Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

So much has changed since the last time I posted here. It’s been less than three weeks, yet it feels like months have gone by. In seemingly the blink of an eye, the whole world is now in crisis. Many of us are mostly confined to our homes and when we do venture out, we’re shrouded by anxiety about an invisible enemy that can potentially strike us all. So much is unknown at the moment and it’s difficult for any of us to predict what may happen in the coming days, weeks, and months. Most of us have never lived through a crisis of this magnitude, and our lives have already been affected in profound ways and our perspectives have shifted immensely.

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be writing about my “enough” theme for 2020.  That’s what I’ll be doing today, albeit not in the way that I originally planned. I’ll table those thoughts for a later date, as I have something different to say now. I want to reflect upon a few insights that I’ve gained about “enough” over the past couple of weeks.

enough in a time of chaos

We’re looking at a very different and uncertain world these days… 

“Enough” has taken on a new meaning in this time of chaos and uncertainty in which we find ourselves. This post is divided into several sections about “enough” related to the coronavirus pandemic. I’m not going to focus on the macro, as there are many others better qualified than I am to cover those topics. Instead, I’ll look at how “enough” has impacted my life and how it may also apply to you during these challenging times.

Enough News and Information

I don’t usually watch the news. As someone who struggles a lot with depression and anxiety, I’ve chosen to limit my exposure to this medium because I feel that it may as well be called the “bad news.” When I used to watch television news, I’d feel my anxiety mounting with every doom and gloom story. I also felt increasingly helpless because I knew that I was virtually powerless to impact anything that was being reported on. Watching the news only served to make me feel worse about my life, my safety, and the state of my local area and the world.

That all said, I do like to keep informed about what’s going on with current events and politics. I accomplish this by reading news online and in one weekly magazine, listening to podcasts, and discussing issues with some of the people in my life. I’m sometimes better at keeping up with things than others, and I have to admit that I haven’t been quite as good about it in recent years. However, in the past two weeks, I went from consuming news just minutes each day to many hours. The combination of my naturally curious nature and my mounting anxiety quickly led to news overload. It got to the point where I wasn’t doing much beyond refreshing news sites to read new developments about the coronavirus.

Then this week, I remembered my theme for the year, “enough.” What constitutes enough news and information about something that matters to us? We all have to decide that for ourselves, but I recently read an article from Cal Newport (author of the book, Digital Minimalism, which I wrote about HERE and HERE) that offered two pieces of sound advice. First, Newport suggests that we check just one local and one national news source each morning and then refrain from consuming any other news for the remainder of the day. Second, he recommends that we distract ourselves with lots of value-driven action (i.e. working on tasks that serve our deeply held values).

I’m not sure that I’ll be able to reduce my news checking to just once per day, but I believe that two or three times per day should be plenty for most of us. What I’m going to do is set a timer for fifteen minutes in the morning, midday, and evening and limit my reading about the coronavirus to only those time-frames. This is probably still too much time to spend on consuming news about the pandemic, but it’s a good start for me. I may opt to reduce these sessions from three per day to two after a week or so.

As for the second part of Newport’s recommendation, I have a long list of projects that I want to work on. Some of those tasks are included in my “20 for 2020” list and others have come about more recently, including some decluttering and organizing projects at home. I definitely feel like I have plenty of things that I can work on to occupy my time at home for the next few weeks or months, however long this lasts. However, I think it’s perfectly reasonable and normal not to be ultra-productive during this stressful time, but that’s something that I’ll address later on in this post.

Of course, many of us wonder what we can potentially do to lend a hand to those who are suffering as a result of this horrible pandemic. Because so many of us have been directed to “shelter in place,” there’s not a lot we are allowed to do in terms of standard volunteering. Fortunately, for those of us who can afford to do so, there are many opportunities to contribute financially. Even small donations are appreciated because it all adds up! See this list or this list for a number of options, or do a Google search for donation opportunities in your local area.

Enough Food and Supplies

I don’t know about where you live, but there are a lot of supply shortages in my neighborhood. We’re being directed to clean and disinfect frequently, but most cleaning supplies are sold out and there’s not a bottle of hand sanitizer to be found anywhere. And don’t even get me started on toilet paper and other paper products! I’ve visited many stores and what I mostly see are barren shelves where the cleaning supplies and paper products used to be. The same has been true for non-perishable foods such as soups, pasta, crackers, and the like. Surprisingly, it has also been hard to find eggs, which are a staple in my diet and a key ingredient in many of the items that I like to bake. I guess because so many people are eating at home these days, they’re buying eggs as an easy to prepare meal option.

