So, what a month, huh?? I am just back from my mom’s in Kentucky (have been home a week). Mom was hospitalized with a stomach virus and pneumonia from aspirating her vomit. Poor dear became more delusional in the hospital (than the days following her February stroke) and, naturally, weaker. She is currently at Home to Rehab in Lexington Country Place which is attached to the independent living community she has called home since 2011. But she will be moving into a personal care unit at Country Place once she is released from rehab. Which is looking like a week from tomorrow.
As often as we have told Mom she will be moving, and had the doctor at the hospital explain, too, she still doesn’t comprehend that she needs access to round-the-clock nursing. It will break her heart when the reality becomes apparent on moving day. When she returns to her things but not to the apartment she has called home.
Mom thinks she is being ‘punished’ with the rehab floor’s no-visitors, she must eat in her room, no leaving her room for any reason mandates. We keep trying to tell her it would be the same in her old apartment. And will the same policies will be in place in her new apartment. Until the threat of Covid-19 diminishes. She just doesn’t understand.
I am self-quarantining because I flew from here to Kentucky and back. And Covid-19 is everywhere. When I wrote this on Monday, 03.23.20202 as part of my morning quiet time, we had 10 cases in El Paso. As of today, Sunday, 03.29.2020, we have 31 cases locally.
We had over 550 cases in Texas less than a week ago, and over 2550 cases today [source]. An incredible increase in 6 days. There were 32,000 cases across the U.S. when I wrote this last Monday, with over 450 deaths. Six days later, we are at over 700,000 cases and 33,600 deaths across the country [source]. Just mind-blowing.
El Paso’s cases are all attributed to people traveling or flying to El Paso and bringing the virus here. So far, we don’t have any cases of community spread Covid-19. We have a shelter-in-place advisory with salons, nail spas, churches, schools, restaurants, bars and schools closed. The only stores open are grocery stores and home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
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Mandatory Slow Down
I want to use this “mandatory” slow-down to my advantage and do the cleaning…the DEEP cleaning I like to do this time of year. But I also want to spend time crafting, Bible journaling, coloring, reading, writing and working on little projects. Bought supplies to do these Easter/spring crafts before I left for Kentucky. Carrot cutlery for Easter, shared by Craft Gawker, and pinned, here.
I can’t help but believe in some ways this is a call to the whole world to slow down. To re-examine our priorities. We all rush around so much, putting out fires, adding more to our plates. More than we can possibly attend to well. I want to stop checking things off my to-do list without enjoying the activities that are more than daily chores.
For example, making the bed. I want to stop just a second to take pleasure in the clean sheets and my carefully arranged throw pillows. It makes such a difference in the way I start my day…seeing the bed made. Experiencing that immediate (if tiny) sense of accomplishment.
Put Up Some Chairs, Get a Smaller Plate
My Bible study on the Monday when I wrote this post was an additional reminder to slow down. In Present over Perfect by Shauna Nequist, the message on pg 43 was about putting up the chairs. The chapter discusses how quickly a large church grew larger to the amazement of the pastor. But it was because they kept setting out more chairs.
Many of us have come to equate bigger with better. Having more will make us happier. So we keep putting out more chairs.
I am guilty of filling my proverbial (and literal) plates too full. And when the activities, the projects, the ‘food’ and the food runneth over the edge, I just reach for a bigger plate. Maybe Covid-19 is encouraging, suggesting and in some areas, demanding we take down some chairs. Return to a smaller plate. Take a breath and say a prayer. Covid-19 is helping me to remember that when I feel overwhelmed, or when I decide to scrape something off my overwhelming plate, most of all, when I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom, I am never alone.
Support on High
My Bible study this week referred to passages in James and Psalms. A reminder that tests and challenges can be gifts.
From Biblegateway, James 1:4 The Message (MSG)
Faith Under Pressure
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
And the promise that we are never alone.
From Biblegateway, Psalm 34:18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
18 The Lord is there to rescue
who are discouraged
and have given up hope.
Not only do I want to use my Covid-19 self-quarantine time to slow down, but I want to fill my precious time with activities I truly enjoy. Just wish that could include being with some of my favorite folks. But they are self-quarantining, too.
Are there some chairs you can put away or a smaller plate you can start using? At least during this stressful time? What are you making time for now that you might not otherwise make time for in the hustle and bustle of ‘normal’ life?
My online book club just voted for our next read. Actually, it was such a close contest that we are going to attempt 2 books in April since we couldn’t decide on just one. We will be reading Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown, followed by Pearls of Wisdom by Barbara Bush. We’d be much obliged if you’d join us! Let me know, and I will send you an invite to the private Facebook group.
Stay well, my friends. Try to take this one day at a time. And make sure you do something you enjoy doing every single day.
Hugs and kisses,