Covid 19 … And The Beat Goes On

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Almost three months have passed since I last felt inclined or inspired to write down any thoughts on this global pause, this global pandemic, this global fear that appears to have taken hold of even the most logical, most rational of us. Fear can be the most insidious obstacle to peace, happiness or progress as we navigate our way through this time on our planet. That fear can certainly test our faith … so crucial to stay focused on positives as we move forward.

I choose to remain calm, positive and hopeful. Some days certainly test that resolve 🙄!

After three weeks of solo isolation in my own home in Kelowna, my daughter suggested I come to Calgary to ride out the rest of the lockdown period with her family … in her bubble, as it were 😊! I realize, because of my age, I am in one of the high risk groups. We discussed this at length … I told them I have been fortunate to have lived a most extraordinary life, full of adventures, experiences, global travels, volunteer postings, resulting in oh so very many beautiful moments over many decades, that simply took my breath away … (surely the birth of my children tops that long and winding list!!) … that should I be taken by this virus, there would be no regrets on my part. I would want to be surrounded by family, not hiding out from the virus in isolation. If they were willing to take the risk, then I was totally on board. So, in early April, I packed up the car and hit the highway, ready to ride out this storm around family. No problem social distancing 🙄 … pretty much everything along the way, including all washrooms were closed!! The highways, virtually empty! I made it to Calgary in a record breaking six and a half hours 😊

I knew that decision would elicit disdain and disapproval from some … I opted for moving forward with realistic optimism!

I have experienced and lived through tough times, many times in my life … times that challenged me to the core. Who of us has not experienced something similar?? This lockdown has in many respects been a breeze compared to some of those times. However, the economic impact of shutting down global economies does concern me. I pray we will bear up, dig deep for inner strength … our ‘sisu’ guiding our way. The world is in a state of chaos with riots and protests dominating our news for most of June. Racial inequality and injustice has been bubbling in the background for many years. It is time to repair, heal, and move forward with a new commitment to work towards creating a world where there is equality for all. How can we even consider anything less?!

By all appearances, our world is in the process of undergoing a major paradigm shift, a long overdue transformation. If nothing else, this pandemic, via isolating in our homes, is allowing for quiet reflective time.

One day, while watching talk show hosts on their various programs, now filming from their homes, it became obvious they are applying their own makeup or not at all and dressing in comfy sweats some days like the rest of us mortals and wow … they even look like the rest of us 😂!!! No razzmatazz available to pump up their image building. It occurs, and not for the first time, that women in particular sure devote a lot of time to their external packaging!! … the list is endless … hair dyes, pedicures, manicures, Botox, facials, cosmetic surgeries, applied cosmetics of every ilk, endless workouts to sculpt that perfect body, weekly shopping missions … can’t miss out on the latest styles! …. yikes … that external packaging sure takes a lot of time, money and effort … seems a bit shallow in many respects. So … it all ground to a halt for four months!! The only thing I missed were pedicures and massages😂! Quiet time moved in and all the above had to go on hiatus. So what IS important in our lives? For me it is pretty simple. Connecting with my family or with good friends, health, a meditation and yoga practice, nutritious food, a safe place to call home, some money to keep it all in balance, all washed down with a nice glass of Pinot Noir 😊. All the rest is a bonus. In the last months, I have noticed in my own yoga routines, that I have slowed down considerably, taking time to breathe deeply into a stretch … and wow … I am actually and surprisingly enjoying them immensely. No more rushing for me! A new appreciation has set in. For far too many years, workouts were just something I wanted to get done … ‘get on with that fitness business and get in shape’ 😂🙄! Yes, this covid pandemic has presented us with a precious gift … quiet times to appreciate and evaluate what we truly value.

I feel we are all being challenged to move beyond outdated limiting beliefs, prejudices, judgments, behaviours … to evolve into kinder, more compassionate, more accepting, more loving versions of ourselves. It is time.

Two of our new family members: Oliver’s little Olaf the hamster, and Tim and Liseanne’s Wilma our grand dog … welcome additions, both these little darlings ❤️

At Sarah and Rob’s for most of April and May, I was able to enjoy so many beautiful moments, be it celebrating birthdays, Sunday dinners with extended family, playing with my grandchildren or savouring something as simple as sitting on the patio in the early morning sun, a cup of steaming coffee in hand! As the weather improved, we moved extended family dinners in the garage to outdoor spaces in the back yard … both spaces allowing for social distancing … who of us is not tired of that term by now??!! …. despite recognizing the need for it 😝! This whole concept of distancing to protect each other has certainly challenged my personal boundaries … I am all about touching, hugging, showing affection … !!). Aaahhh … I remind myself, this too shall pass.

May we move forward to more auspicious times in the second half of 2020🙏

Back in Kelowna, connecting with the other side of my family … pool party in Tim and Angela’s lovely yard (resort 😊) with the Whites and Cuddies.

When provincial parks were finally opened, I drove out one day to visit my sister Maija and her Otto at their campsite on Mable Lake. Maija fed raw peanuts to the squirrels who skittered and munched away at our feet! Yes, another beautiful Okanagan lakeside day to enjoy and savour the simple pleasures that are everywhere if we just slow down enough to see them. Perhaps that is the hidden message, the hidden blessing of this virus … ❤️.

Viral curve flattening, allowing for more family gatherings … introducing Penelope to her cousins … celebrating Sarah’s 38th birthday at Auntie Marg’s❤️

Sarah, Aliana and Oliver arrive in Kelowna in mid June … Sarah continued on to Victoria for work, leaving me with little people to play with 😊. Aliana and Oliver had fun mini golfing with my friend Jane’s three grandchildren and swimming and splashing around in their pool. So wonderful to listen to children having fun, giggling, hanging out together, being kids!! They have missed having their friends around these past three months!

Otto and Maija surprise and thrill the kids with their arrival on Otto’s cool motorbike … so ok maybe not Maija, who opted to follow in her car 😂!

Building a teepee with beach driftwood … Aliana and Oliver helped ‘clean’ the beach for their project ❤️

Gable craft ladies meet up for first Bookclub since January … thankfully we have a great neighbourhood Central Park that we put to good use .. not sure how we will gather after the summer. Hopefully we will be able resume the meetings in our homes once again!

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