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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
    Staying home, staying safe, no problem.
    423 days ago
    425 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Great to hear from you again. Yes, this pandemic is just crazy. We a mask whenever we are out in public, usually walk outside in the yard and sometimes around our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is almost all elderly people that you very seldom see outside. It amazes me the people that have so little regard for this covid 19. They do not realized the damage they are doing to our country by disregarding the stay at home orders or now just suggestions to stay at home an follow protocol Enjoy th memorial day weekend emoticon emoticon
    425 days ago
    “The Route of the Confused Squirrel.” Yup, I'm doing it as well. Thanks for posting. We are all making changes to our routines - the new normal. Yes, I am wearing a mask when I go out. Good for you for promoting it; some people just aren't getting the message.
    426 days ago
    But way to go 4 u. I am extremely limited to exercise because I have back and knee issues which does not allow me to get on the floor. You have given me sum great ideas..
    426 days ago
    This is one of the best blogs I have read so far. My husband is a right side stroke with CHF and he's diabetic. I have COPD, and we're both considered obese I still haven't found a good diet that I can follow I don't understand all these micros etc.
    426 days ago
    Very few people in South Carolina wear masks. Horrifying.
    427 days ago
    Great blog. Stay safe.
    428 days ago
    Great blog! Glad you are doing well in this new normal. LOL at the "confused squirrel!" It sounds like what my husband does when it's bedtime and he hasn't made his step goal for the day. :-)

    I'm so thankful too to live in a rural area. We can work outside and garden and walk for miles without worrying about encountering anyone. And there have been NO cases in our county so far. Blessings to you and yours.
    428 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2020 3:51:50 PM
    Masks are important & such a shame many won't wear them. I know they can be uncomfortable but better than getting sick or exposing others.
    emoticon emoticon
    428 days ago
    Hi Friend! Have been gone for some time but checked in past week or so and discovered your other blog. Good to "see" you again. I too think of other trying times - not only what I have gone thru but what others have endured throughout history. Masks? It is hard that there are others who don't wear them when I have to go out, especially since some of my closest friends are in their mid 80's and tell me the same. It is good to hear you are staying safe.
    428 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    Thanks for sharing
    429 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    Stay well! Stay safe! This too shall pass!
    429 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4994568
    That's a great normal!
    430 days ago
  • JUDYD207
    430 days ago
    Loved “hearing“ the update! Stay well! Stay safe! This too shall pass! emoticon
    430 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    emoticon at confused 🐿
    Good to hear from you!
    430 days ago
    look at all of your fans! Like them, glad to see you blogging a bit again. Now that you aren't traveling a lot, maybe some more? Good ways to stay safe and healthy
    430 days ago
    Lovely to hear from you again. And yes, sheltering in place is the way to go.

    You might want to catch up on our blogs - We were stranded for 3 weeks in Peru when that country shut down. Got an embassy evacuation flight out, and we're now staying in southern NJ with DH's brother and SIL. Trying to find short term rental place for the summer and fall.

    I've also done the Confused Squirrel, though we do take outdoor walks in the general neighborhood.
    430 days ago
    I walk in the house also 15 minutes at a time. I don't have to worry about the weather and my fitbit keeps track of my steps.
    430 days ago
    Lovely blog. It deserved its status as a Featured Blog post.
    430 days ago
    Great leadership on your part, conveying all these healthy steps. I’m at Lake Anna in ‘no where’ VA too and it is beautiful but many people are ignoring the virus to everyone’s peril. But my DH and I are keeping straight and missing travel too. Good to see you back on SP. Toni
    430 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    430 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    430 days ago
    So glad you were are to travel safely and now are
    home. I have no opportunity to travel farther than35
    miles from home and that suits me just fine. I have my
    job where I am the only one in the office, my garden
    and my small town. I am content.
    430 days ago
    so upbeat - thanks
    431 days ago
  • no profile photo NENEBFIT
    Love your determination by doing the drunken squirrel walk! Glad you are safely home, especially with your respiratory history. Stay well!
    431 days ago
    Kudos on being named a Spark People Motivator. Enjoyed reading about your walking inside as I have always done so since falling twice in the street in 2009. Thank you for wearing masks that was interesting that you will take online classes. All the best.
    431 days ago
    Con grate on the recognition. It is an honest and fun blog.
    431 days ago
    Stay safe, Eileen

    431 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    431 days ago
    431 days ago
    Happy to see your blog today :)
    431 days ago
    hugs glad your doing okay
    431 days ago
    It is good to 'see' you. emoticon
    431 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    Good to see a blog from you. Have missed them. Glad you are home and safe to "nowhere VA" and are following the guidelines we all should be doing. It seems that what you are doing, the rest well hopefully the rest of the world is doing.

