CARROT IS BACK! & Living Under Quarantine with Joulie

A few years back I started a motivational blog named “Carrot.” It had a run of about eight months.

If ever there were a need for motivation and mood management  its now.

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Let’s hope for another short run!

Carrot was started in an effort to remind myself and others that there are healthy ways to tolerate adversity, motivate ourselves without being hypercritical, and to be an outlet for change and creativity.

Well not too soon,  Carrot is back. 13383317214_649_271_previewhtmlclipboarditem_thum

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” Paul Cezanne

The picture is also a link and will get you there for todays post about staying motivated despite fear and self doubt.

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Living Under Quarantine with Joulie and the TTOT

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TTOT

Join in over at Thankful Me where Kristi hosts a plethera of gratitudinous bloggers such as yourself!

WOW ! It has been some time since I have done one of these!

I often look for gratitude in my everyday life  but, the TTOT with its 7 lovely guard virgins and Book Of Secret Rules (are they still a thing?) is a unique expression of thanks all its own.

So lets get down to the top ten things I am thankful for this week:

  1. I have to include last nights “pants on your head” group text. My great niece decided wearing pants on your head was a pretty cool look for her and I just encouraged other people to try it. The results are still coming in but these are a few

2.  That said,  I have great friends!

3. A couple of them sent these and they lift my spirits whenever I play them

The Weight 

Ode to Joy

4. I am on day 12 of quarantine and I haven’t pulled any of my hair out, nor have my dog’s legs fallen off from excessive walking.

5. Work is by no means full time but, I am able to work from home for which I am grateful.

6. Joulie. I am grateful for some Joulie. Skip was a bit of an icon at ‘Uncharted,’ and Joulie has a lot to live up to.    However, she can hold her own. For instance, did you know she was a pirate?

or that she is kind of a circus dog? There was a time that Joulie only walked  on two legs and was my reason for childproofing all of the kitchen cabinets.

She currently has her own column called ‘Living Under Quarantine with Joulie,’ and while Skip claimed to be literate, ef2f2609-4222-471d-8f0e-120ef9c3dcbcJoules is not… but still manages to get her points across with a fair amount of accuracy.

So yeah, I’m  very thankful for Joulie. and for the fact that I can say that. At one time I wasn’t sure we would ever arrive at this point.

7. Since  last I  was blogging, a lot has happened with my now 90 year old mom. I am incredibly grateful to God and the people in her assisted living community. They are currently in lockdown without visitors and I  don’t think I would tolerate this time if I weren’t  able to trust them as much as I do. She has a spectacular home health aid. Having spoken with friends who are also doing this kind of work, I have to say they are among the unsung heros in all of this viral mess. Thank you for giving me peace of mind.

8. I am truly grateful for the health care community who show up for work on a contagious front line every day. They are brave and devoted. I am also grateful for their families who also sacrifice  at these times. I’ve  been through a few disasters when I was working in hospitals,  but never anything  like this. We knew we had a long day and night ahead of us, but never anything that could threaten our own personal health or that of our families. Thank you all.

9. I have said it earlier this week but it bears repeating, that I am grateful for the blogging community as well. In real life, it’s  often difficult to return after a long absence, because we’re usually riddled with the fear of rejection. I had no such fears with this community. Acceptance was never a question. Thanks for welcoming me back.

10. Did I mention Joulie?

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Living Under Quarantine with Joulie and A Little Anxiety Management

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The covid-19 situation is becoming more surreal as we speak. Even the name reaks of a bad 70s movie. Friends and family are getting  ramped up with anxiety and a few have called to express a need to feel like they were coping better. Soooooo, while the following  list may seem obvious, don’t underestimate what may be the most direct and obvious solution. As a matter of fact, Im gonna make that number one:

1. Don’t  underestimate what may be the most direct and obvious solution. Its often easier to think there is some convoluted answer to our anxiety/problem. Well of course it needs to be complicated! I mean this is me right!? Sometimes the most difficult thing is to accept that you may be making things harder than they need to be. Oh, believe me, this uncertainty  and all its anxiety is hard!!!! But why add to it before trying to manage it with what we already know?

