You don’t give up

Photo by Nuno Obey on Pexels.com

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up

Anne Lamott

This felt like a morning where getting out of bed might be the last thing I wanted to do. Daybreak meant another day of thinking about the disheartening results of our recent provincial election, the pandemic, and my steep learning curve to learn how to deliver a mental health course on Zoom.

Learning that the newly elected governing party doesn’t want to separate from our country but will fight for “autonomy” provides little comfort. It likely just means more divisiveness, a giant step backwards in the fight against climate change, little hope for reconciliation and mean spirited rhetoric about the economy. Seems to be not only more of the same but emulates what is happening politically all over the globe.

Our prime minister stated yesterday that this pandemic “sucks”. That certainly is a statement that resonates. But the reality is we all need to continue to do our part and an end to this will certainly come but not soon. So once again, I need to allow myself, small measured doses of reading or listening to the news. Otherwise it simply overwhelms.

So I will get serious and focus on learning how to use technology to connect with others and provide some support and resources for positive mental health. Likely the adage practice makes perfect applies here. I am indeed aware that learning new things requires patience and applied effort, regardless of how hopeless it may initially seem.

Thankfully, my writing practice continues to soothe my weary soul. Consider that I am studying the writing craft from the perspective of Anne Lamott and this morning happened upon the above quote. I definitely needed her message of hope. And I won’t give up.

Stay healthy and safe!

Sometimes things seem topsy turvy…

Photo credit LMeyer

You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude

Eleanor Roosevelt

So many aspects of our daily lives have been turned upside down during this pandemic. How easy it would be to give up hope or cave in to negativity as mounting challenges begin to resurface as the coronavirus gains momentum in communities around our country.

But we do have choice in how we wish to interpret the circumstances we find ourselves in as well as how we perceive the measures that we need to take to keep both ourselves and others safe. An unpleasant encounter last week with an anti-masker brought this home to me in a way that was both surprising and disturbing.

Leaving my local grocery store, I was accosted by a gentleman who began taunting me for wearing a mask. Moving too close into my personal space while making rude derisive comments, brought a realistic look at how this pandemic has the potential to both divide people and to unite them. After some reflection following this incident, it seems obvious that without consistent leadership from both public health officials as well as politicians, this fractious situation is likely to continue.

One can only imagine what might have happened if at the beginning of this pandemic every global leader had made the choice to implement universal strategies to prevent the virus from spreading around the world. At the same time! One can imagine that we may have had to endure only a few weeks in isolation and the virus may not have been able to gain such a strong foothold and could have burned itself out.

Perhaps that is just fanciful and wishful thinking. But we do have the ability to choose to care and respect everyone around us by following known measures to contain and control the virus. Our public health leaders are suggesting that at this time, we still have the ability to mobilize and contribute to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19.

If only we are able to merge our collective attitudes about our circumstances and collaborate with each other to achieve good health. Following several simple guidelines, which includes wearing a mask to protect others, does seem to assist society in achieving the desired outcomes.

We can turn our lives upside down again or we can share responsibility to cooperate and work to keep all in our communities healthy and safe. Seems like it should be a simple decision, doesn’t it.

Letting go…

Photo credit LMeyer

Life is a balance between holding on and letting go

Rumi

We have just celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada and although this is a time to be reflective, grateful, and thankful for all that we have, it was hard not to think about the changes and shifts in this year’s holiday tradition.

Family members celebrating quietly apart; meals scaled down; and our communication with one another relegated to Zoom; text messages, and phone calls. Looming anxiety over rising case numbers and the continued politicization of the pandemic. All of this a backdrop to the political shenanigans from the American president determined to put his needs ahead of the rest of the globe.

This provided a strange context in which to reflect on the things we normally appreciate – time with family and friends for good food and connection; a successful fall harvest; and all of the other aspects of our daily lives that we may typically take for granted. This one last opportunity to enjoy the outdoors on the prairies before we don toques, gloves, and warm parkas to brave frigid winter temperatures was overshadowed by our new global reality.

It is a stark reminder that all of the events and activities that we cherish in our lives can be altered, cancelled, or removed at any time. Holding on too tightly to things we may need to let go of is a necessary part of all of our lives. Some life lessons are easier than others.

Stay healthy and safe!