What’s Good About This?

I haven’t mentioned the pandemic too much lately because it’s so much of the same-old-same. And I know when I mention anything on social media or Facebook to friends that some of them get depressed at any covid talk. But I thought about not posting because it’s all I wanted to talk about today–and I didn’t want to muzzle myself. Except with a 3-layer face mask, of course.

Arizona numbers are way up, and this is after I’ve been hibernating for over three months. The appointment for my daughter to look at bridal gowns is Friday, and I am supposed to go with her. It’s so so hard to develop much enthusiasm at this point.

So in the interests of our mental health (there is so little of it available currently) I will mention covid negatives that turned into positives only.

  • Following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I started this program last fall and joined a local group for moral support. The group is still meeting once a month (by Zoom now), but the only thing I am writing in my morning pages is what I made for dinner each day. I have over 3 months of menus, but nothing else since the pandemic began. So what’s good about this? I like writing our dinners down. Maybe it will come in handy some day. HAHAHA And I am glad the meetings are still being held because it’s wonderful to consort with other women artist types.
  • I have pandemic brain. Very fuzzy and not very smart. I had to look up “consort” to make sure about the meaning. Yup. It means to “habitually associate with (someone), typically with the disapproval of others.” A lot of artistic women have experienced the disapproval of others throughout their lives, so we’re there (here?) for each other. So what’s good about this? Recognizing that we have each others’ backs.
  • I can’t/won’t travel, see my mother in Michigan, go out to dinner. Yes, we are being very careful. So what’s good about this? More time with my cats, especially with the oldsters, Pear and Tiger, who just want me near them all the time.
  • Although I wrote a few poems near the beginning of the “lockdown,” I no longer even want to write a poem. Or if I do, it’s a little tiny flicker, not a flame. Certainly not enough to sustain me through a whole poem. So what’s good about this? I took the time to organize my poems into one chapbook, then another chapbook, then I put both chapbooks together into a full-length collection. It might still keep morphing, but at least I feel like I’m doing something! I’ve been working on titles, too ;).
  • Because of the pandemic I am beyond exhausted and have way too much work to do. This happened because 1) I have way more work-work than I did before, 2) I have no occasional help as I did before, and 3) all that damn cooking. So what’s good about this, you might ask?! OK, this is a  little convulated. Maybe I’m pushing it. But I think it’s true. I don’t want to give up on my genealogy research, no matter what. But I really am too pandemic-brained and tired to do anything mentally taxing. So instead, I am doing a mindless fill-in-the-gaps project for my direct ancestors (I think I’ve mentioned this before) AND I am organizing my genealogy documents on my computer. Um, they were a mess. So I am pretty happy that I am making some structure out of chaos.
  • I miss hugging my kids. You got me there. Nothing good about that.

This probably doesn’t have much to do with covid, but I am only one journal away from meeting my publication goal for 2020! There are still four due to publish throughout the summer. Waiting on that one more acceptance . . . 🙂

Wear your masks, please. Wash your hands. Carry sanitizer with you. And if you need to travel and you’re female, get one of those pee funnels. If you’re male, get one of those portable urinals. That will save you from some restroom covid germs. I guess since I can’t hug my kids, I am trying to “mom” everyone else!


Pear Blossom, age 20 1/4


Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Arizona, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Submissions, Writing, Writing goals

55 responses to “What’s Good About This?

  1. Hoping you will come through, Luanne

  2. A timely post. I fear COVID is circling back. My godchild’s mother-in-law just died, in another country, of COVID. My godchild’s spouse couldn’t go–travel restrictions and no funerals allowed in that country: burial is required within three hours. The spouse’s two siblings in the same country are very, very ill.

    Two articles in the morning about people, one near and one far away, who have had severe COVID symptoms for months. Doctors say there’s a new spectrum they’re calling long-term COVID.

    It is hard, and it gets so old, but this is no time to loosen our guards. And you show so clearly there ARE some good things about this strange, unsettling new life… Thanks, Luanne.

