Wednesday, March 18, 2020

We Can Do Hard Things, Wednesday 3/18/20

Hey, Readers. How's it going? Are you keeping it sexy out there, social distancing?

Speaking of sexy, I read an article about a nun who's basically been social distancing for 29 years in a convent. She had three pieces of advice:

  1. Establish structure.
  2. Be intentional and love others.
  3. Use the time for self-reflection and relaxation.
(I've formally renounced Catholicism in my very own creation: The Eighth Sacrament or Renunciation of the Catholic Church, but I've had a life-long love of nuns -- the good ones -- so I'm trying to take her advice).

In the morning when I open my eyes, I try not to think about what I've thought about for the last three-plus years (I'll leave it to your own imagination but it has something to do with November 9, 2016), and instead I put my hand over my heart and say metta for all of us:

May we be happy, healthy and peaceful.
May no harm come to us.
May no difficulties come to us.
May no problems come to us.
May we always meet with success.
May we also have patience, courage and understanding to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life.

I get up and make my bed.
I take care of Sophie.
I begin my job teaching middle school and high school kids English literature and language arts.
I take care of Sophie.
I make breakfast and lunch and eat them. I feed Sophie.
I let Oliver take Sophie out for a walk.
I go out for a walk.
I take care of Sophie.
I take care of Sophie.
I catch up with all of you.
I make dinner.
I eat dinner and feed Sophie.
I prepare my lessons for tomorrow.
I sit with Carl and watch something on the teevee or just talk.
I take care of Sophie.
I go to bed and rest.

Being Intentional and Loving Others:

I check in with a lot of people every single day via text, phone and email. How lucky we are to have technology, right?

I tell Oliver and Carl how grateful I am that they are helping me and how much I love them for being who they are and being here with me and with Sophie.

I tell Sophie how much I love her and how difficult all of this is for everyone. Taking care of Sophie (see above) is a form of meditation. Honestly. It is.

I have cut out complaining as much as I can -- an intention most difficult for this old, crabby, sharp-tongued human

I bake bread and cookies and lovingly make food that is nourishing and looks good. Today I pulled something out of the freezer that looked like soup, but I believe it was gravy? Good thing I didn't feed it to Sophie? I am intentional in maintaining a sense of humor. I remember how goddamn fortunate we are to have purchased enough food to carry us through the next couple of weeks.

I paid my saintly childcare worker ahead of time and told her to stay home with her own family. I was able to do this because of the help I receive from my parents and from the glorious state of California.

I talked to my sisters, one of whom was feeling particularly agitated this morning. I reminded her that we should always acknowledge our fears, that bad things are happening and might happen to us. These are facts. I humbly say that it's been my experience that acknowledging things as they are or could be is very helpful in distilling fear and instilling acceptance and calm.

Use the time for self-reflection and relaxation:

See above for self-reflection. I have done hard things. We can do hard things.
I'm working on the relaxation but have been, so far, unsuccessful.


  1. I have nothing to add except- I love you.

  2. Liked the article very much. And you did the right thing, paying your child care provider and asking her to stay at home. I hope many people will do this; with housekeepers as well. And how great you have Carl there with you and the family. I'll bet that helps a LOT!

  3. I haven't really done the social distancing thing. I still end up about a foot away from my patients all day long, although my friends at work have started bumping elbows with me.

    I'm off tomorrow which will be wonderful.

    I'm thankful your sons are home and that Sophie has you and that you have Carl.

  4. That was lovely. It felt like you were right here, talking with me. Thank you❤️

  5. Structure. Got it. Trying not to sail away on free floating fear. Love your little village.

  6. You have a good structure and plan in place. I do think positive things can be accomplished while we shelter in place.

  7. "The Eighth Sacrament or Renunciation of the Catholic Church" As a pre-Vatican II fallen away Catholic, I had to laugh. In many ways, renouncing the Church WAS a sacrament.

  8. Your posts are just what I need. Thank you!

  9. I find you inspiring and admirable. Thank you. Best wishes for continued health and peace.

  10. I wish you could do some baking for me, I imagine it to be divine and nourishing.
    Apart from the food, we need to do this for each other, the self reflecting and the distancing. Nothing else matters right now.

  11. Thank you Elizabeth for your calming message. You are one of my rocks that I lean on in all times.

  12. I like your meditation and the nun's message. Basically we just all have to try to relax and not lose our shit. (That's MY metta. LOL)

    Where is Henry? Is he still at school?

  13. That's incredible that you did that for your childcare worker. I'm not doing so great with structure. I'd be doing better if I hadn't taken up red wine. I climb into bed around 9 pm and put on tv but I'm too distracted to settle into it. By about 1 am I have watched two episodes and try to fall asleep with "The Crown" on, (because it's boring and I don't care about it). But I can't sleep with it on, so finally I fall asleep.

    Your structure is filled with so much caretaking. Thanks for the time you spend catching up with all of us.

  14. I've missed you here. Reading posts from the few blogs I visit is especially centering for me right now. Writing is centering for all of us I think. And connecting through our beloved technology is a life saver right now. I am glad you have Sophie and Oliver and Carl with you.



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