I’ve read that there hasn’t been a disruption to the supply chain for any of the items I’ve mentioned. The issue has been that many people are panicking and purchasing these products in much larger amounts than usual, which leaves many of us scrambling to find enough to cover our basic needs. It’s been said that times like these bring out the best or the worst in people. While some are thinking about how they can help members of their communities, others are only looking out for themselves.

A friend of mine had major dental surgery done shortly before our nation went into a state of panic. She was told that she could only eat soft foods for the next three weeks. Although she had purchased enough for her to eat for the first few days, after that she was hard-pressed to find anything that would meet her needs despite driving around to multiple stores while still taking heavy painkillers. When she contacted me, she was in tears and worried that she wouldn’t be able to feed herself for the coming days and weeks. Fortunately, my husband and I were able to locate enough staples for her to use to get by, but we pretty much just got lucky by visiting a few stores late at night (this was before most stores switched to shortened hours last week).

How do we know when we have enough food and other supplies to meet our needs during a crisis? That’s the $64,000 question that no one truly knows the answer to… But we need to remember that we’re all in this together! If we take too much, someone else won’t be able to meet their needs at all. Luckily, many stores have instituted maximum purchases when it comes to particular items. Also, I suspect that most of the hoarders probably feel that they have enough now, so the rest of us will gradually be able to purchase toilet paper, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, soup, pasta, eggs, and other staples.

Enough Connection

I’m an extreme introvert who spends the bulk of my time alone. I’m usually fine with the level of social interaction I have, which is typically just once or twice per week beyond spending evenings and weekends with my husband. For me, a little interaction goes a long way and I aim for quality over quantity when it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends. I interact with the people in my life to varying degrees, but it’s never been what I would call “frequent.”

But since the coronavirus crisis started, I’ve actually found that I’m touching base with loved ones more often. However, all of this interaction has been through text messages, email, and phone calls, and I’m definitely finding myself missing in-person time with people. I even miss just being out and about around people when I’m not talking to anyone. Sometimes it’s just nice to be around other people and to feel like I’m more of a part of life and the social fabric of society.

This “new normal” has me pondering what enough connection is for myself and for others. I know that what I’ve been experiencing lately isn’t really enough. Just before all this started, I joined a few new Meetup groups that I was looking forward to checking out despite my fear and trepidation about meeting new people. But just when I was ready to expand my world beyond the small bubble it had become, I was forced to contract it even smaller than it had been previously. I guess my efforts to make more friends and face my fears about social interactions will have to wait.

We’re all different, but I know some people are having a much harder time being home alone than I am (my husband is still working, as he works in an “essential” business), particularly those who are used to working in an office and/or engaging in an active social life. My mom is one such person. She’s been retired for over ten years and lives alone with her cat, but she regularly goes to exercise classes and enjoys sharing coffee or lunch with friends and spending time with her two grandchildren.

That has all changed since she started sheltering in place by herself a week and a half ago. Since she’s in multiple high-risk groups due to her age and health status, she knows she shouldn’t risk being out and about or getting too close to others, but she’s also a highly extroverted “people person.” She’s keeping sane by having more frequent phone calls with loved ones, but I worry about her sense of well-being if her solitude needs to extend as long as some people are predicting will be necessary. Loneliness may not be as lethal as the coronavirus, but it also poses a risk to our health and vitality. We’re going to have to think outside the box to make sure seniors and other at risk populations don’t suffer from loneliness and depression while we’re protecting them from the virus.

Enough Clothes

As I mentioned in my 2020 wardrobe, shopping, and style goals post, I’m tracking the number of days on which I get dressed in “out and about” clothes each month. In January, it was just nine days (29%), but I was also sick with a cold and flu for close to half the month. My February number was better at twelve days, which represented 41% of the month. I was on track to wear “out and about” outfits on at least half of the days in March, as my count was up to seven mid-month, but now I’ve been solely wearing at-home clothing since March 14th. I haven’t counted the items I’ve been wearing at home, but I’m sure it’s well within the realm of the rules of Project 333 (by the way, there’s a new book out about that challenge, and I highly recommend it for anyone who’s interested in dressing with a capsule wardrobe).

