Looking Away

You know what makes me happy?
Choosing not to drown myself in current events.

At the beginning of all this, I was obsessed with
Knowing all the latest information.
I also had more physical anxiety than
I had experienced in several years.

My mental health is better when I look away.
Nowadays, I see and know very little news.
It's all the same anyway, repeating concerns and worries
About something we cannot control.

The occasional headline that breaks 
From the pattern won't last long. 

I see things scrolling through Twitter.
I acknowledge it, maybe look, then let it go.

Another Lap Around the Sun

For my mom.

Congratulations on another lap around the sun.
This isn't the ideal time to have a birthday,
But here we are, so let's make the best of it.

Your age is just a number,
Another number you gain for being alive.

Everyone who knows you is lucky,
For they know your kind heart,
Your lively spirit and your beautiful soul.

While there are no birthday candles to blow out,
You appreciate the little things, the people around you.

You look around and see your family,
Your daughters who are mirrors of your younger self.
Your husband who says, "you know me" too often.

You wave at your friends through screens
And stay distanced when you meet.

I know you'll find a way to make this lap the best one yet.

I’m Alright

These last few weeks have been weird. That’s the best way I can put it, they’ve been weird. We’re living in weird times. And who knows when that will change.

As things begin to open up and people are crowding into places because they want to have brunch, I can’t help but wonder if this is happening because what life was like before is still fresh in our memories.

It was only two months ago when things really began changing in most places around the globe. For some people, going into a crowded restaurant isn’t anxiety-inducing. Up until fairly recently, there hasn’t been an unseen virus lingering around.

Most people who get this virus will survive. However, there should be a compromise to keep those who have to go out or are comfortable with it safe. Social distancing and wearing masks, having people eat outside or removing tables to keep distance between tables.

No one likes this current state of our society. But, if we want to keep infection rates steady to not overload hospitals, we should keep each other and ourselves safe by adapting.

In happier news, the swelling around my eyes has been slowly decreasing and I haven’t had to use artificial tears in over a week. This isn’t the ideal time to be getting better with all of this going around. But, I’m happy things are progressing instead of being stuck in place.

Pinpoint something in yourself you can be proud of. Maybe you went on a walk today or changed your clothes. Whatever it is, if it’s important to you, then it matters.

Good Stuff
Normal People – Hulu
Normal People Official Soundtrack – Spotify
Roxane Gay’s Interview on I-Weigh – Spotify
Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper? – The New York Times
My Therapist Says Feelings Aren’t Facts – Medium
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder 🐶 – TikTok
How Things are Made 🎨 – TikTok
Day 1 in #quarantine vs. day 50 – TikTok
Family meeting! – TikTok

Sunday Drive

I went on a drive to visit the world
Through the safety of my dusty car window.
I was gone for the length of a typical movie,
Looping through foothills, passing bikers,
And elevating into the small mountains
As motorcycles followed too close behind me.
I can report that the earth is coming to life once more.
Crowds of horses gather on green grass overlooking the road
Parking lots are shut off for people's safety
While others are too overcrowded that
A sign had to be put next to it, reading,
"Don't linger in a crowded parking lot,
Keep Colorado safe by staying home,"
That suggestion didn't hold meaning
To those who wanted to enjoy a beautiful spring day.

Awareness

As life begins to reopen in some places around the country and across the world, it’s important to be aware. Social distancing is still in place. Staying six feet apart as much as you possibly can is crucial to keeping the spread of this virus down. Wearing a mask when in public spaces. Still remaining home as much as possible.

People are going to have heightened emotions. Some will be anxious, others will be restless. Some will be trying their best to get what they need and get home. Others will rebel and not wear a mask. While it’s their choice, it’s also defeating the purpose if not everyone does it, especially in indoor public space when staying six feet apart maybe a bit harder.

I don’t know what the answer is but to respect other people and what they’re going through during the midst of all this. It’s not an easy time in the world and it’s best to be kind to each other. Awareness that other people may be processing this differently than you are. We handle change differently and this time is certainly no exception.

One of the most important parts to be aware of as things begin reopen is that life isn’t going to back to the way it was. Those times won’t be back for a while, more than likely not until we get a vaccine that’s available to everyone. My advice to you is not to be stupid and put yourself in a position where you or anyone you love could get sick. Don’t let your emotions run wild and do things that you may regret later.

We’re all in this together by continuing to stay apart as much as we possibly can.

This Too Shall Pass – Poem & Short Film

I have held on tightly
to little things during this time.
Walking my dog then watching him
roll around in the grass right
before we go inside.
Finding my cats soaking up
the sunshine in the mornings.
Reading when my mind will allow me
to focus on the words written on the page.
Writing my feelings down
so they will stop spiraling around in my head.
Talking about how I'm feeling
with my therapist or a friend.
Meditating each morning
before I get up and begin my day.
Avoiding the news for much of the hours
I am awake.

