Tuesday, December 1, 2020

A Case of the Pandemic Blues

Enough is enough!  I have noticed a dip in my positivity level each time life stressors interfere (way too many times to count). Can I categorize this new felt loss as the pandemic blues? 
"A mid-summer poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation reported over half of US adults indicated the pandemic has affected their mental health." (Article, Beating the Pandemic Blues)
I count myself as one of those affected by the stresses of pandemic life. Back at the end of February, my husband and I signed a contract to build a new home in Virginia near my little granddaughters. Who knew that COVID-19 would rear its ugly head a few weeks later changing my perspective in so many ways. Yesterday morning I paused to reflect on the happenings of the past nine months, building a home virtually and almost selling my Long Island home five times if you count interested prospective buyers. All of this has left me with weakened resolve but yesterday I found a bit of clarity. 

An incessant all day downpour turned the sky dark while drenching my newly-decorated porch. Fresh poinsettias sat beautifully in pots standing like poised guards waiting for yet another prospective buyer. The rainstorm negated that visit and caused my new plants to become rainsoaked. I ran outside to rescue them. Poor me, I thought. There would be no walks today, no finding small details in nature to bring peace. But then, I decided this outlook would only cause more distress so when I caught an interesting sight from my bedroom window I took a closer look. Nature was sounding off with gusts of wind and a downpour unlike those seen in many weeks. There was a strong windshift and pendulating swings of tree branches. I decided to pause and indulge in a few moments of relaxed self-care, just taking time to watch nature at work. Later, the following digital poem evolved.


I decided that If my poinsettias and decorations could withstand the relentless outbursts of nature during trying times, then I could, too. While my future path many not be a smooth one, I am ready to start thinking about the urgency of self-care: getting hold of my emotions and not letting the howl of pandemic blues deprive me of joy. It is with resolve to move forward that I will keep the following quote front and center.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain." 
-Author Vivian Greene


It's Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers so I am moving over to join the writing community because writing is one of my happy places.  
 

14 comments:

  1. We survive tough times by stating our resolve aloud, over and over again if necessary, don't we? Your art and words can serve as a beautiful reminder of "you've got this". I needed this Slice as much as you did, I think!

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    1. Interesting point, Chris. The words, "I got this," was going to appear in my slice. It seems we are on the same wavelength.

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  2. Carol, I like your message here. We cannot wait for joy to find us, we must seek it out. It is there. We are resilient and we will get through this. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

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    1. Bob, it is always amazing to me how resilient the human heart is. It may take months to get to the other side but when we land there, the joy of the miracle is so heart-filling.

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  3. I loved your reframing of this experience. I too, can connect to your feelings and thoughts about how this COVID experience has challenged my mental health. Thanks for sharing! Much gratitude and hugs for a good outcome!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by to comment. Now with the announcement of a new vaccine coming out I am hopeful that the pandemic blues will be behind us.

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  4. Carol, what a sweet encouragement about taking care of your mental health and positivity. You learned from the rain and poinsettias today. I love the line in your poem about the branches swaying and swirling in urgent display. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this quote by Vivian Greene, too: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain." I want to learn to do this more!

    I saw you have already seen Kevin's post about his sixth graders dancing and leaping in the same rain! Delightful to read both of your posts today.

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    1. Thanks for reading my post today, Denise. It is good to hear from you. We do need to think seriously about self-care during these trying times.

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  5. There's something so poignant about those poinsettias in the stormy weather. In my mind, I see their red against the swirling grayness, almost like a beacon of determination. There are simply times when the burdens are heavy, when our courage wanes, when despair gusts, relentlessly, and would tear us down ... yet here you are, Carol, capturing the beauty even in the "windshift" (I love that word). You impart strength, resiliency, and perseverance even in the darker, trying moments when awe walks are not possible. It's almost like the awe came seeking you when you could not go to it. I also think of the "still small voice" after the whirlwind when Elijah was hiding in a cave. But you stand facing the wind - facing the swirling urgency with that magnificent word, "withstand." And you shall! You and the sale remain in my thoughts and prayers each day, Carol - and I stand in awe of your strength, soaking up your words.

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    1. I am so thankful, Fran, for your beautiful words of comfort as I start a new day. I like thinking that my poinsettia plants are beacons of determination. I need to remember that when there are more windshifts. Many thanks to you for always being a breath of freshness during trying times.

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  6. I like how you think/talk yourself out from a gloomy place to calm. Like you, I often find light, color and joy in nature and when the weather turns dark, cold and rainy it becomes harder to achieve this. It take some inner resources to create the light and color in the mind and heart. You always have your art to support you.

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    1. Terje, thanks for stopping by to comment with positivity. The weather is getting colder now and my sweet poinsettias had to be brought inside to warm themselves, just like humans. While a nature walk was in order today there was no time so writing is the next best solution to stay in the zone.

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  7. Thought-provoking post chock full of comfort and encouragement! Thanks for sharing, Carol.

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    1. Joanne, I just noticed your reply and am thankful for our continued conversation. I hope you are doing well during these trying pandemic times. Stay well.

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