Sure, I’ve missed wearing the rest of my clothes since all of the chaos began, but I’ve also haven’t thought about it all that much. My perspective on what constitutes enough clothes has really shifted during this short time frame. Clothes just don’t seem all that important in the grand scheme of things. I look in my closet and think, Why do I have all of these clothes? I don’t need them! I’ve pared down my wardrobe significantly since I started my “half project(an update on that soon…), but it still feels like much too much for me. I feel more ready than ever to have a streamlined wardrobe and I’m angry at myself for letting it get out of hand for so many years.

I still want to look nice and presentable, even if I’m just going to be at home by myself. I still make an effort to shower, do my hair, and put on makeup most days because that helps me to feel more confident, attractive, and ready to face the day. While I opt to wear comfortable pants and slippers at home, I still wear colorful and fun tops that are sometimes worn outside the house, too. I know that some people still get dressed in smart casual or “work clothes” when they’re working from home, as that helps them to be more productive, but that’s not me. In fact, I’ve been making an effort to have all of my “out and about” clothes be just as comfortable as what I wear at home, so there will likely be more crossover in time.

All of the malls and shops are closed, but online shopping is still available. Yet, I don’t feel like adding to the chaos of my closet. In this time of uncertainty, I find myself craving simplicity even more than before. I want to pare my belongings down to what truly matters to me, and that includes my clothing. I’d like to feel less anxiety and overwhelm when I look into my closet because the outside world and all of the uncertainty around us already produces an overabundance of those feelings in me. Hopefully, I will pare my wardrobe down more in the coming weeks and will be able to pass my excess clothing on to those who are struggling financially during these trying times.

Enough Productivity

Productivity is my Achilles Heel. No matter what I do, I never get as much done as I think I should and I frequently compare myself to others who I feel are more productive and more successful than I am. When things got crazy and my entire state (and much of the country and world) was ordered to stay at home, I thought that I should be much more productive since I didn’t have much else going on. Unfortunately, however, I felt even more stuck and mired in quicksand than I usually do. Everything I tried to do just felt like it wasn’t working and I was getting even less done than before.

I felt even worse about myself than usual until I saw the following statement posted on Instagram by Julie Markowitz, a therapist who works with chronic pain patients (I’ve been on a lengthy social media break except for a bit of scrolling on Instagram here and there – I will write about that soon):

“You do not need to be productive during this time. You do not need to learn a new language, write a novel, take a course… Please be kind to yourself. Your only job is to get through this.”

The above was the text of the actual post, but Julie also added some additional feedback below it for those who are struggling with depression and other mental health issues. She stated that although suggestions on how to be more productive during this time of distress can be helpful for some, it can also feel like shaming for those of us who are having a hard time getting things done because of our anxiety. She stated that some of us just need permission to rest and engage in fun activities that will bring us joy.

There will be plenty of time for productivity. If what you need now is to just let yourself “be” and feel your feelings, please honor that. If you need some downtime to take more naps and binge watch shows on Netflix, that’s okay. I didn’t get much done last week (I also had yet another cold – need to boost my immunity!) and I chose not to beat myself up about it. I also didn’t set too many expectations for myself this week, but I was inspired to write this post, so here I am! I’m sure we’ll all experience a lot of ups and downs in the coming weeks, so we need to do our best to be as kind and gentle with ourselves as we would be to a beloved child or friend. It’s fine to have a “Pandemic project list” to look to when you’re feeling inspired, but try to give your inner critic some time off for a while.

Conclusion

In the moment, it’s enough for me that all of my friends and family are safe. I know that my little family (my husband, our two cats, and me) has everything we need to keep us going for a good long while. I delight in the daily walks that my husband and I take, which is often the only time I get outside each day. I have slowed down and I’m taking more pleasure in the little things of life that we so often take for granted. I don’t know what the future has in store, but I’m trying to live in the moment and know that I have enough and I am enough right now today.

