March 3, 2021

Humans aren’t as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were ‘reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.’

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson

February 10, 2021

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.

 

Gail Sheehy

 

 

 

January 19, 2021

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

Pele

LET’S GET HAPPY AND THANKFUL

In my last blog post, I talked about all the things I wish I had done differently in 2019 in preparation for 2020. This time around, I will humble myself for the joy that 2020 brought me.

Nothing is ever all bad or all good. 2020 was the year of challenges, but it also brought some laughs and joy.

 

First, and closest to my heart—my mother, who proudly claims the title of a senior citizen is well and healthy. I see her smile and hear her laugh, and that alone makes my heart sing. But wait, there’s more.

Even with the pandemic imposed visit restrictions, I spent more time with my sister and mother. Quality time, where we laughed, talked, ate good food, and told stories. Sometimes, calling twice a day to share something we’d forgotten. They live in a different state, so this was no small accomplishment that I was blessed to have. Thanks to Zoom, I’ve seen more family this year than most. Get-togethers on Zoom also allowed me to visit my sister-writers, board members, and teams.

My husband and I have been in the house together for ten full months. Except for a trip to the grocery store or the hardware store or an odd visit with loved ones, it’s been the two of us—day and night. And as far as I can tell, he hasn’t wanted to strangle me, nor I, him. We’ve binged watched movies and series and shared memories. But most of all we’ve laughed together. We’ve found a closeness that has only deepened our marriage and added a new layer of warmth.

Coronavirus is surging again, so we’ve gone back into lockdown, but I’m talking to my family more, and these conversations warm my soul. Even my children—who are busy with their own daily lives, check in with me more often.

Being stuck inside made me happy and thankful I have space where I can relax, and read and write and eat cookies, and watch movies, and eat cookies and listen to music and eat cookies.

Yes, I’ve eaten my share of cookies. 2020 has been a rough year, full of bad news. But there were some glimmers of light. The country elected its first female vice president. Kamala Harris is a woman of color and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., the first African American Sorority in the country and my sorority. We also now have two Coronavirus vaccines that might save the world from the ravages of the pandemic and let us return to some kind of normalcy.

Yes, 2020 was rough. I just had to look for some good in the year.

Happy New Year! Let’s Hope 2021 is Better.

December 20, 2020

The theme of ‘A Christmas Story’ is that you can count on Christmas – that everybody has a Christmas story. Everybody has that time in the holiday season that they remember.

Marc Platt

Decemer 7, 2020

You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.

Maya Angelou

IF I HAD KNOWN

If I had known the year 2020 was going to keep me stuck inside, away from the people I love and going to the store to see empty shelves and being absent from all the things in my life, I would have lived 2019 with a passion that would have set my soul on fire.

In January, I would have left the Christmas tree up a little longer to celebrate the holiday that may be forever different.

In February, I would have reached out to everyone I loved and let them know they had a place in my heart, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.

In March. I would have welcomed Spring by throwing open the doors and inviting my friends and family in to celebrate with a gathering full of fun.

In April, I would have smiled more at the beautiful flowers that brighten the world. I would have picked more blooms, bought more buds, and filled my house with the colors that illuminate the world.

 

In May, I would have accepted every invitation to every family event, taken more pictures, and reminisced about old times because I miss them so much now.

In June, I would have welcomed summer by hugging those people close to me a little longer and playing with my dog like we had no tomorrows.

In July, I would have celebrated the sunshine, the rain, the warm summer breezes, and the ability to stick my foot in the ocean without wearing a mask and standing six feet away from everyone.

 

In August, I would have enjoyed going shopping at stores with fully stocked shelves and no limits on what I could purchase.

In September, I would have stood outside and waved at the school buses as the students returned to school.

In October, I would have bought more candy and handed it out to the trick or treaters like candy was the medicine that made the world happy.

 

In November, I would have prepared for Thanksgiving with more thankfulness in my heart for every blessing and gift that made my life full and joy filled.

In December, I would have held my family a little tighter and a little longer, and I would have told them and showed them how much I love them.

 

I don’t know what 2021 holds, but after 2020, I will forever look at life differently and know that every day is special and worth a celebration. How has 2020 changed you?

June 20, 2020

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.

 

Maya Angelou

June 11, 2020

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

Confucius

Living During the Coronavirus

During this tough Coronavirus, I’ve had to stop my usual routine—like everyone else in the world—to give some thought about the other things that are important to me. As soon as all the bad news started coming out, I called my family to provide them with my uneducated advice. I encouraged them to stock up on food, water, and gasoline. I hadn’t thought we wouldn’t need gas because we’d be stuck in our homes for several weeks. But at least I was doing everything I could to prepare my family for what looked like an extended rainy day on the horizon. And no matter how much food I buy, I can’t help thinking, it’s not enough. I mean, how am I supposed to know what we’re going to want to eat three weeks from now. I can hardly manage what I want to eat for dinner today.

To maintain my sanity as we enter another week of self-imposed quarantine, I’m wondering what I’m going to do to keep my extroverted self-entertained. I’m writing. I’m painting. I’ve called all my friends to see how they’re making out during this time. I’m even thinking about unraveling a scarf I started to crochet and redoing it over again. I mean, it’s April, I could have it finished by the time winter rolls around back around. But after five weeks, all that stuff has bored me into thinking I want something else to do, somewhere to go.

I know I’m not the only one staring at the walls wondering when this will be over. And in many ways, I’m luckier than most. As bad as I think this current crisis is, many people need our kindness, our help, our consideration. So, I’ll reach out, and do what I can. I’ll do my best to stay optimistic. I hope you will too. And if you have any activities to help occupy the time, please share.