WE PAW Bloggers E-zine — Issue 26

WEEK THREE

Maximum 1000 words. The prompt was to share any writing about your feelings, your or your community’s situation, your and/or your family’s daily diary, etc. during this crisis; share any escapism or fantasy writes, poetry or prose inspired by this situation; put the dystopia you may be feeling into words; share written only submissions and/or spoken word readings under seven minutes in length (with text attached); up to 3 submissions.

All qualifying submissions to the group prompt on facebook are published in this special edition of our Curated Collection for the week of 06 April 2020.

Take care of yourselves and keep writing.

Relationships in the Year of the Virus

Most of us are in a stay-at-home mode of enforced social survival behavior. Through this global phenomenon we all have an opportunity to find out many things about ourselves, our relationships and our interconnectedness.

We, Phil and Maude, have heard numerous stories of one member of a couple turning on the other and expressing anger, frustration and even rage. Your partner is the person with whom you can share your feelings, more than with anyone else. But when you’re excessively afraid, your fears can be a heavy burden to lay on them.

This moment in time is a chance for each of us individually to make that most important of all life’s decisions: will I act and react from fear or from love? This choice is at the crux of all we do, and this moment offers us a unique and precious opportunity to realign with love.

Let’s first look at our immediate relationships, those we are ‘staying-at-home’ with, in many cases. Nerves can become frayed from being in a small space, or by one person’s constant need for attention or reassurance. This can be turned around, must be turned around, for the health and well-being of all concerned. We will only get through this together.

The escape from this is self-awareness. Be aware of your fears. Name them. This doesn’t include trying to fix them; just be open to them. That’s a big step to managing them. And notice that they don’t exist in the present; they lie in the future, so after looking at them, live in the present, not the future.

Secondly, when you express them, think about the effect on your partner. How are they supposed to respond? What do you want from them? Are you seeking comfort or solutions? Do you expect the same emotions reflected back? Be aware of the impact on them. That’s a big ask. Have compassion for them and tell them you don’t need anything in return.

This is a perfect time to practice acceptance, the kind of total acceptance of each other that by its very nature creates the space (not on a physical plane perhaps) that each of us needs. This is also a perfect time to learn more about ourselves, and by becoming more aware of our potential fear and even impatience, to find ways to redirect this energy and instead of putting out blame and guilt on others, become a center of love and acceptance.

As we are physically isolating, we are becoming more and more aware of how important we are to each other. We are finding new ways to connect and support each other. All praise the internet! Besides bad news, it brings games, movies, cat pictures and best of all, connections with our friends. People are calling in to check on elders and see if they are safe or in need of anything. Groups, friends and family are meeting online through social media, Skype, Zoom, etc. High school students are volunteering to supply food and medicine to elders. The list goes on and on.

The sense and the understanding that we are all in this together, along with a greater realization of how interconnected we are across the world, is dawning more and more on each of us. We are coming to see that when we act, we act not just for ourselves but for others. We take precautions not to get or spread the virus, and come to realize that staying safe means protecting others. If I get infected and go out, I am endangering you, just as if you go out without precautions you are endangering us all. Being safe includes being sure that others are safe!

In the midst of all this uncertainty, one thing stands out — how much we need and support each other. We are finally coming to realize and appreciate all those who perform the truly vital services that we all count on, now more than ever. We, Phil and Maude, are so grateful for the efforts of all the essential workers, not only doctors and nurses but the people who collect our garbage, pick our crops, deliver our mail and parcels, stock shelves, drop off food, run warehouses and more. They are our heroes and heroines.

So if the world seems turned upside down, just enjoy the new view and know that we are all freshly aware that we are all in this together. Instead of feeling fearful, we can experience love, we can learn and change, we can remember what is truly important and go forward together.