My heart breaks for those all around the world who are suffering with this horrible virus. I know there will be many more tragedies in the days and weeks to come. I hope upon hope that the havoc the coronavirus will wreak won’t be as horrible as many of us fear. I also hope that some positive will come out of all of this. We don’t know what it will be just yet and it may take a while for us to fully realize all of the implications of the deadly virus and its aftermath. I hope that many of us will get more deeply in touch with that which truly matters. I also hope that people will slow down and stop being so addicted to busyness and being “on” all the time. Finally, I hope that families and communities will grow closer together and recapture their love of sharing time with each other in person. Connecting online can be great, but there’s nothing like looking into a loved one’s eyes and giving him or her a big hug. I’m looking forward to the day when there will be more hugs and love than fear and devastation. Wishing you all much strength during this challenging time and sending you love.

we're all in this together

We’re all in this together! 

28 thoughts on ““Enough” in a Time of Chaos

  1. Dori says:

    I use to read more about the pandemic,but I hit my threshold a few days ago and I avoid reading them now.My husband, colleagues from work still keep me updated and it’s enough. I avoid reading in the evening because it disrupts my sleep and that is a real problem for me.
    I’ve put plants in every room(I use to keep them at my workplace,but done of them I got home before our unexpected lockdown) to cheer me up.
    I’m looking for museums online tours, theaters that are streaming online in this time,to do something different.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Good for you for knowing your limits and practicing good self-care during this difficult time, Dori. Reading bad news before going to sleep can be counter-productive. I’ve definitely had some troubling dreams these past couple of weeks when I did that. How great that you put plants around you to uplift your mood, and I love your idea of checking out online museum tours and other online entertainment. Thanks for sharing those ideas with us here!

  2. Julia says:

    I could have written this post, it echoes so many of my thoughts – but not as eloquently for sure. I had for some time been trying to live more simply, but we have only been in ‘lockdown’ for just over a week and already I have realised there are so many things that I really do not need.

    My hope is that when we come out the other end people will realise that relentless consumerism has to stop, and that huge political and economic changes must be made to combat inequality and climate change.

    On a lighter note Debbie – despite the miserable time you had with it, aren’t you glad you let your hair dye grow out! I have been dyeing mine for many, many years and have kept saying ‘I am not quite ready for grey’. Now I have no choice, so I think scarves and turbans will be the way to go for me as I do not intend to take up dyeing my hair at home again!

    Best wishes and stay safe.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you liked this post, Julia. I have similar hopes to you about some potential positives that may come out of this horrible time. I think that one potential good is that more people will embrace minimalism and simplicity like you and I are starting to do.

      Yes, I’m definitely glad that I gave up the hair dye before this happened, as that would be one more thing that I’d be worrying about! I wonder how many women will decide that this is the time for them to go gray because they’re getting a head start with all of the hair salons being closed. The scarves and turbans will help during the most difficult months of the grow out, but I think it will also help that you won’t be alone in having those roots. Best wishes to you as well with this challenging time in the world.

  3. Samantha says:

    Hi, Debbie, I’ll read this new post more thoroughly in the coming days ; for the time being I just want to tell you I’m glad to hear you and your loved ones are safe ; my son, cat and I have been doing fine so far and we all send you friendly thoughts from Normandy. Take care ❤

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you, Samantha. I’m glad that you, your son, and your cat are doing fine, too, and I hope that will continue to be the case. This is the first time in my lifetime that such a crisis has occurred on a worldwide scale. We have a long road ahead of us, but we’re all in this together and hopefully we will overcome this great challenge and emerge stronger.

  4. Jenn says:

    Thanks for another great post, Debbie.

    I’m also an introvert, and I don’t mind spending most of my time at home, but I miss getting together with close friends and family members. If I lived alone right now, I think the lack of in-person interaction with the outside world could be challenging. I know that when my husband is away for more than a couple of days, I tend to get a bit down on myself and feel a need to be with another human.

    I love the statement you shared by Julie Markowitz. With a lingering cold (I hope that’s all it is) and concerns about the virus and my sister battling cancer (and not being able to spend time with her). I haven’t been as productive as I’d like. I tell myself I’m doing the best I can, and I still have been productive.

    I like to think that some good always comes with the bad, that from crises, we often gain clarity. Hopefully, once this is over, and we are recovering from what we’ve lost, we will have learned from this experience and be better people.