AND WITH THAT I REITERATE WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW!…

2. KEEP SOME STRUCTURE. Wether the kids are home or you and your little dog are holed up in a cave together, try to establish a new normal of structure. Look,  I’m  not a Philistine, I mean when am I ever gonna get a chance to stay in bed past 8? Make a pact with yourself that its never gonna be past 10. If you’re  working from home stick to that schedule.  Got a kid home? School work is done at a specific  time  daily….

That same schedule that you once loathed as the daily grind can be a positive grounding force out here in Bizarro World.

3. SELF CARE! SELF CARE! SELF CARE! Okay, honestly,  did you take a shower today? Did you get out of your PJs?

*Look, I got nuthin’ against PJs….but put on a clean pair.

You deserve to * eat healthy food,

* go out for a walk (or just step outside and inhale deeply),

*make your bed so it doesn’t  call to you all day,

* limit how much info you’re  getting through media,

* Try to get to bed at a reasonable  hour and within a specific daily time frame

* Be gentle with self criticism…don’t  lie to yourself but you know what? This isn’t your fault, and its damn hard!

4. AVAIL YOURSELF OF YOUR SUPPORTS. If you have an opportunity that someone offers that you wouldn’t normally even consider…. consider it! I am quarantined for 21 days. People have offered to go to the store for me…I let them and say Thank you! People have offered to lend money if Im out of work….if/when I need to I will again accept and say Thanks.

Think of the last time you helped someone  out. You felt great right? Let others feel great once in a while too. You don’t need to carry this alone.

5. DON’T GO IT ALONE. If you find yourself feeling  alone, reach out. Now is not the time to worry about wether you’ve contacted someone on their last birthday. Contact now and say “isn’t  it funny how a pandemic makes you realize how many years it’s been since we talked….I was thinking of you…” Call, text, email, snail mail….

There are groups of people springing up in support groups online. Don’t  see one you like? Start a new one.

Stay Supported….Be Supportive

6. TRY TO LOWER YOUR ANXIETY BASELINE.

Think about it. If your constant vibe is pretty high strung, then when you wig out (as we all do) you’re gonna hit the roof! However If you’re  already starting at a calmer place, then you won’t hit the roof because its just a bit too high from where you started. So treating yourself to a meditation app,  good calming music, exercise, a good book, or just some quiet time could all serve to make you more chill overall. One of my favs is this youtube – Singing bowls. I listen for one specific  chime and wait for it to fade and then listen for it again. It’s calming.

God knows, I don’t  know  all the answers. Truth be told, calming my own anxiety is a 24hr job at which I don’t  always succeed. but I know these things, although obvious, do work. So…. Do me a favor and add any sort of tips you may have that are working for you into the comments and I will do a follow up post of things that are working for everyone. Thanks loads!

7.. DO NOT DISREGARD THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION

STAY HEALTHY, STAY SAFE…Z&J

Six Sentence Stories and Living Under Quarantine with Joulie

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SIX SENTENCE STORIES

I am here to tell you if you don’t  use it you WILL lose it. I haven’t  been  writing in over a year and wow am I rusty. I am just counting the sentences  until I get to say, “whew! Thank God that’s  six!” The good news is that I know it’s  totally safe to put out a piece of utter crap (like this) because I am among friends; people  who  understand and accept  me  where I am. I knew I could come back despite my abscence and be welcomed  like the prodigal  son.  In this uncertain  world there exists this incredible  haven of safety with you my blogging community and I thank you for that.

Hey, that was six sentences. Hang out and link up at Girlie on the Edge.

Living Under Quarantine with Joulie and Other Random Thoughts

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I hope it’s not true, but I think one of my friends called last night just to brag about her toilet paper stash. Meanwhile, my housemate from across the hall  mentioned that he had 3 roles and would be happy to share.  Observing all of the behavioral contrasts in our current environment is really fascinating.

My dog is very happy that I’m home all the time now but I feel she’s becoming a narcissist. She’s truly the cutest little narcissist I’ve ever seen… but still.

I’m still adjusting to my mother’s new normal, which is disoriented at times and sharper than a tack at others… But always snarky.

I haven’t written in so long that I’m having trouble even putting 6 sentences together for a 6 sentence story this week. But I’m gonna do it!