    • I’m so sorry about your godchild’s MIL. How awful that the siblings are so sick! Yesterday I saw that over 50,000 have died in Brazil. I know they were latecomers to the virus. But it looks like we are well over 120,000 and still so many won’t wear masks.
      Your comment about “long-term COVID” is terrifying, Pam. Wow. That does explain a lot. I also read that there are people with covid symptoms who have never had a positive test. It’s a USA Today article and doesn’t explain for sure what that means. But it does make me wonder. My cousin’s 32 year old son is fighting for his life in a hospital with no real diagnosis. ICU, ventilator, the whole thing. Tested negative for covid. Weird? Just awful. Some good things. At least we are allowed to make some lemonade!

  3. The numbers in our state have dropped considerably but our governor kept restrictions in place for a long time. We are finally going into “green” on Friday. That’s stores open to 50% capacity and a lot of other restrictions. Some people want to impeach him and some want to canonize him. I think he did the right thing but it’s a tough time for businesses. I am glad that you found silver linings. I found some too. Slower pace, less running around like a chicken without a head (one of my mom’s favorite sayings). I don’t know if I’ll go back to being overbooked and overtired. Then again I’m an introvert so I’m comfortable in my own company.

    • It sounds like you have been going at this in a pretty good way. Out west we were kind of screwed because we locked down when the east did, but the virus wasn’t “really” here yet. Now it’s raging here, but he already were locked up so long without any real evidence of the virus so that brings out all the naysayers, plus kids have been locked up too and now it’s the hot season and they can’t really play outdoors so everyone is going nuts. You know those good things that you are getting out of the pandemic? That is my complaint, I think. I am not really getting that because I have so many more responsibilities because of covid. But it could be worse. I could be sick, so this is FAR preferable! I hear you on the introvert thing. I’m not going to be fit for humans after all this because I already was introverted!

      • My stepson who primarily lives in Colorado has a house in Arizona. He rode it out there and said early on, there weren’t many cases. Being grateful not to be sick will have to do for now. I will need lessons to be sociable again! 🙂

  4. Well. . .you still sound busy to me, but it’s reassuring to me that I’m not the only one with a fuzzy Covid brain and lack of energy. 😀
    Things are starting to open up around here. It’s much like Kate Crimmins describes. I also miss hugging my daughters and getting together with friends. My husband and I are going to have dinner at a winery for our anniversary–it’s all outside, reservations, spaced out tables, etc. We’ll see. Younger daughter works part-time at another winery, and she’s kind of anxious.
    How will wedding gown shopping work?
    Congratulations on all the publications, even if the poems were all written before.

    • I wonder if the majority of people who are not working outside the home are getting “Covid brain”?
      That sounds great to have your anniversary at the winery. I had envisioned we would be at that point now, but with the cases surging here the gardener didn’t even want takeout for Father’s Day. We made burgers on the grill with daughter and her fiance, but it was SO HARD to socially distance. I think takeout might have been safer!
      Supposedly we will be the only customers in the store and everyone will be wearing masks. Daughter and I will drive separately and meet there. I’ll bring a big bottle of sanitizer haha.
      Thank you about the publications. Weirdly, after I read what you wrote, I went to the table of contents of the current manuscript and 7 of the poems were written after we got back from Costa Rica, which is essentially the start of the pandemic. But they were probably written in March and April. I doubt much was written after April, but pandemic brain doesn’t allow me to remember things like that!

  5. It gets hard to keep thinking you are not alone, but we do have to remember that we will beat this bug. It’s probably one of the hardest things any of us have ever had to go through (unless we’ve been through a war). Hang in there, Luanne. We are doing the same, and redirecting our love and care to wherever/whomever we can. Stay well.

    • Certainly nothing has ever lasted too long, although what about the hundred years war? And how long did the plague plague Europe? Sigh. OK, you hang in there, too, Anneli. That is the best thing we can do–to redirect our love and care–right?!

