Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“Sometimes it is better to lose something than to never have had it at all”Random Paper Wisdom

Dear Life Corona Virus,

What IS your problem, exactly? What have I, or any other living creature, ever done to you to be treated this way?

I know it’s not your doing that caused a dear client of mine to die. No, that was cancer (and I’ve tried pleading with cancer many times, but always in vain). I was grateful I got to say goodbye to her in person, albeit illegally regarding the strict rules you‘ve forced our country to employ, but hearing of her inevitable passing actually happening still made me sad.

I know it’s not your doing either, COVID-19, that forced me to say goodbye to my dear pet Darwin, for that was a seizure. But it was painful all the more so since I wasn’t even allowed to hold him when the vet ended his suffering. Because of you.

And I know it’s also not your doing that caused my aunt to die, either. That was cancer striking again with its ever so terrible timing.

I know none of these happenings are your fault, Corona Virus, but you do make it worse. Because funerals and cremations are now a big no-go, as you might spread swiftly among the mourning people, causing more damage than their grief alone ever could.

You force invisible barriers between us and make it more painful to deal with Life’s already unfavourable events. You layer the hurt with more hurt.

What we have done to deserve you, I will never know. But I do know that you will not get me down! Because all the people I’ve lost this week, all the souls I’ll have to miss from now on, live on in my heart ❤

And there’s no place for you there, COVID-19! Instead of the fear you’ve unleashed upon this world, my heart is filled with hope, gratitude and love.

Forever ❤

 

 

For J., Darwin and G. ❤ ❤ ❤
Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – About Coughing In Elbows And Being On National Lock-Down

“If courage is contagious, ignorance is pandemic”Unknown

So this is what the apocalypse looks like: empty streets, empty shelves, empty conversations. All I hear is corona this and corona that, increasing people’s fears for this invisible fiend or the contrary – my mother, for instance, is convinced it’s all a storm in a teacup.

Last Saturday I went jogging and I found myself either alone in an otherwise busy place or with people avoiding one another. One man walking his dog even crossed the street the moment he saw me heading towards him. Are we collectively losing our minds or are we being careful?

Or both?

My country is on lock-down, as most other nations are, too. This is day 3 of the National Quarantine.

These are the rules:

  • Stay at home if you show signs of a cold or the flu
  • Do not go somewhere unless you really need to
  • Work from home if possible
  • Businesses and schools are closed
  • Don’t meet up with friends or go on outings
  • All events with more than 100 people are cancelled or forbidden
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow (just don’t forget not to cross your arms afterwards)
  • Wash your hands after pretty much everything you do and do so for at least 20 seconds
  • Don’t hamster food (which is the Dutch verb for hoarding, but I like the sound of it so there you go! You just learned some Dutch!)
  • Don’t visit people who are more at risk, such as elderly people or people already sick

My Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday clients cancelled due to colds or fevers. This morning, I started coughing and had a sneeze-session of 6 in a row (a new record), so I cancelled my Thursday and Friday clients as well. I don’t think I have corona, but I don’t want to risk getting anyone sick if I have. Considering most of my clients are 70 or above… I pass.

I am scared, yet fascinated. As my cousin said it: “This, by far, is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life.” I feel like we’re all in this together, but at the same time handling it differently. This virus is connecting everyone in the World, as we’re all dealing with the same “enemy”, yet it divides us because we’re scared to catch it off one another.

I just feel like posing a few questions here to raise awareness, keep each other hopeful and maybe even laugh a little.

So:

  • What is your country’s take on COVID-19?
  • What’s been happening where you live?
  • How do you deal with it?
  • How does corona affect your life and the lives of those around you?
  • How do you think all of this will turn out?

Anything you want to get off your chest corona-wise? Let me know in the comments ↓↓↓ Let’s discuss this. It’s not like we’ve got anything better to do, what with all the lock-downs and all… 😉

Please stay healthy and positive, everyone ❤ ❤

Goals

GOAL POST (3) – 3 Tips To Make It Through Step 1 (Choose Yourself)

  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goal 1 – Feel Better


Step 1 – Choose Yourself (continued)

It’s al very nice and all, figuring out the first step to feeling better is to choose yourself, but how exactly do you do that? What if you didn’t have some sort of epiphany like me? Then where do you start?

You start by realising this: if you do not take good care of yourself, it is impossible to take care of others. Therefore, you owe it not only to yourself, but to everyone around you that you love, to take good care of yourself.

I’m sure almost everyone has heard the safety talk on a plane in which you’re told to, in case pressure in the cabin drops, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping your children (or others sitting next to you) with theirs. Why? Because if you pass out, you’ll not be able to help others. Result: more possible casualties. It’s logic 101.

I tell you this, because I know from own experiences, as well as stories of coachees, people find it difficult to put themselves first, fearing it will make them selfish. Being self-centred, however, takes years of practice. One logical decision will not magically transform you into an egoist, trust me.

Now that we’ve got that settled, here’s 3 tips to choose yourself:

1. Acknowledge You Are Not Feeling Okay
It’s such a cliché, but true: you cannot fix a problem if you deny it’s there. Sticking your head in the sand will surely work for a while, but the longer you wait facing reality, the harder it’s going to slap you in the face when you pull your head up for a breather.
One trick I picked up is to avoid the verb to accept. You don’t have to accept you’re feeling down. You don’t have to feel like you should be okay with it. But at the very least you should acknowledge it. You are not feeling like this for no reason: your body and mind are trying to tell you something. So sit down and listen.


