Ok World – What Happened?! (Coronavirus)

OK world – what happened?

January 2020 was full of hope, dreams, and longing with a new year on the horizon. Plans to travel, connect, learn and re-energize made the top ten list. And then something else happened instead. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) entered our lives. It sort of creeped in really slowly. And although it existed, it was mostly ignored.

When I first heard about this virus in early January 2020, I thought ‘These viruses happen to other people who live far, far away in places like China.’ Ebola, HIV, Dengue, SARS, MERS, Swine flu, Zika and so many other deadly health threats were distant to me – or so my small mind thought at the time.

I realized that as the COVID-19 virus spreads, our lives become smaller.  Travel is halted. The border between Canada and the US has closed. ‘Shelter-in- place‘ has been issued in San Francisco. Gathering with others has been discouraged and ‘social distancing’ has been encouraged in ways there were unimaginable at the start of March.

All sports events at all levels have been cancelled. Broadway plays, theaters, universities, schools, libraries, ski resorts, meetings, churches, fitness centers, bars, breweries, and casinos have been mandated to close. Colorado has pretty much shut down the state. Drug stores, grocery stores, liquor stores and department stores are still running and are looking to hire workers to help keep the shelves stocked.

Social Disruption initiated

Universities announced they will teach classes online so students are not allowed back on campus for the present time. Businesses want their workers to stay home and work remotely. People are home. They are not driving their cars, using gas, entertaining or socializing. They are hunkering down BECAUSE there is nothing to do.

And that is the goal. Nothing to do will keep people home. Nothing to do will help decrease the spread of the virus. Nothing to do forces us to stay inside and away from others. If there is no one around, there is no one who can give me the virus. And there is no one I can give it to if I have it.

Now we are told it is not about IF it happens but WHEN the virus will happen.

Everything I’ve just written is fact. And most everything has occurred in the past 2 weeks for US citizens.

So what now?

Stay healthy. Here’s my list of things I am planning to do.

Taking Control of My World
  • 1st of all – I refuse to spend my day watching the news. The TV news will destroy my soul and take me down to a very sad place. I watch Norah O’Donnell on the CBS evening news  then turn it off. I also go to youtube.com/news and choose something from that list if I want additional coverage.
  • 2nd – I have a whole list of youtube.com music that I can click on and listen to uninterrupted for 3+ hours. That music helps ground me. Want to breathe in Mozart?  How about relaxing Zen music? Good morning music?
  • 3rd – I plan to make regular phone calls to my family and friends. This is the perfect time not only because they are home with more time on their hands as am I but also because if not now – when?
  • 4th – Since all the fitness centers are closed, I’ll push myself out the door to walk. It’s good for my head, heart, soul and body. And I am practicing ‘social distancing’ in a healthy manner.
  • 5th – I am downloading books from my library using Hoopla and Libby and Overdrive. Also, through my library, I can download videos and movies through Kanopy. I can read magazines using Flipster, learn a language using Odilo or visit a music library.Poudre River Public Library download resources
  • 6th – And most important for my psyche is I plan to incorporate color into my life. Now is not the time for black or white. I am thinking all the colors of the rainbow! Color is such a great mental stimulation for me.

Next year at this time when I read this blog post, I want to close my eyes and remember how well we all got through it. How we pulled together as friends and created togetherness where before there were only strangers. How we reached out and offered help, comfort and compassion when others were struggling.

In the meantime, I will be writing it all down as a way to help me remember it, make sense of it and learn from it.

Loving you, Marge Katherine

Resources –

The Holidays are OVER – Amen!

The Do’s & Dont’s of Social Distancing

Symptoms of COVID-19

Corona Virus Near Me 

Hiking for the love of it!

Time slips away too quickly these days so I scheduled (in INK) on my wall calendar to take an early hike. And it worked!

morning hike1

My hike was under a under a cloudless blue sky. I left a bit later than I had originally planned and was on the trail at 7:30am instead of 7:00am. I wish it was earlier because I chose a route that went straight up the rocky hillside. Ugh! As I walked, I longed for shade, a breeze, some clouds and lower temperatures.  My alarm went off at 5:30 am but my dream was dangling in my memory, my pillow was warm and a hike could easily be put off. Drats.

WHY BOTHER?

This summer, I will be volunteering for a week as a Senior Counselor for a group of kids (Juniors in high school approximately~~ 15-16 years old) for a solid week. We will rise early, hike, listen to lectures, create skits, solve problems, create trust circles, roast marshmallows, watch the night sky and so much more. During this week, there are two hikes scheduled and they are both pretty steep. I don’t want to be the old lady left behind so I am doing my own training right now. Ugh.

morning hike2
Early morning walk at Horsetooth Open Space

KEEP ME COMPANY!

The hike I took this morning would have gone much easier if I had someone next to me as I climbed. As it was, I told myself – just get to the tree, just get to the rock, just get to the next curve. And with each baby step, I climbed higher.

GRATITUDE ABOUNDS!

I am usually in a state of awe when I hike because the scene around me is breathtaking. I’ve come upon coyotes, snakes, deer and elk when I’ve hiked but overall, I feel pretty safe. When I walk, I keep my ears open for the rattle of a snake in case I startle it but most of the time, it’s just me and my thoughts.

