Tag Archives: musings

2020: A Retrospective

I recently saw a sign that said “2020. Written by Stephen King. Directed by Quentin Tarantino.”

Apt, yes?

The calm before the storm.

Well, yes and no. For all its tragedies, fears, stresses, economic disasters, fires. floods, storms, inconveniences and annoyances, 2020 could have been a lot worse. In fact, history has recorded quite a number of years that were much worse than this one. 1944 was the worst year of WW II; June 8, D-Day, saw the deaths of almost 7000 allied soldiers (British, Canadian and American) in that 24-hour period alone.

1918 was the start of the Spanish flu. That plague went on to kill 50 million people world-wide. Whole communities were wiped out.

And let’s not forget WW I. On August 22, 1914, 27000 were killed during The Battle of the Frontiers. That was a single day’s losses. In total, that war killed 1.35 million soldiers; that number doesn’t include civilian deaths.

I could give many other examples, but you get the idea.

In the scheme of things, 2020 just wasn’t that bad. In common with others, though, I did a lot of moaning and complaining. But really, I haven’t been that badly affected. It’s more precise to say that I’ve been inconvenienced.

I kept my job. I didn’t lose anyone to coronavirus. I had to stay locked up and quarantined for weeks, but Spouse and I are both introverts. It wasn’t really that difficult.

Given that situation, a spotlight has been focussed on some things to which we need to pay attention; it’s like we’ve been given a second chance. Let’s not blow it.

So in that spirit, here are some realisations, appreciations and habits I hope to take with me:

The worst may be over. For now.

1. Respect for nature. We don’t need to spread ourselves over every single millimetre of this planet. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that this is the attitude that lead to (probably) bat, snake and pangolin DNA combining to bring about coronavirus.

2. Mindful travelling. (https://mindfultravelco.com/5-steps-to-mindful-travel/). Trying to cram an entire continent into a 10-day package tour where the point is to post as many braggy photos to Instagram as possible? That’s not travel. To me, that sounds like a lot of gobbling and very little appreciation. Much of this type of travel is causing extreme damage to the very things people want to see. And the environmental injury is becoming enormous.

3. Solidarity. We’ve all been hit by this. The whole world. Focussing on our commonalities is much better than focussing on our differences.

4. We are a lot more capable than we have let ourselves become. We figured out some amazing, innovative, and environmentally friendly solutions to the coronavirus issues. And those vaccines! So amazing and so fast!

5. There are wonderful people from all walks of life who have stepped forward during this crisis. And sometimes, I was very surprised by who did (and who didn’t). For all we think we know people, we really don’t …

What do you think?

Wild Rose Hips

If you like rose hip jelly …

… a trip to the north might be on your agenda. We truly have a bumper crop. They are quite large – bigger than cultivated blueberries – and plentiful. They pack high levels of vitamins C and D as well as a substance that fights inflammation.

I’m not sure what this means. A longer winter? We had a long one last year, even by the north’s standards. So, if that’s the case …

… maybe we should just leave them to the bears. We humans have enough.

Happy Monday. Have a good week. 🙂

Blog Repairs

Dr Tanya of Salted Caramel asks, “What are you doing to ‘repair’ (re-vamp or update) yourself and your blog during the lockdown?” (https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2020/05/04/blogging-insights-27-repairing-yourself-and-your-blog/)

I have been really busy during this lockdown and so I haven’t done any “repairs” on my blog. But …

I’ve been working long hours and usually through the weekends as well, but during a recent regular health check-up, I discovered that my blood pressure was extremely high, to the point that I was apparently in “stroke territory,” according to the nurse-practitioner.

I’ve had what amounts to a latent blood pressure concern for some years now and it’s an issue that very decidedly runs in my family. I keep an eye on it, and do what I need to if it starts creeping over to the wrong side of the ledger.

Unsettled waters.

But my, this was a wake-up call. So, I had to take some very quick action to do a repair on me.