    On a much lighter note, since March 15th, I’ve tracked the times I get dressed in “out and about” clothes. So far, that’s a total of three. These styles range from what I call “grocery store casual” to a slightly elevated version, dubbed “smart casual.” I’m going to keep tracking to see how my wardrobe stacks up to the occasions for which I dress.

    I purchased and read Project 333 and plan to partake in the challenge beginning April 1st, so I’m preparing a capsule for that. (I’m only counting clothing and shoes this go-round.) This preparation has led me to get rid of several items, some of which I’ve never worn. I’m also going to limit myself to purchasing no more than two pieces of clothing or accessories and two books per month for April, May, and June. Though these are generous “restrictions,” I think it’s essential that I start with a number I can live with. I’ve broken too many promises I’ve made to myself as it is.

    Take care, everyone!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I think that introverts need other people as much as extroverts, Jenn, but we just don’t need as high a quantity of interaction. I miss connecting with others more, too, even just smiling and chatting with strangers when I’m out and about. Now everyone seems scared of each other because we have no idea who might be carrying the virus. It’s just another negative by-product of what’s going on. I feel for you and your sister. It must be so hard for you not to be able to see each other.

      Like you, I generally believe that some good comes from most bad situations. Right now, we’re mostly seeing a lot of bad, but there have already been inspiring stories of people helping others. I think we will see more good as time goes on and I also believe that many people will gain a lot of clarity on what’s most important in life.

      Good for you for actually getting dressed in out and about clothes since this all started! Maybe I should try some “grocery store casual,” but I usually piggy-back those trips with going for a walk, so I’m wearing workout clothes. That’s great that you’re going to do Project 333 starting April 1st! I look forward to reading how that goes for you. I like your two items per month limit for the next three months. Far better to set doable goals rather than trying to buy nothing at all and struggling to do it. Good luck and take care!

  5. Emily says:

    Thank you for this lovely post with so many good thoughts in these surreal times.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m so glad you found it helpful, Emily.

  6. Kim says:

    Debbie, I’m so glad to hear that you and your family are healthy and safe. I hope it continues that way. So are we and I’m thankful for that. This was a lovely post and echoed many of my own thoughts. Especially “I even miss just being out and about around people when I’m not talking to anyone. Sometimes it’s just nice to be around other people and to feel like I’m more of a part of life and the social fabric of society.” I’m used to spending 95% of my time home since I’ve retired, but not being able to go walk around the grocery store or the mall is tougher than I anticipated.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Good to hear from you, Kim, and I’m glad you and your family are doing okay and I hope that remains the case. Yes, I didn’t expect the restrictions to be so hard on me since I spend so much time at home anyway. Even though I wasn’t out and about a whole lot, it still made a big difference for me and I miss those times of even just running simple errands. Now going to the grocery store is a scary experience and it’s more of a “necessary evil” than something to enjoy. I hope we can find some new ways to get our needs met until we’re able to go back to the type of outings we used to enjoy.

  7. Rosa says:

    You are an inspiration and I always look forward to your posts!

    Stay safe.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I appreciate your kind comment, Rosa. I hope you will stay safe, too.

  8. Sally says:

    Hi Debbie

    I’m glad that you and your family are safe and well.

    These are very worrying times for everyone. I too have to try and limit myself to just checking the news in the morning and evening, so that I keep up to date with what is happening but try not to make my anxiety & depression worse.

    I find it very stressful and upsetting going to the supermarket and each time not being able to buy essentials such as toilet roll, tissues, hand sanitizer etc.

    I thought I’d share some relevant articles that are on a lighter note.

    These 2 show that us introverts have now come into our own and our behaviour is now the norm:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-19/coronavirus-self-isolation-introverts-are-experts-at-quarantine/12066012

    https://www.boredpanda.com/comics-funny-introverts-corona-lody-njio/

    This article shows that sometimes something good can come out of something bad:

    https://www.thinklessandgrowrich.com/good-news-bad-news-who-knows/

    Take Care
    Sally

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you so much for sharing those great articles, Sally! I especially liked the last one. I had heard the story of the wise old Chinese farmer before, but it was helpful to read it again. It’s true that what might seem like the worst thing ever in the moment can have a sort of silver lining later on. It may be hard to imagine anything positive from this horrible situation at the moment, but I know there will be some things. I’m glad you’re limiting your exposure to news. I think it can be harmful to anyone, but especially so for those who are already dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety. I told my mom that she should spend at least TWICE as much time reading or watching something POSITIVE as she does consuming the news. I think that’s a good rule of thumb for all of us. Hopefully the shortages in toilet roll, tissues, hand sanitizer and the like (which seem to be worldwide!) will abate soon. We WERE able to buy a package of toilet rolls yesterday (yay!), but still no sanitizer… Soon, I hope – fingers crossed… Wishing you peace and sanity throughout this mess!