Who knows when it will be safe to attend
a concert and enjoy live music with a crowd again.
Who knows when we will be able to travel
to our favorite places and be with those we love.
Who knows when we will be able to watch
the sun fall into the ocean or rise
while on a cross country road trip.

All I know is that in this time we are currently in,
there will be okay days and bad days.
There will be days that drag on
and we will wonder if things will ever
appear the same again.
There will be days of uncertainty
and days filled with tears.
That's okay,
it's part of being in a time period
filled with an overwhelming amount of unknowns.
We are all figuring things out as we go along,
it's a process.

We should be patient with each other.
We should respect one another.
We should be kind.
We don't know when things will improve
but we will get through this.
This too shall pass.

Crazy Dreams, Quiet Neighborhoods, & Migraines

Have you’ve been having crazy dreams lately? I noticed I’ve had an increase in nightmares a few nights ago. Weird dreams that bring out my worst fears. Such as being left by someone I’m close or hiding from someone who doesn’t have good intentions. I’ve only woken up once this week and felt shaken by my dreams. Thankfully, I haven’t had trouble sleeping and I was able to get back to sleep rather quickly.

There’s no denying the weirdness of this time. I go on walks every day it’s nice outside. Walking through neighborhoods where everyone is shut inside their homes gives me an eerie feeling. I feel like I’m in a film where everyone left town and I didn’t get the memo. So I’m left wandering through quiet neighborhoods, wondering what the hell happened to everyone.

I’ve been having migraines lately. I’m taking them as a good sign. Before I was diagnosed with Thyroid Eye Disease and before I had a lot of swelling around my eyes, I had a lot of migraines. I’ve had a couple of migraines since as things with my eyes were shifting. So I’m presuming this sudden increase in migraines is change with the swelling surrounding both of my eyes. Things are happening! It’s certainly not fun but it gives me hope that this disease is doing what it’s supposed to do in order to eventually leave my body.

Stay safe. Drink water. Don’t even consider trying to consume any cleaning products. Wear a mask when you’re outside your home. Take care of yourself.

Good Stuff
The Story Behind Every Track on Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Postcards From Home: Creativity in a Time of Crisis
Beanie Feldstein
I WEIGH WITH JAMEELA JAMIL

Reese Witherspoon
I WEIGH WITH JAMEELA JAMIL

Skin School with Dr. Barbara Sturm and Emma Roberts
On Earth Day, Turning to Poetry for Hope
the way we live now
MAYA HAWKE IS GOING THROUGH IT
Idra Novey and Esmé Wang Talk Mental Health and Writing
The Liberation Of Shailene Woodley
Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes perform Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
Prom 2020: Some Good News with John Krasinski Ep. 4

Peaks + Valleys

In these times, we're experiencing the peaks and valleys
of life in a condensed period. Emotions are higher
with people being more vulnerable and more fearful
of what could happen. While others are bored out
of their minds and want anything to do, including
breaking the orders that are in place. We are inside
for a reason. And even as things begin to lift, life isn't
going to look the way it did before. It's going to be
different for a while. Right now, it feels like multiple
days in a single day. A week feels like a month
has gone by. In the weeks we've been stuck inside,
it feels as though it's been at least a year, if not more.
But because we're staying indoors and not congregating
in public places, many hospitals, at least where I live,
aren't overwhelmed by patients sick with the virus.
We're flattening the curve by staying home.
Sooner or later, the country will begin to
reopen. It will be a process. I hope people don't
overstep too quickly and cause a bigger mess than there
was to begin with. If we want to get through this,
we all have to be mindful of one another and
work together to stop the spread of this virus.

Seeing the Light

Double vision is no longer interrupting my days.

I can stay up until 1am without my reality splitting apart.
I can wake up without objects in my room hovering over each other.

People no longer have four eyes when I look at them!
I do have a little double on the outer edges of my vision,
But it's nothing like it was and it's wonderful.

With everything going on, my eyes have taken a backseat
On my list of things to worry about.

There are more important things to be concerned about.
Like staying healthy, drinking water, keeping six feet away
From other people, washing my hands, not touching my face.

My eyes were everything I was concerned about last year.
They were constantly up and down.
I couldn't predict where they would be or how I would feel.

Then a global pandemic occurs and my double vision decides
To walk out the backdoor without saying goodbye.

 I'm incredibly grateful and fortunate that my eyes are improving.
It's also nice to share some happy news right now.
After eighteen months, I see light at the end of the tunnel.