Love in the time of COVID

I may already be suffering from a wee tequila head which has put my mood a few tics south of my usually charming self when my mother calls. “I just went to the store to pick up toilet paper and they were out.” she told me with a touch of humor and incredulity. This took a second to register. She laughed and went on to say that my father had called and asked her to pick some up, and the shelves were bare. What? Wait, what? We’re not in a major urban area. No one expected this little corner pocket town in the mountains to suffer from the coronapanic that is apparently spreading across our nation in seemingly direct proportion to the cases of COVID sufferers in each state. We laughed about it for a minute and decided that TP was probably the last thing on our minds if it came to that, she can always river wipe… yet this is our current reality. Priorities people. We hung up and I headed out to grab some milk on my way home. You already know where this is going.

Photo: Day of the Living Dead

It’s 3:00, not a busy time to shop, but the store was packed. Maybe early spring break shoppers? Mostly unfortunate because I try to get there before the crowds. I strolled down Produce grabbing arugula, basil, some garlic. Just what I need for the night. I got my milk, the shelves were plenty full. I see a sale of my favorite KIND bars, bought a few dozen. Grabbed eggs and out of morbid curiosity strolled down the toilet paper aisle. Empty. Are you kidding? It really was. Cleaning products are bare minimum, flu medicine down, tissues down. Forget about hand sanitizer. I walked over to self checkout and got so caught up eavesdropping on the cashiers talking about the store imposing limits on how many you can buy the next day when the shipment comes in that I forgot my damn eggs. People really have gone mad. Are we preparing for the zombie apocalypse? You’ll be germ free, but you’re gonna get hungry.

The reality is that whether it’s the media or our fellow humans, we’ve created our own nightmare. Do you hear that? We are doing this to ourselves. I understand it’s fairly easy to not get a twinge of panic when you hear other people are panicking. There’s probably some scientific phenomena that occurs in this situation. Panic breeds more panic, but let’s look at this for a minute. We all know the facts. You can’t possibly not know the facts at this point. We all have the map of the slow spread of doom permanently etched on our brains. It’s only killing those that would be hit hardest by the flu as well. You can have it weeks before you know you even have it so wash your hands- a lot. (Buy some lotion to counter the horrible dried hands that are happening here) Don’t touch your face. Social distancing, etc. So why the hell are people hoarding toilet paper? That’s insane. We’re hearing this everyday and not just because of our current “leader”, things have become like some loopy version of Upside-down Day. We’re living in an alternate universe.

So, as yet one more writer’s plea for sanity, let’s all take a deep breath. Really. It’s going to be OK. Remember that thing about love thy neighbor? Well, if you can’t muster love, for the love of all things good, have a sense of humanity. Be a decent human being. Do your best to not get caught up in this tidal wave of mass hysteria. Be reasonable. You will likely be inconvenienced, but not forever. Personally, I have coffee, wine and KIND bars. I’m set and will be happy to share my toilet paper if need be, and should a zombie actually show up at your door, feel free to comment below and tell me, I told you so.

Abundance Comes in Many Forms

It’s Q4. Which for me translates to a very slow time of year for business, and yet every year it rolls around, just like Christmas. I get through the flurry of holiday deliverables, and then nothing. Zippo. And like clockwork, each year I fight the panic. Sometimes, I am successful. Other times, I manage with the grace of a passenger on the sinking Titanic. I lay in bed each morning, practicing my releasing of fear, and deepening of faith in my skills and that the universe will provide. I also lay in bed thinking that since I’m slow at the office, I could sleep in a little more, which is exactly what I should do. Take the time to restore, assess all and have some ME time. Easier said than done, but a skill worth aspiring to I’m told.

This morning I lie in bed contemplating what a gift it is to be able to do this. What I mean to say is, having a business is stressful, but with it also comes a freedom that, like it or not, needs to be exercised from time to time. I might even go so far to say that the same universe that will provide, will also provide you with some time off. If you don’t take said time off then you might find yourself miserably in bed with a heinous bug— forced down time. Personally, I prefer to manage that time-off on my own terms. 

So, what am I doing with my time? What I’m not doing is sleeping in late. I’m not capable. I think it’s fair to say that all of us have a little list of things we’d like to do, or learn or practice. This is that perfect time to do that. I have always wanted to learn animation software. I’m quite good at all of my usual Adobe apps, as I’ve grown up with them, and I use them daily. I don’t use any of the animation apps daily. I have downloaded them, poked around and then got distracted. To be honest, I’m not all that in using the timeline feature of Adobe Photoshop. I’m a print designer, and wouldn’t have it any other way. I love print. But I do see the many virtues of taking my illustration and my somewhat odd brain to another place. Animation. Oh the places I’ll go!

“Oh the places you’ll go!” Dr. Seuss

I also have said I want to learn Spanish for no less than 20 years. Lame. Really and truly lame that I haven’t. I really want to learn to speak Spanish in Spain, but this might take a little more planning, and so it goes a little lower on my list of things to do. It will, however, stay on my list, and I will get there! This is me manifesting.

What exactly is the point of all of this? Recognizing that the universe does provide an abundance of many things, including time, which might be argued is the most precious thing you can get. Next time you find yourself bored. Please, slap yourself. Boredom is dumb. There is always a way to fill that precious time with something that makes you a better you. As a mother of two, may I humbly suggest you get to it.