It’s the 4th of July 2020. I am so over politics. I am so over Covid 19 and its evolving cousins. I’m over the Murder Hornets and the Meth Gators and being scared all the time.
January is the traditional time of “reset”. And in January I decided that my word for 2020 was going to be JOY. And then February happened… then March happened… then April and May and June. I have been fighting so hard to just maintain any vague semblance of sanity and not falling into a pit of depression.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m on year three of my anti-depressants. And there are days when I really want to message my Dr to see if we can’t adjust the dose. It’s not like I have much to be depressed about. Bear on hospice, knowing that the flu probably put him there. Races being cancelled. Fairs and Disney. Movies at the theater being a thing of the past. The world as we know it changing to one where hate and derisiveness are rampant. Realizing just how polarized things really can get. It’s made this Mary Sunshine pretty much a Debbie Downer for a lot of days.
Then I found 99 Walks.
I’m not even sure how I found it on Facebook, to be perfectly honest. It might have been an ad on my feed. I don’t know. I know whatever it was, I saw the shiny thin bracelet that is your reward for making your walking goal every month and I was hooked on the bling. Ask anyone… I have a crap ton of medals hanging in the window of my office at home. Bling is an awesome motivator. And I needed some heavy duty motivation. Three good things every day for months on end wasn’t doing it. Something had to.
So I went and investigated. There is an app for that (go figure). There is a book. There is a central Facebook group. There are spawned off other Facebook groups. Everyone is so incredibly supportive and friendly. It is my respite from the world. It’s not a magic bullet. I still find myself in a pit with nothing to look at but mud walls and worms kind of frequently. But it is helping.
This month the theme is Joyful Wanderer (did I say that yesterday?). I’m taking this month very much to heart. I’m very mindfully walking. I’m stepping up my game. I’m very determined to get my Joyful Wanderer bracelet.
I’m struggling to get back to Choose Joy.
I’m manufacturing ways to try to trick my brain back into some semblance of who I am because I really really miss being me.
Does that make any sense?
So tonight I’m sitting here waiting on French Fries to be finished cooking, nursing a shoulder that has been flairing for about four days now (it usually doesn’t last this long and I’m really not enjoying it). I’m putting my left hand where I need it to be with my right hand so I don’t move the muscles so much in my left shoulder. I’ve been putting Boo Boo Salve on it pretty regularly (it’s awesome stuff… all natural… a friend of my mom’s makes it… https://www.rainbowskytrading.com/) and adding in the Napproxen at night.
Today we went to the zoo again. It’s coming up close to the Asian Lantern Festival and we wanted to see them in the daylight. That, and the Dinosaur experience is open so… yeah.
It was particularly scary to be out and about today. The state isn’t as bad as Florida or Arizona or California right now… but we are double what we were a month ago and it isn’t looking better any time soon. Our county is the second highest number of Covid cases in the state. The mayor of Cleveland made an executive order that everyone has to wear a mask when they are in a public place.
It was good to see, though, that people were actually wearing masks this week at the zoo.
I worked hard today at mindfully spending time with Bear and Squirrel. It was, altogether, a good day. Pictures to treasure. Memories made.
Should we have gone given everything? Probably not. But we were as careful as we could be. Handsitizer. Clorox wipes. Masks and 6 feet apart (even when it pissed people off that I deliberately would not push Bear’s wheelchair past them when it was too close. Bear says he will die sooner if he can never leave the house. I can’t take everything away.
Starting now I will be starting to use curbside pick up.
Am I scared?
But I can do this. I can’t say this is any kind of new normal… but it my current reality and I have to find myself again.
Today was one walk of 2.6 miles pushing the wheelchair and one walk of 1.2 miles. both were mindful and peaceful.
It’s been rough. Mentally, it has been really rough the last few months. And now Ohio is at 1301 new Covid cases in a day. That is the third single biggest day yet. Our last three days have been 743, 1076 and 1301. I’m worried that today will bring us up over 1500 and that will be the biggest day ever. They have implemented a county by county color coding system for the state.
