No Matter How Much Things Change, They Still Remain the Same

Professional Speaker-Peresonal Development-Positive Attitude

It was terrifying. My palms were sweating and my heart was racing. I kept telling myself: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

What was causing all this distress? I was going to the dentist. Was it for a special procedure? Nope, not at all. Just a routine cleaning; a procedure I have gotten hundreds – no, thousands – of times before. So, what made this one so stressful? It was the first time in three months that I ventured outside my home. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been self-isolating and this is the first time I’ve tried to return to some sort of normalcy in the past 90 days.

In one way it felt good to believe that this whole experience was behind us; in another way I was fearful that we have not seen the last of it yet.

As I entered the dentist’s office, there were some obvious changes. Hand sanitizer at the door, required face masks for everyone who was in the room, plastic panels separating me from the people who sat behind the desk. After my temperature was taken, my dental hygienist entered looking like someone straight out of a Twilight Zone episode – hair wrapped in a turban, face mask and head gear with a shield just like a welder would wear.

Once I got used to this new look, and we started talking, everything seemed normal again. There were stories told and lots of laughter. The surroundings may have changed, but the people did not. As I left, the women at the front desk waved and I wished them a good day. It made me realize that even though so much has changed in the last 90 days, some things will always stay the same. I got great comfort in realizing that my world of friendliness and compassion and hope was still there. My world was still filled with great beauty.

 

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Escape Boredom

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Is boredom setting in? Or has it already tightened its grip on you and just won’t let go. In the beginning, about eight weeks ago, many of us welcomed some down time so we could finish that book or try that new recipe. But now? Its feeling like Groundhog Day where every morning is the same. I know this sounds crazy, but some mornings I actually miss those traffic jams. Anything to bring a little variety to my day!

So, how are you keeping your sanity? How are you maintaining some sort of normalcy? And please don’t tell me about another game night or family gathering on Zoom! My butt can’t take any more.

Here’s one idea. Carve out some time – I mean actually put the date and time on your calendar – and do something, an activity, that you really enjoy. Not one that Aunt Suzi said you should try or one your Mom said is perfect for you. But an activity that really makes you happy. Make sure it has a clear beginning, middle and an end. That way it will give you a sense of accomplishment. Remember, these are not “have to do” activities, but something you really LIKE to do.

Personally, I don’t cook, I hate to clean my house and gardening is marginal. But the one thing I do love is talking on the phone. So, every day I pick one person, family or friend, who I carve out time to talk to and find out how life is treating them. I pour a cup of coffee or glass of wine, and just enjoy some girlfriend time. It gives me something to look forward to, catch up with people I haven’t heard from for months, and just feel good about the relationships I’ve nurtured over the years.

So, what will it be for you? What will you choose to do that makes you happy? Now, go schedule some time and just enjoy.

 

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Yes, We Will Hug Again

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I long for the old days. No, not the ones from 40 years ago but the ones from 4 month ago. It’s hard to believe that just this past January I was in Florida at a conference, in a crowded room, shoulder to shoulder with strangers and not giving it a second thought. Today we are wearing masks, afraid to talk to anyone and staying as far away from each other as possible. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever hug again, even shake hands again.

As this time of self-isolation continues, we need to find the tools that will help us navigate through this craziness and maintain some sort of sanity. We need to reclaim some sort of balance. And that will be different for each of us. What works for you may not necessarily work for the person standing next to you. So, ask yourself: “what brings a smile to my face – even if it’s just for a couple of minutes.” Find something that gives you some relief and remind yourself that this too shall end.

Yes, it WILL end. Someday soon we will all step out from behind our screen door and we will hug again. We will click glasses and be surrounded by fiends. We will jump for joy and laugh again, never to take our time together for granted – EVER!

 

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We Have Faced This Fear Before

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

He was only 31 years-old, his wife was a young 29. After eight years of marriage, they had three sons: 6, 2 and a newborn. That’s when the bombs started dropping. It was 1941 and the U.S. entered into World War II. What followed was fear of the unknown, confusion over how to survive and not knowing what the future will bring.

The family I describe above is mine: my parents and my three brothers. I never thought of it before, but the terror my parents faced must have been horrific. They never talked about it, and to tell you the truth, I never put two and two together until I faced our current pandemic. It was only recently that I realized the nightmare my parents survived.

You notice I use the word “survive” because that’s what it was. Somehow, they found a way to feed their family, have another child (me), and never show any bitterness or anger at what they faced. I wonder now if they ever stood in a food line, did they have enough money to pay their mortgage, did they find comfort in their family and friends.

My parents are both gone now and I will never know the answer to those questions, but one thing I do know for sure – they showed me how to be resilient. Before now, I have never seen empty shelves at the grocery store or people wearing masks, but our world sure has experienced this several times before. And each time it has survived and come back stronger than ever. Our world and our people refused to be beaten by war or disease or hunger. That is what keeps me going – that is what gives me hope. Knowing that we have been here before and have survived. Knowing that my parents have faced unsurmountable fear and would not give up.

So, as I face a world changed by COVID-19, I take the lessons I learned from my parents and refuse to let it break me. I refuse to be beaten down.

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