    I'm sure you have some wonderful stories about South America. How's your daughter doing lately? Haven't seen anything about her lately and just was wondering how her and her family are doing. Has she had to cancel her performances?

    Take care and stay safe, and welcome back to our new "normal" world.
    431 days ago
    A quiet year but the world awaits for next year.
    431 days ago
    So good to hear from you and know that you are home, safe and sound.

    For health reasons, I've been home for some time. So, not much changed other than being asked to maintain physical distancing when out to conduct essential business (which like you is about once every 2 weeks) and to wear a mask to protect THEM from ME. For the most part, folks are conducting themselves admirably.

    Hand washing? Been doing that for A LONG time. Grew up with many an admonition to "Wash your hands!"

    Members in our extended family were "casualties of war" during WWII and there are members of our family along the frontlines in this situation as well. So far ... so good ... it is going to be what it is going to be and all of us are doing the best we can, with what we have, where we are.

    Stay safe and stay well. emoticon emoticon

    431 days ago
    Very happy to see a blog from YOU!! And your pandemic routine sounds admirable to me on all fronts. I agree with you: staying home/masking/hand sanitizing isn't asking a whole lot of me in comparison with sacrifices from those in the past and on the front lines now. Entirely doable!!
    431 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    Great to see your blog today. Yes, wearing a mask is not a big deal, and I wear one every time we go to the grocery store, or anywhere else, like the clinic. I too see people in the store that aren't wearing a mask.
    Glad your finding ways to keep busy, like getting the puzzles to do. Our daughter has also bought puzzles to put together to keep busy in the evenings.
    Walking though out the home is a great way to get your steps in, I have been doing some of that for the last several years. I too want to stay away from being outdoors when allergies seasons are upon us. Here in south Texas we get the industrial burning ash and smell, and burning anything is a trigger for my allergies. They say ( the weatherman ), that the industrial burning will be ending sounds like your trip to South America was lovely. Nice you were able to get one trip in before this pandemic began. Continue staying safe, you have been doing a great job of doing so.
    431 days ago
    I'm glad to know you're doing well. Here in Texas we are in phase 2 of re-opening, which is great. I have been enjoying being about to eat out again (with many precautions), and many of my friends are just thrilled that they can now get their hair cut again. And my orthopedic surgeon has told me he will be back up to doing all the normal surgeries in June, so I am optimistic I may finally be able to get a hip replacement.

    The pandemic hasn't been my biggest priority, as I have had other things on my mind the past few months. Life is never easy, but, indeed, we will get through because we have no choice.
    431 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Congrats on being a spark motivator and so glad to read that you are well! Life is interesting right now for sure! Hubby and I and 2 other couples were supposed to be heading for Grece this weekend but that is not happening! It's ok, I am safe and healthy and there will be another time for Greece. It will still be there either next year or maybe the following year.
    Stay safe, have fun trekking through the house and be well!!
    431 days ago
    It was so wonderful reading your blog again! I enjoyed it! Glad to hear you are sheltering in place! Enjoy that confused squirrel walk! I can still walk outdoors without the fear of meeting others,of course I always have my mask at the ready! Fortunately I am not bothered with allergies at this time! (((HUGS)))
    431 days ago
    Great to see another blog from you and good to see the measures you have been taking in these trying times.
    Stay safe and healthy!
    431 days ago
    Good to hear from you...and how smart and careful you have been. Wishing we were more like Slovakia, it would have made such a difference. Glad I live in a state that cared a bit more about the health of its people (all it's people) and not political ramifications of caution.

    We will travel again in the future. It may be different. For me, I am retiring and probably going to do a little part-time work until 2021...a Baltic Sea Cruise on a small ship is scheduled for July 2021. I truly hope to go.
    431 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Enjoyed the update on you. There is an oval route, "The Track," in our home that I walk -- “The Route of the Confused Squirrel” is much more creative. We have two 1000-piece puzzles awaiting us -- a menagerie of hummingbirds & flowers plus one of a tree-surrounded log cabin facing a peaceful lake at sunset (my visual happy place when meditating).

    Stay safe & healthy.

    431 days ago
    So glad you got back safely. And glad you're taking care of yourself, EVEN when others don't.

    Stay well, stay safe, glad to hear from you.
    431 days ago
    431 days ago
    431 days ago
    Welcome back. A blessing that you returned safely and well. Sheltering in place is the new normal. I have only gone out for groceries 3 times and each time I wear a mask and gloves. Those who refuse to wear a mask have little regard for those that do.

    Stay safe. Be well. emoticon
    431 days ago
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