7 counties are red. We are one of them. 1 county is very close to being purple. I fear for Columbus area. I fear for Cleveland area nearly as much.
And that, my friends, is the lead in to my today.
Right now, I am sharing my space with my bulldog. My buddy. He’s guarding me… keeping me company… being my boy.
Yesterday I kind of melted down. Between the notice that the day before yesterday came out with the news that there were 3 confirmed cases of Covid in the building where I should be working but thank the stars that I’m not and one presumed positive (a tenant of our building, not someone from our company) and the notification that we are one of the biggest hot spots in our state… it was not a great day.
But it was a day that I needed to step up and shake myself off and knock some proverbial sense into myself. I can let this shit beat me down. I can let it define me. I can let it take away everything that I have always been. Or I can ‘man up’ (so to speak… but I guess that isn’t politically correct any more either) and get my own shit together.
I’ve paid for three months of 99 walks. I’m really liking the app and the Facebook group. It is an incredibly positive bunch of people. The theme of July is Joyful Wanderer. June (I made my goal so I get the bracelet) was share your sunshine (or share the sunshine or something like that) and it was a good theme and all… and I really really like the May bracelet that was Inhale Exhale (because yeah… ) but July… July I am really taking to heart. My word for the year in Joy. And I have been struggling mightily with it. But now it’s time to focus on it.
Posted in the 99 walks some of the mental and emotional struggles I’m having. But this morning I really decided it was time to put my shoes where my mind needs to be. So Squirrel and I went for a walk. We went to our park. She wasn’t ready, mentally, to go back to the lake and I’m not really sure I am either. But our park… yeah, I can do that.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that they have been doing so incredibly much work in our park, I know that change happens and change is okay. This change was kind of depressing. They ripped out the dam that made such a pretty waterfall. Right now everything is really dug up a lot and you have to sneak across the BRIGHT ORANGE fence (where someone else had already stepped it down to the ground) to see what has been going on. It was hard to see what they had ripped out, but it is good, too, because they are making it in such a way that you will be able to go down to the edge of the creek instead of taking your life into your own hands if you decide to do that. I viewed it with mixed feelings.
We then went to the wildlife sanctuary part of the park. Squirrel sat in the truck (too humid for her to be comfortable) and I went for a walk. I walked to the pond and watched the fog blowing across the surface of the water. I went to the little pond. I went along the creek. I went and sat for a few minutes at my favorite oak tree. I rescued (not sure if that was something I could get into trouble for or not so… no no, I didn’t do anything) a few of her seedlings and brought them home. They are now planted around my yard.
After I planted the saplings, I came in the house and started a decent sized batch of sauerkraut to (hopefully) fermenting and in about 4 weeks I will be able to can it up.
I’m not completely back yet. But I’ve made the conscious decision that I need to be back and I need to get my proverbial shit together and stop letting what other people do and what other people don’t do impact my day.
I need to center myself and get back to working on my word for the year. It’s the middle of the year and I’ve lost at least a quarter year being lost and afraid. Covid isn’t going anywhere and I need to find a way to live with whatever this reality is.
We went to Sheetz (convenience store) a couple weeks ago… got coffee (I love Sheetz coffee… maybe less because it is incredible, but it is good, as much as because it is Sheetz and it is from the home towns I grew up in) and when we were checking out Squirrel bought each one of us one of these.
They are advertised as being AMAZING… works on any touch screen… buttos… door handles… wooooooo
Andy they are good. They do work on door handles. They are great on buttons. They have a nice weight and are great if you are stressed and need something to fiddle with.
They do not work on all touch screens. If they are pressure sensitive, it works. If they are like your phone or tablet, maybe… maybe not. It didn’t work at the grocery store. It did work at the bank. It did not work at the gas pump.
Thinking through all of those things you touch (or used to touch in your previous existence)… they will work on elevator buttons (most, anyway)… they will work on most vending machines…. They will work to help with many faucets in public bathrooms (but you might want to carry your own towel like things).