Working from home has been a real challenge but at least I get to work. I just can’t seem to figure out how to get my video to stop freezing. It doesn’t seem to matter what app I’m in, any sort of video conferencing keeps freezing. Hey Clark, maybe we should start a video chat again? What do you think? I don’t think Clark has been over here yet but I will contact him today and ask.

OK, I have to get going I’m going to try the video thing again and see if I can get it to work.Talk later. have a great day!

Top Ten Ways To Recognise If You are Sheltering In Place and Other Musings

It’s so nice to be back blogging. As mentioned in one of the previous comments it’s a lot easier to disappear in real life than it is out here in the blogging world.  I’m really grateful for that because in the blogging world you can always come back and it feels like you’re always welcome.  I’m not so sure that that’s the case in real life. It’s very comfortable out here in the blogging world, it’s a little bit of what home feels like.

I was at my mom’s assisted living community for a few days when an active case of covid 19 was diagnosed among the residents so I am now home and quarentined with my best bud Joulie. These are a few of the things we are learning… ( Also you should know that this is a really shameless rip off of my friend’s actual post called ‘Living in the Company of Dogs‘ which you should really check out!)20200323_222317

And now for the top 10 things that I have discovered indicate a change in my behavior of late…

10. That work schedule you had been hoping for finally came through.20200324_082741

9. Your primary mode of communication is through a keyboard with people you’ve met maybe once or twice.

8. Everywhere you turn the dog is standing behind you.580823317

7. The dog is acting smug and secretly happier than she’s ever been in the four years you’ve had her.

6. You find yourself wondering how long eggs last and should you eat them first.

5. You used to joke that you didn’t know how to use snail mail…now you’re sending out everything short of toenail clippings to everyone you know for a ‘fun little break in the day.’

4. Instead of figuring out the mileage per gallon, you now have a calendar to figure out how long certain items last…just curious.20200324_083713

3. You are finding gratitude in the little things, like the fact that your magazines seem to use a thin enough paper that it wont cause chafing in an emergency …if ya know what i mean…

2. You have a new dog… #socialdistancingmademedoit

This is Arlo…my brother got a puppy!IMG_3984

1. You no longer spin the toilet paper like it’s a roulette wheel and when you change the roll you save the remnants of the previous one.

I’m sure there are a ton more ways … Feel free to add them to the comments!

And All It Took Was A Pandemic

So how about a short update

For the grammar police, if you are still out there, my shift key hasn’t been repaired since 2019 despite many attempts and I haven’t been using this computer for much so don’t expect punctuation and good junk like that … for example perhaps you could imagine an exclamation point situated here 1, but instead there is a 1 because it is the bottom of said key.  Go figure.

As you all know Skip moved on and Joulie and I had some rough adjustments, but we weathered them and came out better for them. She is as dear to me as Skip and one of my all time favorite people.

A month or so ago I finally got to meet Josie Two Shoes and Papa Bear in person 1111111 Yup those are all exclamation points. We met in FA on Major Nelson’s home turf in Cocoa Beach. We walked beaches, shopped, ate, toured around, had our palms read and celebrated a birthday1 I would love to post some photos but I can’t seem to do anything on this silly computer… so hey this is one that a friend took elsewhere and you can use your imagination… let me just say they are wonderful in person…SOOOOO MUCH FUN…. RELAXED AND RESTED AND RENEWED . It’s as if we had known each other forever. REALLY,  not an overstatement … When can we do it again / thats a question mark… ugh13975537_10206135584740246_3330891419188122669_o

I have officially been in my own practice for four years this year. I am hoping to expand a bit into art therapy and open a second space for art groups.  This virus thing has put a glitch into everyone’s style and I am no exception. It’s times like this that you wish you had a better computer so you weren’t bald with the frustration of trying to set up teleconferences with unreliable equipment and apps…but whose fault is that….my bad. I had been doing everything quite happily on my tablet until it was stolen while i was visiting my mother. I stupidly thought it would be safe in the trunk for a few hours. Apparently people who break into your car are smart enough to pop the trunk and check inside…. go figure1

OK so I am wayyyyyyyy outta practice with this blog thing, however if you can find it in your heart to be patient I am gonna try to resume some blogging between psuedo-teleconferences , aka phone calls to clients.

Just for old times sake lets end with a doggy montage shall we … insert question mark here.