  6. Dear Luanne,
    Reading your blogpost brought back a lot of recent memories of our lockdown. We are coming out of it, bit by bit. Today was the first day the Netherlands had no Covid deaths. All I can say to you, supportively, is that it will pass. And that coming out of lockdown is scary! But even that will pass. Sending you lots of support,

    • Oh, that is wonderful to hear that you had no deaths today! I hope so. Unfortunately, in this big unwieldy country, there is a lot of chaos about how things are handled. The whole idea of a united nation of states where the federal and state governments don’t always work together–and then the sheer size from east to west–are all kind of working against us right now. As I was saying to Kate, it was bad in the east here 3 months ago so much of the country locked down or did some version of it based on the states’ governors. But it took this time for the virus to really travel westward, so probably the west shouldn’t have been locked down at the same time. However, since it’s all one country, because of movement (travel) it kind of had to happen. Sorry for hitting you over the head with my current musings, but that’s some of my thinking now. Thank you for the support, Paula. xo

  7. Thank you for the advice, Mom but I’m going to avoid travel. 😁

  8. Amy

    It seems like you are where I was about two months ago when everywhere I looked, people were dying to sick and I felt hopeless. Things are better here in MA now, but I still feel unsafe at times and worried about too many and too much. And yes—not hugging our children (and grandchildren) is the worst part. For us, the good weather helps. Being outside helps. But seeing people acting like it’s all over is infuriating.

    How’s your kitty, by the way?

    • Yes, it is starting to creep closer and closer. Someone I know brought me something the other day and I wore a mask to her car and the gardener kind of made a joke like he thought that was excessive. Well, she doesn’t feel well now, works with someone with covid, and had to get tested. There is no being too careful. Yes, we are grateful that we have a nice patio and small yard with pool where daughter and her fiance can bring their dog and hang out. Now that it’s super hot here my second gratitude is that we have a mister system on the patio!!! It lowers the tempurature in the patio a lot. It’s like air conditioning outside!
      Tiger is not eating well. I am spending so much time and effort on it, but it makes me so anxious. And Pear doesn’t look as well suddenly and spit up a little today. I just can’t have them sick in the middle of this.
      We also have someone very sick in the family, and that is draining me more than I realized. He’s my cousin’s son, my daughter’s age, and he has a 6 year son. He’s very very very sick in ICU on a ventilator.

      • Amy

        That is a lot to handle. I am so sorry about your cousin’s son. Is it COVID? And when one of my cats isn’t acting right, I get into a tizzy. So I feel for you. Try to get outside as much as you can—I find nature is the best therapy. And deep breathing/meditation/yoga. Anything to relieve the brain of all the stress and anxiety.

  9. I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with this. I’ve been watching it happen to me as well. I write all of it down in my morning pages. To top header has date, time, weather stats and Fitbit stats. It makes me keep up my walking. The rest of my pages are about what I hope to accomplish that day or if I’m taking a down day and read a cozy mystery. I write how I feel about this lack of social interaction. One of my hand sewing groups is finally going to try to gather on the organizers back patio so we can be distant from each other and still be social. I like my alone time too but this is way more than anyone bargained for. We all need social interaction as part of our humanness. I do go out to shop at the odd hours when grocery stores are light in people and wear mask and gloves. Without social interaction, I have nothing I want to write about so I don’t. But the walking and chatting across the street to neighbors helps a lot. Everyone knows everyone’s business now because we can’t speak quietly. 😉 Oh well. Yes, we are all getting fuzzy brained and I hope it ends soon. I’ll keep good thoughts for you too. Hugs.

    • This fuzzy brain is so frustrating. I just want to wipe the cobwebs away. On a sadder note, my mom is getting very depressed because she lives by herself. She has gone out in her car a few times and says if she hadn’t done that she wouldn’t survive mentally. I totally understand that. Different people have different circumstances and different tolerances. She might be taking risks that I wouldn’t take, but I am not her and I don’t live alone. Big difference.
      You know that cozy mystery day you take? I want to take one of those! Although I have been working my way through some cozies. Right now I am reading the magical cats series by Sofie Kelly. Have you read those? Very cute. Hercules can walk through walls and Owen becomes invisible! Hugs to you, too, my dear. XOXO

      • I think I”m going to write about this tonight or in the morning. I’m with your mom. I’ve been going through an new cozy series too. I have not read that particular series though. Stay tuned. I’ll be keeping you in mind.