  9. Tara C says:

    We are on day 5 of a 14 day quarantine due to returning to Canada from the US. I cannot leave my apartment even to take a walk. Our supply of fresh food is very minimal. All the news is bad, so I stopped watching it. I can’t check FB as my friends keep posting horrifying articles and videos. So I am reading a lot of books, calling people, and enjoying my dog (who is deathly bored).

    I have stopped buying anything because I keep thinking, I could be dead in two weeks, what possible use could I have for any object? I have far more than I need of everything. Life is impermanent and can end at any time. Any control we think we have over life is an illusion. I was very fearful and anxious at first, but now I feel more fatalistic about things. Whatever is meant to happen for me will happen. I follow recommended hygiene rules and then let go and let God decide.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you were able to return to your home in Canada safely, Tara, but I’m sorry that you’re on such a strict quarantine for so many days. I hope you’ll be about to get through it okay. Stopping the news will surely help in that effort. Books and keeping in touch with people one on one by phone will help to keep you sane, and pets are always the best for soothing us. So sad your dog won’t get walks for a while, though 😦

      I think most people aren’t in a mood to buy stuff. The stores keep offering deep discounts, but I’m guessing they’re not getting all that many takers. Most of us DO have more than we need of most things, and times like this make that abundantly clear. I like your “whatever’s meant to be,” “let go and let God” attitude. There is only so much we can control in life. We just have to do our best and try to enjoy each day as much as we can. I hope all of us here will have far more than two weeks, but we don’t get to decide. All the best to you.

  10. Katrina says:

    I’m glad you were able to regain your news equilibrium! I check the state statistics once a day and pay attention to any statements the governor issues, otherwise I’m not interested in the news. I feel terribly sad for the people who got this illness through no fault of their own, and I am concerned for the safety of the health care workers who have to face this without adequate preparation, protection, or facilities. And I sympathize with the millions who are unhappy being stuck at home and away from other people. But personally I just can’t seem to get upset about it. Perhaps I am too fatalistic, but I feel that things just have to follow their course and my worrying isn’t going to change anything. As a 100% introvert, I have been known to not leave the house for up to a month and a half, and then only because I desperately needed something that couldn’t be delivered. So nothing has changed for me in terms of social contact. I have enjoyed seeing the sky clear of smog and being able to drive a few miles without gettting stuck in traffic. I’m a bit annoyed that I can’t find any flour or milk in any store, but I think people have got to come to their senses at some point and stop this ridiulous panic buying. I like being out for a neighborhood walk on a weekday and seeing (from a safe distance) so many others doing the same. I agree that this is a good time for people to slow down and rethink priorities.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I share your sadness, concerns, and sympathies for those who are impacted by this horrible virus, Katrina (which is pretty much everyone, to varying degrees). I hope I will come to the place you’re at with not being too upset about it all. It’s weird that even though I spend most of my time at home, I kind of resent HAVING to do it now. I suspect that will pass, though, and I will get to a sort of “rhythm” with it all. I know that I am very fortunate compared to many… You’re right that our worrying won’t change anything, other than to take away whatever joy and peace we could have. I’m still working on that one, though! I agree with you that the panic buying will stop at some point. It already seems a bit better here, except for that handful of items that are still virtually unavailable. Agreed about this being a good time for all of us to rethink our priorities.

  11. Judi says:

    Hi Debbie! Thanks for this wonderful post. I have been thinking about you and am glad to hear you are safe and well! I too have been avoiding most news as a way to stay sane, and have been keeping busy reading and working (my workplace went to all online). Be well!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you, Judi. It’s great that you’re able to work from home. I’m sure that keeping busy that way is helping a lot. Good for you for avoiding most news. It has helped me a lot to cut down, as it’s just the same doom and gloom over and over again. It only takes a few minutes to learn about any new developments that are important and then we are better served to focus on things we need to do and things that can bring us some comfort and joy.

