Insight from COVID-19 – Transforming Reaction into Response 1.0

We are in the midst of chaotic times, no doubt.  It is truly a call for us all – to wake up to the fact that we live in a global community.

Arguments to the contrary can no longer be entertained.  However, new thoughts, habits, and routines can be inner-trained.

When faced with challenging circumstances, I have trained myself to search for something worthwhile that can be gleaned from the suffering.  With practice these kinds of thoughts become like beachballs in water – they inevitably pop to the surface.

Folks are afraid, and there is good reason.  This contagion is real.  Government protocols are being rewritten because of it.  The lifestyles of the rich and famous and poor and unfamous are changing because of it.

We are at a crossroads.  Will we react?  Or respond?  There is a world of difference.

Here are a few of the things that I am learning from this outbreak.  These include the pragmatic and philosophical, as well as the humorous…humor is Now Therapy.

  1. Appreciation is an Elegant Art.  Appreciate our health care workers, retail clerks, truck drivers, utility workers, and those who maintain our vital communication, and emergency services.   Friends, this realization is changing the water on the beans – without these folks we WILL be in dire circumstances indeed.  Keep in mind that those who are in direct contact with the public (you and I) have to go home to their families.  We can spread the love not the virus.
  2. Appreciate our personal vitality, health, and strength.  If you are healthy it is honorable to help others.  There are those who will not be able to get to the grocery store.  We can always drop off food and meds to those who are even more shut-in than we are, while maintaining a necessary distance.  This is a vital community service.  Contact your local organizers to find out how you can assist.
  3. We can walk outdoors (if we are not under a strict isolation order) while keeping our distance from others and even if we are confined to our home we can do stress-relieving and flexibility enhancing exercises like yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong.  There are hundreds of videos that are free online.
  4. Kindness costs nothing but pays a huge return on our investment.  It is also stress-reducing.  We are all consumers.  We are all contributors.  What are you consuming?  What are you contributing?  It is true kindness to only use what you need and leave the rest for others.  These days, kindness also looks like staying home!
  5. We can ration paper products.  What is this new Toilet Paper Index but a sign of irrational times? This is not gross, folks, it’s a natural bodily function.  In many cases, two small squares of TP is all you need to attend to a #1, ladies.  Gents understand this pragmatic approach and have for eons.  Hippies and hikers have known the benefits of rationing products that decimate our old-growth forests for what seems like forever.  Glad to have y’all on board!
  6. We can get by on about half the amount of food we regularly consume.  The SAD (Standard American Diet – this includes all of North America) is excessive.  We have heard that before.  With people hoarding food, this is the perfect opportunity to practice calorie-restriction.  It won’t hurt you.  Cut your consumption of meat in half or quarter – there are huge benefits for your pocketbook as well as your innards.  You won’t simply survive, but you may find yourself thriving.
  7. Eliminate food waste.  With the requirement for social distancing, you may find yourself a lot more mindful about what food you are buying (getting to the store is a privilege of these who are healthy) and, if you are community-minded you will find yourself naturally limiting your trips to the stores that remain open so we can continue to eat.  You may find yourself using leftovers in creative ways!  Bravo!
  8. Staying at home has its benefits.  We can play more games.  We can write and listen to music and hang out with those that share our home.  Our wardrobe is not a concern.  One change of clothing is all we need.  Minimalists have been saying this for years.  Consider what truly is important – enjoy the benefits of not doing nearly as much laundry too!
  9. You now have time to give your windows the attention they deserve.  I accept my responsibility for cleaning the dog snot off the living room window, and now I have plenty of time to attend to it.  Wash your dishes by hand!  My hands have never been cleaner!  🙂
  10. I have new empathy for my dog and cat and every critter who has ever spent time confined.  I can go outside.  I can move around my home.  I don’t have to hold my bodily functions like my pup does if he or she is crated.  My human litter box is clean.
  11. Feed the need now – pets need more than food.  Pets need petting.  That is the definition of petting – where it originated.  Pets give us so much – this is the perfect time to give them a whole lotta love!  This is a gift that keeps on giving!
  12. There is logic in cat poop.  Sharing negativity and nastiness on social media is like taking the contents of your cat’s litter box and handing it to others.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a piece of it.  Neither does your cat!  Litter box wrangling is a solitary endeavor for the cat (ask him!) and a solitary pursuit for their hooman…scoop it up and dispose of itPlease don’t try to distribute it to your social media community.

Yes, I agree.  Some choices have to be curtailed for a while.  It isn’t fun.  There is a whole world of adjustment happening – financial strain and frustration and fear is real.  We still have many choices available to us – ones that don’t cost anything – like learning to transform knee-jerk reaction into clear-eyed response.

This virus outbreak may be historical, but it is only hysterical if we let it be.

Stay healthy, my friends.

Plan Now to Optimize 100!

What is there to look forward to as one ages?  I have a plan. It even has a name – Optimize 100!

Femme Fierce!

I believe that keeping as fit as possible and maintaining optimum body weight at any age will pay dividends as one begins to wind down. Our ability to remain fit and active will be prolonged due to good management. This also means choosing sports and activities that minimize the chances of injury.

Regardless of how hard we train, there will be a point where we cannot hike as fast, or cycle as fast, or kayak or run or play badminton as well as we used to. Why not plan to work as hard as is necessary to maintain muscle mass and vitality for as long as possible?

Folks, let’s sit down…and lay down…when we have no other option!

If I am blessed to wake up on my 100th birthday relatively mobile and remembering who I am, I will consider it a plan well executed!

I will be 60 this July and still enjoy a high degree of agility and athleticism. I achieved a Black Belt in Taekwondo at age 42 and still enjoy active sports. We have just taken up squash. What a fast-paced, interesting game!  I am not very good at the moment…but that will change!

My husband is my training buddy.  This helps a lot.  If you don’t have a life partner who feels the same way you do about exercise, you can always find a training buddy at an athletic group.  I suggest joining a gym, or a hiking, cycling, or running group, etc. and get to know folks.

We resistance train regularly. We are avid hikers and regularly hike in the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and the Green Mountains in Vermont, USA. We have hiked Mt. Washington and many other mountains along the northern end of the Appalachian Trail, including Mt. Katahdin in Maine. This past October we hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Our tour guide dubbed us The Speedy Llamas for a reason! We are enthusiastic cyclists (regular 50–60k rides).  We have taken cycling holidays that require a challenging level of fitness and have scheduled a cycling adventure in Tuscany in Oct 2020.

We also eat to optimize longevity. For more information on this subject, I suggest checking out The Blue Zones information.  This stuff is GOLD:

The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

Every day I wake up on this side of the grass is a beautiful day…

Looking forward to aging is a matter of mindset and preparation.

I live by what I call the 5′P’s – proper planning prevents poor performance.  Preparing for a long, active life means laying the groundwork now. There is no other time!

From my perspective, this means exercising my brain through continuous learning and creative endeavors. My second book, An Elegant Mind’s Handbook is scheduled to be published by DeVorss & Company in 2020.

Gnothi Seauton

It also means challenging the thoughts that threaten to sabotage my joie de vivre. I am very careful in what I declare that I am, but I am happy to say that I am a Contrarian. I question everything, most especially the source of my questions.

I mean, I was wrong once before….

It also means enjoying the moment and having fun! I am glad to act my age!  I plan on enjoying myself every day ‘til the end of my days. I am looking forward to the ride.

There is a woman who I believe to not only be an example of extreme resilience in extreme circumstances but, at age 91, Dr. Edith Eger is also one of the most brilliant examples of healthy aging I have ever found. She is and will continue to be, a shining star for me.

Home – Dr. Edith Eger