang of Zoom, I’ll be offering groups, lectures, and workshops. My friend Fran is going to help me set it up. It might take a while and so will people learning to deal with their fear. Let’s do a bit of that now.

First of all, the Greek definition of the word intimacy is to be without fear.

Isn’t that great? I interpret that as doing what eases our thoughts. Picking up the phone is one example. Create a scream list which will consist of people  you trust and can call just yelling, screaming talking. They will just grunt at  you, as what I have observed with anyone who is afraid, is that they want to be listened to.  They certainly do not want unasked for advice. Who does?

I know that people are in pain and anxiety today. Having lived through a war, I get it.

What has helped is the Serenity Prayer whether you believe or not.  Simply, the prayer says, do what you can do something about and let the rest go. The harsher definition is having control issues. Holding onto something that is beyond our control is brutal. I should know – I did it for  years, so I know what has to be done.

By letting go of what we cannot control, gives a freedom of activity which is powerful. A serenity in the knowledge that people are there for you.

Let me be realistic.

As in the war, a lot of people died, members of my family included. People are dying in this pandemic. This will happen and then we know many will survive . So, you can see, control will not help. Compassion will. Love will. Sending healing energy will. Prayers, if you are religious will. Reiki will. Most of all, giving time will.

I could write a lot about how this situation has been immorally mishandled but again, it isn’t within my control. What is, is being here for those who feel afraid. I have given my number out for those who want to speak for a while about what is going on.

What not to do  – again merely a suggestion.

If  you have to watch the news, keep it short and certainly do not watch it late at night. Do not listen to politicians (except Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York).  They rarely are in reality. Instead, listen to the doctors, the scientists. They will be honest and also comforting at times.

Choose something funny to watch on television. I have been watching Hallmark lately, which I have often negated. I was wondering why I watch, since I know the story within the first five minutes. It’s the community and family people who really love another person, whether it is friendship (which is the highest form of love) or a family member.

If you can think of anything else I can do, please let me know. Be well and conquer.

Cat Photo: Photo by Vasileia Eleftheriou on Unsplash

Butterfly photo: Photo by Nathan Dumlao

2 Comments

  • Cathy McKee

    Great Blog, Yvonne!! I have the Serenity Prayer on a loop in my head. You taught me that! I often don’t listen to myself, but I keep moving forward. While it is sad that people are dying, I think the emotional impact on the world is far greater and will take lots of work to get back to any kind of normal. Keep writing and keep laughing. You told me many years ago – “Teach what you know!” Your life experiences make you who you are. That is how I attempt to live my life. Much love! cj

  • Celeste Lynch

    Hello Yvonne!
    I do love your blog and your mention of tea towels! Yes I do know what they are along with tea cozies. Such memories of my funny witty mother. I don’t know if anyone else could have helped me through this life. My hero.
    Gary said he has been practicing for this quarantine for a year now. Since his diagnosis and early retirement.
    The much overused phrase of new normal has been his life since November 2018.
    I will stop here as I could write all day. I still need to laugh. Everyday.

Go ahead and talk to me.

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