“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”

~ Robert Fulgham

Unlike yesterday, when I had to jump out of bed to make the healthy choice of joining an online Zumba class, today, I chose to linger. I don’t have Zumba until 1:00 pm today, and my workday starts at 2:00 pm (after a quick change). Thank goodness for Skype!

I had a better night’s sleep, last night, and woke up before my alarm. Sun streamed through the opening in my drapes and, even though it’s still cold, the brightness felt hopeful. I had the luxury of lying still for awhile and just listening, and I noticed the quiet. Then I heard a flock of geese honking as they flew overhead. Early birds enthusiastically chirping right outside my window. An occasional dog barking. There were no car sounds, slamming of doors, people voices. My home faces the el and Metra embankment, and the only sounds of business as usual were the trains periodically passing. It was lovely.

There’s a meditation where one just listens and concentrates on what you hear. I love that. It’s easy, and I advise you to set your timer for at least ten minutes, close your eyes, and try it. Thoughts will still intrude, but notice them without judgment then let them go and return to listening. Be still and listen. Anyone who lives in an urban environment right now will probably have a different experience than during our old “normal.”

It’s one bright side for which to be grateful.

I texted with my new sweetheart for awhile, and even though he’s currently 559 miles away, it was comforting to connect. I felt calm, peaceful, and happy.

But, then, I got up, got dressed, tuned into social media and felt my ire and anxiety rising when I saw posts of Trump and the Texas Lt. Governor urging people to go back to work. The Texan even suggesting grandparents would be willing to sacrifice their lives to save the economy for their children. Of course, I had to share the post and remind readers that it doesn’t work that way. Not only will grandparents die, but people of all ages who are exposed to Covid-19. Grandchildren will die. He is a prime example of greed—putting money before peoples’ lives.

I reposted a few other things, including some uplifting posts. Posts to make us smile during these dark days. And then, adrenaline pumping and heart racing with rage and anxiety, I shut FaceBook down. I sat quietly, taking slow, deep breaths, then began to write. And the importance of balance was made clear to me.

We do need to stay informed during these times, but, again, we need to look at what we have control over and concentrate on that. It felt good to speak my mind, but it impacted my emotional and mental health to read life-threatening bullshit I’m afraid some will believe. Sitting quietly and breathing grounded me and slowed my racing heart and thoughts. Writing this to share makes me feel productive and useful.

So, today, I plan to exercise vigorously then tend to my flock. All which will bring back my joy. I plan to spend more time in quiet contemplation and listening to the sounds of nature as Spring takes hold. These are reminders that life goes on. The world keeps turning. I plan to keep listing all for which I’m grateful and integrating music and beauty and laughter into my day. Someday we’ll be past these dark times, and my hope is that we will all have learned important lessons that will endure beyond.

Thanks, again, so much, to all of you who are reading my posts. I’m honored that you’re following me, and grateful my words are helping. Reach out to me if you want Suzy’s information for finding free Zumba classes, and I’ll give you the information directly.

We are all in this together.

A reminder that I’m also offering free mini-consultations. If you are in immediate danger of self-harm, feel in danger from someone in your household, of feel in danger of harming someone else, please call 911. But if you just want a quick question answered or feel you need guidance in a particular situation, or want to share what is or is not working for you, please feel free to email me at SheilaFlaherty2012@gmail.com. I will respond as quickly as possible. If it’s urgent, please put URGENT in the subject line.

Please stay safe and stay in touch. Reach out if you need me. And please let me know if you think an online meet-up on zoom is something you might be interested in and I’ll figure out how to make it work.

Blessings, gratitude, and much love to all of you.

*Thank you Meg Metzler for the image.