I find this working from home to be difficult. In the past, I’ve been able to draw a line around home and more or less wall it off. It was a sanctuary. But now? Work is at home; home is at work. Stressed employees were needing to talk. Many new and unexpected tasks had to be completed. NOW. There were shortages and frustration and fear and uncertainty. Days slid into nights and merged into each other in an amorphous mass.

M did his best to look after me by making wonderful meals and looking after everything else.

But I wasn’t able to “turn off.” Texts and phone calls arrived throughout the day and night, and needed to be answered. The community where I work was having a tough time coping and one of my employees became ill with covid (this person was isolating and so there was no spread, and thankfully, after eight days of ICU, there has been a full recovery).

It has slowed down somewhat now but I also realised that I had to get firm, too, and carve out a space for me to relax and chill and rest. My cardio-vascular system would thank me for it.

M has been baking bread.

So, where does blogging fit into this? Blogging has been, and continues to be, one of the things that takes me out of myself. Some bloggers are sharing beautiful photos, others are sharing laughs, still others are sharing recipes and gardening tips. Reading through the posts I follow has been a very welcome diversion, a healthy brain diversion, so in a way, I didn’t need to repair my blog, because it has been busy repairing me.

Lovely lavender.

Blogging comprises a community, and I don’t think that the countries represented here have ever before been so bound by a common enemy. I hate this virus, but in many ways it’s creating a sort of world-wide bond.

And that’s a repair that has been long overdue.

Any repairs for you?

Weirdism Wednesday

I find working from home to be weird, even after almost a month of it from my locked down state.

I’m feeling it, both mentally and physically.

Normally, I walk to work and then spend a lot of my day on my feet. I’m in and out of offices and other areas and people are always dropping by to see me for all sorts of reasons. It’s busy busy. My days can flash by.

It’s a different road right now, whether we want it or not.

I’m trying to separate work and home, but that’s difficult when home starts in the hallway outside my door.

I’m sitting at my computer for long periods of video calls, phone calls and texts and have to remind myself to get up and stretch.

I’m missing items and materials that are in my work office, but I can’t go there.

My home printer died a couple of days ago and I need a scanner.

I’m gaining weight.

I’m sometimes finding it difficult to focus.

It’s not the best situation by a long stretch, a very long stretch.

Dawn breaks.

But then I remind myself of all the people who have lost their jobs in this virus world and I remember to be grateful and stop my whining.

I remember that I’m not sick, nor are any of my loved ones. I haven’t lost anyone to this scourge. I’m together with my M, and I have food, a comfortable place to live in, caring phone calls and texts from friends and family and colleagues, and best of all, I have toilet paper. 😉

It’s a strange weird world and I don’t want to be in it (wah) but there are many alternatives that are a whole lot worse.

March 20’s Friday Flower

I am safely back in Canada and almost at my work-home to start my 14 days of self-isolation. It has been hectic as I tried to handle all sorts of things from a distance and the concern about being able to get home at all was also in the back of my mind.

Thank you to everyone who wished me safe travels and good luck. That was so very much appreciated. 🙂

And now, something lovely to look at …

I love the variegated pink and white petals.

Whatever you’re doing, and wherever you’re from, I wish you a happy weekend, good health, and a better week to come. 🙂

Sing a Song of Social Distancing, a Pocketful of Hand Sanitizer

I am in the midst of returning home after an overseas trip. I have a strong sense of getting back just ahead of the drawbridge being pulled up, even though no deadline has been given. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday in a press conference: it’s time to come home.

In common with many of my compatriots, I have travelled internationally a lot, have lived in other countries, and have served in the military. All of these experiences have made me very aware of how fortunate I am to be able to come home, especially to a country that cares about its citizens and that doesn’t see us a commodity to be expended. It’s nothing but an accident of birth, but that difference has given me multitudinous advantages and opportunities.

So over the next couple of days, I will be navigating airports and aircraft with lots of hand sanitizer, hand washing, and distancing. I feel fine, but I will need to go into self-isolation for 14 days to ensure my health and that of others.

And, for the first time ever, I will be working from home. A new experience.

I wish everyone clean hands and good health.

🙂