  10. Pandemic brain: that’s a good one! You sound (still) too busy for me 😉 It’s great you find some positives. I’m working too much but at least I’m at home (for now) and see my cats and husband whenever. Speaking of which, Max (cat) wants to get on my lap 😉

  11. Boy I can relate to that Covid Cloud. Physically we may be just fine, but mentally and spiritually, maybe not so much . We are in pretty good shape here in BC COVID-wise, but it is a constant case of being vigilant about stuff we never would have considered months ago. It all gets so tiring!! I enjoy reading your poems and other writing Luanne so I hope you will be able to use that talent to soothe your soul a little! Hang in there!

    • Covid Cloud is a good name for it. It follows me around the house. I am glad things are good in BC right now. Just seems worse and worse in Arizona–and we thought the hot weather would be on our side! Thank you so much for your kind words about my writing, Paul. You take care of yourself.

  12. Oh yes, more time with Pear and Tiger! That sounds good to me.

  13. It’s encouraging that you’ve been able to find some good in this time of isolation. I’m working full-time at a remote job. I don’t have COVID-brain, but my tolerance for hassles and foolishness has gotten very, very low.

    • I understand that low tolerance level haha. There are so many hassles and foolishness right now, too. So many mistakes being made. But I do have Covid brain. Just being in the house too much. I would get out more, but I really don’t have the time. I know: make the time. heh Take care, Liz.

  14. I have been thinking about you and Arizona for the last few weeks. I know it’s true. We are tired of the virus, its limitations but pleased with unexpected good outcomes we couldn’t see three months ago.
    South Carolina is another state where there are spikes in cases so I remain self-isolating pretty much. Of course, we make exceptions with our grandbaby and her parents. We weighed risk/rewards, but this baby will only be this baby one time. Forgive us our trespasses.

    • I didn’t know SC had a lot of spikes. I understand being willing to take that risk. Such a pretty baby, too. Right now we don’t have good outcomes in Arizona. It’s getting pretty scary. Today the gardener had to go for an echocardiogram. He really did NOT want to because of Covid, but there was something wrong with his halter monitor so he went. He came home and said, “Well, I’m getting Covid now.” It kind of freaked him out being in that environment–yet there are people working in it everyday.

  15. Some solid, helpful ideas, Luanne, all positive! Wish I could get in a positive frame of mind… I feel so damn lazy, unmotivated… and *boy* do I miss hugging my kids too! Haven’t seen my son since Mother’s Day 2019 (he lives in NY). Daughter lives in town, so we Zoom sometimes, but she’s working from home, busy busy… Sigh. Good that we can virtually say to each other, “There there, it’ll get better!”

  16. You are definitely busy making lemonade! Which I appreciate. We have to do something with all of these $@-!#*% lemons that 2020 keeps on giving!
    Pear Blossom is a beauty. I hope all your kitties are doing well.

  17. Whether we write about it or not, most things are inevitably about Covid. But it’s good that you can turn those negatives into positives – well most of them anyway. And your publication goal is going really well, fingers crossed for another one!

    • Well, I got that other publication, so I am pretty happy about that. Now I have a half a year to see how high I can get the number haha. This is the problem with goal setting. As you probably remember, I never cared before. I never set a goal. I just published when I published. Then I set that goal for myself last year and now a monster has been created. That monster being: me. 😉 Stay safe, Andrea It’s pretty brutal in Arizona right now. Hope it’s better near you.

      • It’s good to get yourself out there. I haven’t submitted anything this year but was feeling the urge so I’ve submitted a couple of things. Things are pretty calm where we are at the moment, starting to relax the rules although I think it’s too early for that…

        • So glad to hear that you started submitting again. It is good to have that connection with others over our writing. Fingers crossed for you.

  18. I’ve been thinking about you as I’ve watched the virus numbers rise in Arizona. It sounds like you are taking care. And even giving advice: a pee funnel! I never heard of such a thing. Now I have to go online and see what one looks like….

    • The way you are moving all around between cities and states you need a pee funnel! Unless of course you have an RV with a potty. A pee funnel allows a woman to pee standing up like a man. Very useful in certain situations.
      It’s pretty scary out here BTW!