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Staying Motivated & Staying Home

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

What a surprise this morning to discover that I am today’s Sparkpeople “Featured Motivator” especially since our world travels and family activities had greatly reduced my time on the site in recent years.

Returning to the USA on Feb 29th after a month in South America (& meeting a Spark Friend -see last blog), I was concerned about the pandemic but didn’t realize the extent it would impact daily life.

At that time there were no cases in South America and the official US position was that all would be fine.

China had locked itself down on Jan 23rd with many Asian countries, Italy & Spain soon to follow.

I was surprised to find myself in the Global Entry line with people returning from all those countries. The guy ahead of me was coming back from China. I read about cruise passengers being stranded off our coasts & wondered why it was OK for millions to fly here without precautions while some were left at sea.

However, self preservation & that of my loved ones soon became my main concern. I realize that we are much better off than those on the front lines & living in the hot spots. Living in a lovely area that I often call “nowhere VA,” our cases are gradually increasing but I am grateful to those who did shelter in place to provide time to prepare.

Even before the official lockdowns in mid March I had stopped my normal activities. No running, swimming, singing in chorale, or even going to church. I watch services on Sundays remotely. Grocery shopping every 2 weeks wearing a mask. Although my mask protects others from ME, I am dismayed to see so many other shoppers without masks apparently unconcerned about protecting ME from THEM.

Star Trek’s Mr. Spock said “there are always alternatives”

So, here’s my alternative maintenance program.

I’ve become “pioneer woman” cooking while making use of what I have.
My “beer bread” is pretty good. Initially, I wanted comfort food, but since I returned on Feb 29th with 4 added travel pounds, I realized that was stupid. My desserts are limited to “Skinny Cow” ice cream sandwiches. We planted our garden and DH is working hard tending it.

Although I’m unlikely to meet anyone on my road, I don’t run or walk outside.
I have severe allergies and I don’t need any kind of respiratory problem that could mimic something serious. SO, every day I walk what DH calls “The Route of the Confused Squirrel.” In my house from one end to the other, through the kitchen, around the island, through the dining area, through the living room into the sun room, pivot, retrace my steps to the start and repeat. I average between 3 and 4 miles a day, in intervals of 12 to 16 minutes each.
I have a set of hand weights that I use every other day. I maintain my stretching routine as well

Mental maintenance:
We had planned to study “Language & Culture” at universities in either Slovakia or Lithuania this summer. Not possible now, but they are offering online courses and I have registered for those. I am using the materials from our previous courses there (2013 & 2016) to refresh my memory.
Slovakia was one of the 1st countries in Europe to lock down and their President and other officials wore masks to encourage the people to do likewise. Even their news people on camera wore masks. Slovakia has one of the lowest rates of infection and death in the world.

I also bought a puzzle from a local business - a map of our 2200 acre lake - 1000 pieces should take awhile. I ordered another of “Monuments of the World” to remember the past and plan for a better future.

So fellow Sparkers, that’s my new normal. When I get discouraged, I remember trying times in the past especially WWII where ordinary men left their ordinary lives, went off to save the world and (the fortunate ones) returned to their ordinary lives. All I’m being asked to do is alter my routine and wear a mask.

Stay safe, stay well, keep sparking.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    So glad you guys made it safe and healthy back from your travels............. your last sentence is so to the
    POINT!! emoticon on the new title you were given,
    43 days ago
    It was nice to hear from you once again. Congrats on your new title. Yes, it's a different world outside of our homes. I am hoping to wake up one morning to find out that it is over and we can resume our lives once again.
    43 days ago
    Congratulation on being selected as a Sparkpeople Motivator!! Sounds like you've developed a great plan to deal with the present situation... Stay safe and well and Keep on Sparking,
    43 days ago
    Keep at it! Glad you are still well and happy you ate taking precautions to stay that way!
    43 days ago
    43 days ago
    How nice to start the day seeing a post from you. I celebrate your good sense (but I’m not surprised) in taking care. Just read an article about how flagrantly some folks in the next state over are “celebrating” their “freedom”. This crisis has given a great deal of food for thought!
    43 days ago
    My DH and I do the same kind of walk. Thank your DH for the name. Love it! 🐿
    43 days ago
    Thanks. Stay safe and again thank you
    43 days ago
    I'm glad you are safe and finding your new normal. I work on that myself and when I get down and discouraged, I realize how much better I have it than people during the world wars and the Spanish flu pandemic.

    Here's to feeling blessed in the present and brighter future!
    43 days ago
    I am staying home, wearing a mask when out (which is extremely infrequent!), and counting my blessings which are many!

    Stay safe and healthy!
    43 days ago
    so glad to read that you are safe and home sorry that you do not get to study like you wanted but like you said you can do it on line

    I wear a mask when I go out mostly because it makes others feel better I have to wear it to work in so it feels quite normal to wear it all the time

    be safe and stay healthy

    43 days ago
    Good to see you. I had read your last blog (the one on the cruise meeting in S.A.) as we were ramping up the "advice" for those of us over 64 to "stay home". While every state was on its own plan and timetable, we were all pretty much in similar straights. When I saw news of those cruise ships being kept offshore, I thought about you and wondered if you got home before they slammed the gates shut (but obviously with some leaks in the gate fabric).

    Glad to hear you're safe and sheltering, as are many of us. Since I wasn't a globe trotter, and had already curtailed my travel since last Summer, not a HUGE impact. Some changes is what's available. And I succumbed to having someone else do the grocery shopping. Still avoiding going out for anything that's not absolutely essential. And with a mask when I do.

    Like you, I remember the history of trying times. We will get through this, too. emoticon emoticon
    43 days ago
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