It is comfortable in my hands even when they ache. Big hole means it slide over my knuckles even when they are swelly. A side benefit… I have started to use it at home to help pick up things like… bucket handles… gallon jugs that I filled from the rain barrels.
And, if I put a carabiner on it, I can hang my mask off of it when I’m in the car.
I’m pretty sure that, if I carry it while I’m running, I could do some damage if some asshole tries to mess with me, too… the straight pointy part isn’t long, but with a decent swing I could probably do some damage… just saying…
Are they worth the money? Probably. Just don’t count too heavily on them being the be all and end all of everything. Nothing is a magic bullet… even magic bullets.
<rant (fair warning)> You logic (or maybe your humanity???) is flawed. It’s not that I have a particularly thin skin. I have been bullied my entire life. I get it. I have a kick me sign. Dynomutt, scag, nerd (okay that one turned out to be true… ), dogface… I get it. But sometimes the stupid just hurts my brain so badly that I can’t help but scream.
This is my scream.
It’s not COVID… it’s ONLY the Seasonal Flu!!! DUH. Okay, let’s suppose that your premise is true. Let’s just suppose for the sake of argument (and because I’m just too tired to give two shits and a poptart) that that were the case. Let’s just suppose that the reason you don’t wear a mask… that you don’t stay the hell away from me in stores… that you don’t stop the endless bitching is that it is the flu and everyone knows that the flu kills WAY WAY WAY more people than the stupid SHEEPLY Covid crap has. Two things.
1, if it is flu it isn’t covid. you can’t have it both ways. Pick one and get on with your kvetching.
2. if it is the flu and EVERYONE EVERYWHERE knows that the flu kills bazillions and bazillions of people every year so duh… then that makes the argument even worse.
IF for the sake of argument it is the seasonal flu then um, the season is over and all of those people dying to make your life inconvenient are just stupid and wrong and not dead… so there
If, the the sake of argument it is the seasonal flu and wearing a mask will keep someone’s mother, father, grandmother, great aunt Eloise on their mother’s brother’s cousin side from dying of the Just Plain Flu… then why is it such a bitch fest to wear the mask while you are in the store…
I get that getting drunk and slobbering and coughing all over people at the bar is just freaking awesomely fun. I get that wiping your runny nose and touching the door knob and grabbing those nachos and using your hands in the salad bar is just so much freaking fun. I get it.
And I get it.
I want desperately to get back to ‘running’ in a race that’s a real race.
I want desperately to go back to Disney like we were supposed to be going to do this past March just the two of us that will never happen.
I want to sit in my office and look out the window and watch the freighters wind their way down the Cuyahoga.
I want to not have to know that I’m watching someone I love desperately die.
But you know what? This whole “JUST THE FLU, DUH” adventure has taught me a lot. It has taught me that an awful lot of people just don’t give a tinker’s dam about other people.
Know what else? When all of this is over and all of the bitching and gnashing of teeth stops (well, okay, whatever… people are acting like it is nothing and over now so… whatever)… I’m going to get my flu shot because I’m one of those inconvenient statistics that everyone keeps throwing out there. I’m one of the expendables. But when this is all over… whenever that is… I’m going to keep doing the needful. Flu season, I’m going to carry my handy dandy mask with me and when I’m around anyone I’m going to wear it. If this is JUST THE FLU, then this is just the flu and it’s all good and my trying to keep myself, the people I love, and even your sorry ass safe from JUST THE SEASONAL FLU and being one of the BAZILLIONS who die EVERY YEAR from that, K? For what it’s worth… my wearing my mask isn’t hurting you at all. It is not a political statement. It just says way the hell more about me than it does about you.
Don’t like the government regulating that you pretend for one hour every couple days or so to be a caring human being, fine. Whatever. I have a limited number of give-a-damns in any given day and… guess what… just used them up. Get too close to me, I’m going to suddenly have a HUGE WET MEATY COUGHING FIT. I am.
Might start carrying a cane and accidentally trip you if you step into my bubble. Consider this fair warning.