  12. Gail says:

    A virtual hug to all of you. I am trying to stay clam. Ha! My son is a doctor, and I worry for him every moment he is in the hospital. Then there’s y husband, whose relapse of a serious condition has had him on massive doses of prednisone, an immunity killer, since early Feb. What miserable timing. We are both in our 70’s, so it would be scary anyway. I am learning that everyone has frightening personal scenarios. Good wishes to you all. Thank you, Debbie. I thought of you early in this pandemic, knowing your sensitivity and humanity. I am finding rereading your old posts on wardrobe is a great escape. Be careful and hope.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Big thanks to your son for his hard work through this crisis, Gail. He and other medical workers are true heroes and deserve all of our thanks and praise. I hope he – and your whole family – will stay safe through all of this. Best wishes for your husband’s healing. Hopefully he will at least be able to reduce the prednisone soon. I’m glad you are finding my wardrobe posts to be a nice escape during this challenging time.

  13. Wendy says:

    It’s amazing how a sudden crisis can immediately snap your mind to prioritize what’s most important. It’s pretty bad here in Southern Europe and people are following the government’s instruction quite diligently for the most part. I did do one panic food shopping trip right before the lockdown here but haven’t since. I did not buy into the apocalyptic items like toiliet paper and canned goods. I’m so glad I didn’t, as the panic buy only lasted the first week of the lockdown. When I went grocery shopping a few days ago, the store was jammed pack full of products and people were far more leisurely in their movements. No one was whizzing around the store like a crazy person grabbing everything in sight. I bet all those people who bought 20 bags of dried beans now wished they had not.

    As for clothes shopping, I did indulge myself to two summer dresses a few days ago (waiting for them to arrive) both bought from independent boutiques that I worry might close for good in the foreseeable future. I can’t imagine the stress small businesses are enduring, as everyone is priortizing their spending and these family run clothing stores have zero business.

    Take good care of yourself!! It was very relieving to read your thoughts during this trying time.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I can imagine things are extremely challenging where you are, Wendy. It’s understandable that you would do a panic food buy and it’s great that the stores are well-stocked there now. I hope the two summer dresses you ordered will work out for you. I worry for the small businesses, too, as I doubt people are buying much now beyond necessities. I hope that many of them will be able to regroup and survive after this is all over (which I hope won’t be as long as some say). Stay safe! I’m glad you found my thoughts helpful. I will be back soon with more…

    2. Jayne says:

      Hi Debbie. Glad to hear you are safe and doing well. I too am very introverted. I have worked remotely for over 2 years here in New Zealand so not a big change for me. Except my 10 year old daughter is with me. She has been amazing. I have even baked for the first time in 15 plus years. The things I miss are my Tuesday morning walking group and coffee in town twice per week when I peoplewatch. Everything feels so surreal at the moment but I am following good advice to go easy on myself. I have looked at my large shoe collection and said what on earth did I buy all those for? !!! Praying helps and I pray that we all get through this and worry less about buying clothes and shoes. I was addicted to online shopping and initially found youtube hypnosis clips helped me but a ban on online shopping here is even more helpful. (we can buy essentials but not most clothes and shoes et c. )

      1. Debbie Roes says:

        Good to hear from you, Jayne, and I’m glad you’re doing okay. I know that New Zealand has done a great job in slowing the spread of the virus, and I hope it stays that way. How wonderful that you’re enjoying the time with your daughter and have been doing some baking. I know that a lot more people are baking, as there’s a flour shortage (even for the alternate types of flours that I use). I miss my times out and about, too, even though there weren’t a whole lot of them. I agree that everything feels surreal and that we should all go easy on ourselves. I think there will be a lot of shifts in how – and how much – people shop when this is all over. We can still do online shopping here, but it seems like people are doing a lot less of it, at least at the moment. The brands are all offering huge discounts, but I’m not sure how many people are actually buying (I’m not and I don’t know anyone who is, other than necessities of course). I hope that you will continue to stay safe and sane through all of this!

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