Authors, Phil and Maude Mayes, 2020

Byline: Phil and Maude Mayes

Maude and Phil Mayes live in Santa Barbara, California, having started in New York City and London, England respectively. They have been writing and speaking about spreading peace one relationship at a time for many years. They wrote the books Secrets of a Successful Relationship Revealedand How Two: Have a Successful Relationship, and write a weekly relationship newsletter, as well as a weekly blog available on this website. Phil and Maude are the producers of a number of relationship videos, as well as the series Kit and Kat Relationship Experts, all of which are to be found on their YouTube channel The Couples Project. They have been featured in a number of live interviews and write articles, both online and in print.

New Thoughts on Recycling

The spread of the coronavirus has forced us to change the way we live and the way we think about what’s economical or good for the environment.

Social distancing on the golf course: 4 players, 4 carts. Photo by Sharon Marchisello

I’ve always been in favor of “recycle, repurpose, reuse.” Try not to waste anything. Avoiding waste saves money; saving money is the first step to building wealth.

Only weeks ago, there was a movement to eliminate single-use plastic items: straws, water bottles, utensils. Bring your own bag to the grocery store. But now, in these times of extreme caution to avoid contamination, how smart is it to wash and refill a water bottle? Or to keep dragging around and handling that cloth grocery bag? I’d even think twice about picking up a gently-used paper napkin to wipe up a spill instead of cracking open a fresh roll of paper towels.

I’m the person who will return a stray shopping cart from the parking lot on my way into a store. In the past, my aim was to prevent said shopping cart from dinging someone’s vehicle. Yesterday, I did this at Costco and then realized with horror that I might have exposed myself to the coronavirus. There were no wipes at the entrance; the staff advised customers they’d already wiped down carts prior to giving them out. But because I had picked up my cart from the parking lot, I’d skipped the sanitation process. Luckily, my husband had some hand sanitizer in his pocket.

Being an avid reader, I love and support libraries. The other day, I mentioned to a friend that I had to rush to the library to pick up a book before municipal and county buildings went on lockdown for the rest of the month. “I wouldn’t touch a library book,” my friend said. “If I want to read a book, I buy it new from Amazon.” She wrinkled her nose, cringing at the thought of handling such filth.

Yes, library books have been touched by many other people. So have new items on the shelves of stores, unless they’re kept behind a glass case. Am I getting paranoid now?

Probably the filthiest item in our lives these days is cash. Think about how many hands have touched that bill or coin in your wallet right now. We’ve been progressing toward a cashless society for a while; will the coronavirus pandemic push us closer?

It’s a new reality, and it’s hard to balance saving money, saving the environment, and saving lives.

Byline: Sharon Marchisello

Diary of a Northlander: Only Time Will Tell

Image Source

The last time I was out of the house was Friday, March 7th.

Isolating at home for well over a month now.

For someone like me, a deafblind with social anxiety issues, this is not unusual especially for this time of the year.

However, in the past it’s been by choice that I’d refrained from nearly any social situations.

Now, it’s practically mandatory which has an entirely different feel to it.

Can’t say I’m liking it…but, I’m dealing.

My son’s managing with the new “normal.” All schooling and socializing now done virtually. He’s doing alright with it all only aspect that bugs him the most is not being able to see his girlfriend.

His first real girlfriend.

No prom this year. No Spring baseball. No college visits.

Nothing.

Not a good way to end his Junior year of high school, but that’s the new reality. Am hoping that his Senior year will be better.

Only time will tell.

The past few weeks has been a bit stressful.

Hubby had to travel out of state, all over huge chunks of the country, for nearly a week before returning home this past Monday night. I can’t share the reasons behind this trip for security purposes, but as a widow once, this was a horrible time for me.

It was the not knowing part. Wondering if he’ll return intact or infected.

Or worse.

Through those days, I’d purposely kept myself busy with cleaning, cooking, and more cleaning. Both which I vehemently hate doing. I tried to write but the words refused to come. My mind a blank.

Poetry’s my only way to deal with circumstances like these.

He’s been quarantining since Monday night. Nearly a week now.

So far, so good.

I pray his health continues to be good.

Only time will tell.

Byline: Carrie Adams Golden

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WE PAW Bloggers E-zine

WE PAW Bloggers E-zine

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An ezine for members of the FB group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/wepawblog, as well as being the place to curate featured writing prompt contributions.