I wish with ALL OF MY HEART that I could go back to February and do so many things differently… with all of my heart… because maybe things would be different for this house right now.
This whole JUST THE SEASONAL FLU adventure has taught me how many people just don’t care.
but it has taught me, too, just how many people do. And for that, thank you…
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I posted a gif on Facebook of a man who is talking about how 70 – 700 people dying so the US economy can rally is acceptable. The off camera person said… so… 70 is the number that’s okay? Man: yeah… 70. Off camera: Let me show you 70 people.
70 people in that man’s family came around the corner of the street.
When he realized that there were 70 people who were in his family and that 70 suddenly had faces and relevance his numbers changed.
Was it staged? Um… Duh.
Was it to make a point that every single one of the “acceptable losses” is a person? Um… duh.
I’m so tired right now. I’m so incredibly tired.
A friend of mine from elementary school commented on the picture.
But on the other end of this horrible double edged sword, is the awful fact that's thousands have not received a penny of unemployment in 7-8 weeks or more. These folks are losing their businesses and not even being able to afford food.. terrible situation whole way around.
<because… again… duh… it’s not like I don’t know that too… and I KNOW those faces as well> and I answered… I answered because I’m tired. I am so sick and tired of all of the bullshit. ALL of the bullshit.
I know. I really do know. And I’m terrified of the way the economy is and the way it is heading and I hate the way the country is handling this so incredibly horribly compared to EVERYWHERE else. But people are very very cavalier with “eh… 70 to 700 deaths are acceptable as long as it fixes everything ” (which it isn’t going to fix everything like people believe. there is no magic bullet in this case) until they are faced with the acceptable losses being THEIR losses.
Would all 70 acceptable losses be in one family? Not likely. But people don’t put faces to the acceptable losses they keep throwing around. People use a tone of voice when they talk about acceptable losses… like… Yeah… whatever… a few more dead people… so what… pffft
I have family in the same situation… where they don’t have an income and they are waiting and waiting and waiting for stimulus checks and unemployment that feels like it will never come. But I also speak as someone who cavalierly gets lumped into that big giant “Eh, F$%^-em let them die so the economy can be as fabulous as it’s ever been” feeling you get from seeing people talk about acceptable losses. Three people who live in my house would very likely die if any of us got Covid.
I guess that’s three from someone else’s house that wouldn’t have to… but still… I’ve had it right up to the eyeballs with hearing about how it’s “only” the elderly and vulnerable who are likely to die so what’s the problem.
I’m tired of spending 12 – 14 hours a day sitting in my office at my computer busting my butt working only to be made to feel like a drain on society.MY point in this is… every acceptable loss is someones family… someone’s brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, best friend….
I want desperately for people to be able to go back to work and to be safe. But I want people to be safe. I want people to not have to get shot in the face for telling people to put on a mask. I want people to not get spit on for asking someone to please stand 6 freaking feet away. Hell, I don’t want people close to me than that when it’s not this fugly mess and I will deliberately run into assholes in the store before all of this if they ride my heels with a cart or shove their smelly armpits in my face because they HAVE TO HAVE THAT whatever that happens to be where I’m shopping and they can’t wait the 45 seconds it’s going to take me to get my whatever from where they HAVE TO BE.
I’m tired of bullshit.
Everyone else gets to go “LOOK LOOK LOOK at what those assholes in the <whatever political party they are “against” and are HATING… and I’m so flipping sick of the hating> are doing to make the whole FU#$%^& world so much FU#$%^& worse than anyone else in the whole FU#$%^& world could make it!!!!!”.
I Just thought maybe people might need to be reminded that every acceptable loss matters to someone somewhere… or maybe not
I was good. I didn’t reply right away. Probably should have. If I had done anything at the time, I probably would have just taken the post down… because I don’t make waves and I don’t voice my political opinion because I’ve been bullied my whole life and I really don’t need to provide more fodder for people to use to take pot shots at me.
But I am tired.
