Thursday, April 16, 2020

Turbulent Waters

Does anyone else feel like the alphabet is about 500 letters long? On the bright side, we've passed the halfway point as of today so whoohoo!

Today's word comes to you courtesy of my sister-in-law,  and I know some of you are thinking 'wow, she's got a lot of family.' You're right. I do, and it's been fun in this season of distance to feel a connection to each one through this little writing exercise on my blog.

Also, every day before I tackle the writing I tell myself I am not going to mention the Corona and then every day it seems I do. It's hard to avoid and while it wasn't my intended theme, its turned out most days to be at least an undercurrent.

Day 14-N is for Navigate

Since this letter happens to land on a Thursday I think I'm going with an old fashioned list, which is how almost all bloggers used to blog on Thursdays, aka The Thursday Thirteen. 

The word navigate is most commonly used in reference to the water, but it can also mean to make one's way over or through. Since our boat is still under cover until the pollen subsides and we're all trying to navigate through life in these uncertain times, let's go with definition #2. 

What are you doing that you're finding helps you on a daily basis to stay positive in your outlook, connected to family and friends, and not crazy-bored-fearful-restless? 

Perhaps you are all of those things at various times, which I think is normal, but in general what are you doing to navigate the choppy waters of 2020?  I read something on a friend's FB page that said while we're all in the same boat, we're not all in the same storm and that resonated with me. 

I don't have little ones at home who need to be fed/bathed/loved/entertained 24/7. I don't have teenagers at home, filled with 1000 disappointments about the life they are missing, we're retired so there are not the job stressors or lack of job stressors so many are feeling, but still everyone is navigating their own life's boat right now and how we stay afloat is worth some thought. 

Here's my list of 13...there might be more but these are some of the things helping me navigate the turbulent waters we find ourselves in today-

1. Prayer, which may sound cliche to some, but is a true lifeline for me. 

2. Maintain a routine. We've learned the importance of this since hubs retired, and have had a few years to practice. I know I need a bit of structure to my days, that a blank canvas all day every day is not for me. I need some to-do's to complete and some things on the calendar to look forward to. 

I'm an early riser, and while there's no real reason to be these days I still get up early. Same goes for getting dressed in real clothes and doing the weekly mundane chores that need doing. I guess it's different for everyone, but I know I cannot stay in pajamas for days at a time, unless I'm truly sick. It's depressing. I make my bed every single day and doing that one simple task somehow makes life feel more normal.  

3. FaceTime with my daughter and grandsons in South Korea. They are such sweet happy boys and it's obvious they're well loved and cared for. Seeing them on the screen doing all the things little boys love to do makes my heart and mind feel ten pounds lighter.

4. Cards with friends and my mom each week via Zoom feels almost normal too. We chat and laugh and catch up just like we do when we play cards in person. 

5. Keeping up with friends and family also via a Zoom call keeps them close, maybe not physically but at least in spirit. Also, scheduling calls in advance gives us something to add to the calendar and look forward to. It might be small in the scheme of things, but having something to look forward to later in the week adds a bright spot to a mostly blank slate. 

6. 'Attending' Sunday School and my Women's Bible Study each week (again via Zoom) keeps life moving forward when it quite often seems like we're all at a standstill. We carry on from week to week, moving through our studies as if we're all in the same building. This helps give the days some much appreciated forward momentum. 

6. Menu planning. Trying new recipes and pulling out some old favorites. There are not a lot of things we can plan for right now, but what we'll eat for dinner these next two weeks is something that requires thought and planning and helps me feel productive. 

7. Knowing it's okay not to be productive right now. Embracing this season of stillness and figuring out what I want to take away from it once we're all free to move about and interact with one another in person. Being grateful for time and space to think. 

8. Writing. Moving my observations, feelings, and concerns from the top of my brain into my journal or onto this blog clears my head and helps me see things differently. 

9. Turn off the news. Or at least don't watch a lot of news. This is an absolute key to good mental health right now. 

10. Same goes for how I handle social media these days. If you're posting funny memes, sharing recipes, cute pictures of your children, your mother, or your pet I'm all in. I hide any and all posts where someone is ranting about the government, the President, or the upcoming election. 

I'm not saying these things don't matter, but now is not the time. I won't allow myself to be sucked in to the arguing and the scolding and the finger pointing. It's a mood killer and I'm navigating around those hazards whenever I can. 

11. Read books, work puzzles, solve a crossword, play a board game...keep your mind busy. 

12. Get outside. Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for the soul. 

13. This is a season where navigating our life boats is difficult, treacherous even for some. But even in more ordinary times we are always making choices as to how we see our lives, and whether we're going to allow the challenges we encounter to sink us. My joy does not depend on my circumstances and for that I am eternally grateful. 


  1. I agree with you about the length of the alphabet! I have never been one who posted every day, and I am feeling exhausted at this point. It's been rewarding, but I will be very ready for a break come May 1st!

    I got off Facebook a few years ago because of all the political posts, which led to name-calling and argumentative comments. My husband encouraged me to get back on during this quarantine time. He thought it would be a great way to keep connected. Well, I am already rethinking that. I'm sick of the Trump-bashing. I have had to "unfollow" several people, simply because I don't want their argumentative behavior stressing me out. (I am a 9 on the Enneagram, and we cannot tolerate conflict)

  2. So many good tips for surviving this time in our lives. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I am really trying to stay informed but not watching too much of the news. When it is not snowing (I know right?) or raining, I go outside to walk some or go and walk around the park.

  4. I have been doing some of the same things. Getting dressed each morning is a must otherwise I feel lazy and like I am not supposed to be doing anything. I can't watch much of the news, just enough to know a brief update of what's going on.
    How do you play cards on Zoom? Please tell I would love to do that with my mom.

  5. Great idea to go to the Thursday Thirteen format. I hide the same stuff you hide on facebook. I'm making up stuff for each letter or manipulating it to work for me, LOL!

  6. This is a great list, thanks for sharing. #7 is beneficial to me. I have been thinking about this and how we each will be different after this time and what "after" will look like.

  7. I love that last.. "my joy does not depend on circumstances.." Beautiful. I enjoyed navigating through your 13 on Thursday!!

  8. I think with you navigating your boat Joyce you'll be just fine :)