The hike is meant to strengthen my body and to quiet my mind. If I am walking with someone, then its a whole different story. For this hike, a companion would have been good for me.

morning hike3

During the same week, I took another hike and enjoyed clouds in the sky. They offer contrast, definition and most of all shade!

ENJOYING RETIREMENT

Being retired allows me to get up and get my hike or walk in before the day begins. For the longest time, after I retired, I felt guilty about what time I woke and kept the workday schedule I had. It was my way of penance for being home, with free time on my hands. I’m over than now 😊!

Time to lace up my Merrill hiking boots and get on the trail.

morning hike 5
Join me for a morning hike!

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” 

― Cindy Ross

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/hiking

When you find yourself smiling …
what task are you doing?
Think about it and share with me.
I’d love to know what makes your heart sing!

Planning ahead for shorter days

As the days grow shorter I often spend less time walking and exercising when I should be doing more. Walking makes me feel alive and refreshed. When I walk less because of the darkness or colder weather, I end up feeling bad and staying inside. The less I do, the harder it is to get motivated to do anything. And the downside to being in the house is the refrigerator beckons me to look within. “Come to me,” it whispers. “I will share my bounty with you – again and again and again.”

When I’m not home I don’t eat and I’m not tempted.

So, some new ideas for the November blog are exercise, health, and movement topics. Writing will be a good way to keep me moving, keep me learning and keep me blogging. Maybe along the way I’ll also motivate you to do something more or different.

Unlike October, I won’t be writing every day but I will write 3x weekly. That will be a bit easier for me and WAY easier for you. I know it must be tedious to see yet ANOTHER email telling you that margekatherine.com has published a post. I can read your mind – “again, really?”

Alas, October is coming to a close along with my mental health topics on choosing sanity. Have any of these topics made a difference or resonate with you? I welcome comments.

And so, I have 2 more days in the month to share my words of sanity, wisdom and introspection with you. Stay with me, it’s almost over – I promise!

Challenge Yourself and Thank Me Later!

Hi there,

It’s me again. I want to talk a bit more about the No Comfort Zone-2012 Challenge. I think it’s gonna be great and it’s not just because I thought of it.

End of your comfort zoneWhat I adore about this challenge is that when I do something different – my brain cells start popping (that’s a scientific term, I’m sure of it!), growing and exercising and because of this different activity, my brain gets stronger. Just like with your fitness routine, you’ve got to shake things up. Let’s do that!

The ‘use it or lose it’ theory is put into play in my challenge. In a longitudinal study, called the MacArthur Study healthy people were tracked from middle age into their 80’s and measured  any changes in their physical and mental function as well as their lifestyles: what they ate, how much they exercised, and their leisure and social activities. There were 3 distinct areas that made a difference over time.

  • They were more consistently physically active than the others. They took daily walks and other forms of exercise, for example.
  • They remained mentally active. These are the people who, rather than parking in front of the TV, did the crossword puzzle every morning, browsed the library shelves regularly for new and interesting books, dabbled in hobbies and crafts, or played bridge three times per week.
  • They had a personality quality some have termed “self-efficacy.” They met challenges with the confidence and desire to solve them, rather than being ground under the wheels of misfortune. (Found in Memory Loss and the Brain)

In other words, they tried new things on a regular basis and they the world became their oyster.  Just like the No Comfort Zone-2011 Challenge  invites you to get out of your comfort zone and make some noise, dance the jig, meet new people, write sizzling blogs (and link back so I can read them!)

Perhaps at the end of the challenge I have a prize for you? Maybe you can help me think of something?! Let me know …

Time is ticking!

Workout Challenge during the Holiday Zone

As I ponder my good health, I am in awe of people who take their fitness to the next level. I may not be there yet ...And I’m in awe of those who restrict calorie intake so their bodies can be in the right fat zone.

Working out is the easy part for me. I like to move my body. Restricting food is not easy for me. I know that if it’s there, in front of me, it was meant for my consumption.

And I also know that when I work with someone (a workout buddy) I am more tuned in and focused. I suppose the buddy system goes for everything – like Postaday2011. We said we’d do it and we show up and write.

I’m looking for a virtual buddy or two who wants to stay healthy, focused and challenged over the next 3 months (yes, to get us through the holidays). We’ll set our own goals then help each other attain them. And we’ll continue to blog, work, play and all the other fun things in our world.

Shall we?

Here’s to your health Joe!

Last week I was not feeling so great.

My voice had disappeared. Instead I had a deep chest cough.

I’m better now, my voice is back (a bit squeaky), my cough is gone (almost) and I feel wonderful. Being sick isn’t fun, but at least I was able to be in my bed, with my pillow, my sounds and smells.

For those folks in a hospital – to one person in particular – it’s hard. Your schedule is lined up with the schedule of the hospital. You are at the mercy of the people that come anThe difference between who you are and what you want to be is what you do.d go and you can only pray they have no cough (ahem…) or colds (oops!) or nasty germs.

The best place to heal is at home with chicken broth, juices, flowers and your pillow.If you’ve been in a hospital, you know how absolutely wonderful it is to return home. A few minutes of tears are allowed as you enter your castle.

Putting yourself first by not talking calls, visitors or entertaining is the only way to heal. Having a spouse or parent or child to be that guard dog is a good thing. Rest, sleep, heal. Once that’s over it’s time to sit, bark, play.

But first, you must get home. Soon? I sure hope so.

Sending love from my broken desk to your hospital bed…