I’m tired and I’m scared and I want about 2/3 of the time to go sit with my back against my favorite tree at the park and wrap myself in the throw I’ve been working on for years and cry until the tears won’t come any more.
This whole mess has taken its tole on my house.
Squirrel is so on edge most of the time and she is facing the knowledge that her girlfriend can only handle the good times and can’t handle it when Squirrel falls apart. She is facing friends that have already told her that, if she wears a mask to school or around them for any reason they will make fun of her. She just started Humera… added to the other two immunosuppressants… you know what… Covid hunts people like that down. Would she die? Statistically probably not. But that’s a chance.
Monkey Butt has started to shoulder the responsibility for keeping the rest of the house from going completely bat shit crazy. HE (my jaded son who has hated humanity for years) has started to hunt for the bright sides to show that it’s probably really not so bad.
Bear? Hospice. I’m not handling that really well, either. Hospice makes it really really real. Last night we <all four of us> went to Lowes. It was the first time Bear had been inside of a store in over two months. I needed fence to keep my dogs out of my garden and I needed containers to grow some of my plants in… and I needed soil for in those containers… I needed stuff to work on my witchy SHTF prepper stuff outside so I don’t have to worry quite so much about what is coming… and to keep us as healthy as we can be inside our walls. I needed Monkey Butt because bags of garden soil are heavy. Squirrel needed to get out of the house because… she hasn’t been venturing out even when I have made my panic filled ventures out into the craziness. And Bear needed to be out. He needed to be out and where people outside of the four of us (and his hospice nurse Dave) are. The last time we were at a store together, he pushed the cart. Yesterday he drove my truck, but he needed his wheelchair because he knows his legs won’t carry him even with the cart through the store. It’s getting that real. What would Covid do if it came into my house?
And me? I am just tired of the stupid things that people do to each other. I’m tired of people ridiculing the choices we have had to make. I don’t LIKE doing a half marathon virtually with a mask on. I don’t like being terrified every time I walk into a store that is full of people who have apparently decided that the current situation is an excuse for them to let their asshole flag fly high and proud. I have been loudly and publicly ridiculed and laughed at in a Walmart isle because I chose to have a mask and gloves (and because losing 50 pounds has messed with my ability to maintain feeling warm) and a hoody on a 50 degree day. I’m trying to keep up with everything in the house. I’m trying to hold it together because Bear can’t handle it when people lose it in front of him… so I hold onto my control as long as I can until I can’t any more. And I spend hours at my computer working because I do still have a job to “go” to and I need to keep that job. I try so hard to down out the TV when it’s on because everyone talks about acceptable losses and how it is “only” (except when it’s not only) the elderly and vulnerable and fragile who are at risk any way. I’m one of the at risk. I take my own immuno-supressants and I qualify for elderly. Would it kill me? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. I know that I’m feeling very lost and very scared and I struggle a lot of days just to make it through the day without falling completely apart.
But suddenly I don’t understand both sides (either side) because I’m trying to point out that NO ONE anywhere seem to be faking the attitude that would feel better when they talk about acceptable losses. I guess when you talk about it in terms of acceptable losses it depersonalizes it. Like when you talk about the HUGE numbers of people who are struggling to survive the devastating unemployment numbers. Like when you see cars lined up at food distribution centers. We get to see the faces of the nurses and doctors who are saving lives. We get to see the faces of some of the people who have beaten it. And those faces give my hope. They are a very good thing. But there are faces behind every number that gets thrown around. The numbers of people working devastating hours in what currently amounts to nearly a war zone at stores (if three people can shoot a guard for saying you have to wear a mask and you are in the position of working in stores like that IT DOES AMOUNT TO A WAR ZONE). The numbers of families (mothers, fathers, children) who are facing another day without money… without food… without <in a lot of cases> hope. THOSE are faces too. They aren’t numbers. They aren’t statistics. THEY ARE FACES!!!
I guess I will leave my soap box now. Will it do any good? Will it matter? Yeah, probably not. But it did clear my head a little and give me a voice through witch to scream.