“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”Buddha


2. Get Your Priorities Straight – Set Boundaries That Work For You
Now that you’ve acknowledged you’re not exactly as happy or as healthy as you’d like to be, it’s time to set some boundaries – for your own sake! You are now your own number 1 priority. That’s right. When making decisions, ask yourself: is this going to help me feel better? If the answer is no, reconsider.
Someone needs your help? Great! Only… If you don’t feel up to it, for whatever reason, don’t. If you’ve got 100% energy to spend on a daily basis, quit giving 80% away to others. You need it yourself! If the people asking for your help care about you, too, they’ll understand. Which brings me to tip 3:

3. Talk About It – Be Open And Stay True To Yourself
People cannot read your mind or smell what’s going on with you. If you want a little understanding, you’ve got to at least give them a little explanation.
When I opened up about not feeling well, some people got angry with me, others got upset and some were downright surprised. But at least now they all know why sometimes I am not going out with them or would rather hang out closer to my home than theirs.
You don’t have to be dramatic about it, but at least let people know, in general, what’s going on. It will make tip 2 a whole lot easier, too!
Talking also releases some of the burden you’ve been dragging along with you. Feeling miserable is bad enough, don’t add loneliness to the mix.

I hope these tips are useless for you, for that’d mean you’re doing fine already. If you do have a hard time putting yourself first, just imagine you’re in an airplane with oxygen masks dangling in front of you. Nobody would hold it against you if you helped yourself first in that scenario, so why should they do it now?

And even if they would, their opinion is not your priority. Your priority is yourself, so you can feel better and help others better, too.

Whatever it is that you do: be kind to yourself. You deserve it. Buddha said so, so it must be true 😉

Are these tips helpful to you? Do you have more tips that have helped you and might work wonders for someone else? Let me know ↓↓↓

Goals

GOAL POST (2) – Step 1: Choose Yourself

  • Currently working on: Goal 1 – Feel Better

First, a quick recap of last week:

1. My father is doing much better – thank goodness! He’s got all sorts of tests planned and meetings with a new doctor, which gives me and my mother some relief and hope.

2. I am doing slightly better. My blood pressure went up, albeit a little. I’ve been boosting my iron by paying extra attention to my food and snack consumption and that seems to work. I feel better than I did a week ago as well.

3. This pains me to say but… Waldo didn’t make it 😦 He was too weak to try more medication, which was likely to not have helped him anyway, and he was only getting worse. So last Friday, together with the vet, I decided to let him go.


Step 1 – Choose Yourself

It’s funny how seemingly small things sometimes harbour the most important life lessons.

As I started my 2020 Goals, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could come up with a list of things to do or steps to take to get better. You know, much like climbing a ladder.

I would use my own path to figure the steps out and then share them with anyone who might need them, too. But as I decided this was a fun adventure (and a great way to find a positive note in my current low state) a problem arose: where to start?

If you want to climb a ladder, you have to be careful where to plant your feet as every step counts. As for trying to get better, it’s no use starting halfway. You need to start right at the bottom and work your way up, one step at a time. You need to be patient, sometimes maybe even lower yourself down a sport, but never skip a step.

That, I knew. Begin at the beginning.


“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water”Rabindranath Tagore


But what is the first step to take then?

The seemingly small thing that happened last week was a simple text message I received. It was short. It was curt. It was rude. It was even a little disrespectful in my opinion, if not completely disdainful.

What happened then was new to me: nothing. I didn’t bite back. I didn’t up my defences. I didn’t even feel attacked! Nothing. The message might as well have never been sent, because I literally couldn’t care less about it.

That night, as I was in bed, falling asleep, I realised that in the past, a silly thing such as this message would have kept me up for nights on end. So what had changed? Had I suddenly stopped caring?

No. What changed is what I choose to care about. And somewhere in the past four months, I chose myself.

I want to get better. And for that, I need myself. My own full attention. My own devotion. Knowing I’ll have my own back.

Right before I dozed off and had the best night of sleep in months, I knew. The first step is always to choose yourself. Before you can climb that ladder, you have to know what you’re climbing it for. And if you’re not doing it for you, there’s no use in trying.

What steps are you taking to become a healthier, happier person? Let me know in the comments and let’s help each other get on the way 🙂

Goals

GOAL POST (1) – Don’t You Just Love A Good Pun

  • Currently working on: Goal 1 – Feel Better

Goal post… Get it? I thought it was funny. Funniest thing that happened this week anyway.

Seems like every day something stressful happened and I am not sure this worked well on my goal to feel better. On the other hand: it did put some things in perspective.

  • Sunday – My stamina escaped to lordknowswhere (I reckon it’s taking a break from all the hard work it’s been put through this month), leaving me exhausted. Spent most of the day asleep on the sofa and watching TV, hoping Monday would be better…
  • Monday – Just as the F, the L and the U made their entrance into my train of thoughts (“Now THAT would make sense!”) I got home to find my father sick. Sick as in “his-friends-from-his-wood-chopping-class-called-the-paramedics-because-they-thought-he-had-a-heart-attack” sick. He didn’t have a heart attack, don’t worry. His organ of balance got, well, out of balance.
    I am 33 years old. In all those years, I have never seen my father ill! NEVER! So at this point, my stress levels picked up pace while ascending to their peak.
  • Tuesday -Nothing too exciting happened. My dad did a little better and I remained exhausted.

“Be brave enough to heal yourself, even when it hurts”Bianca Sparacino

  • Wednesday – When visiting an old client of mine I was negatively impressed by her state of health. Pneumonia, a severely bruised hip and loss of speech… All things she had been checked for (and is constantly being checked for), but it got to me.
    That evening, weeks after my last one, I got another one of my infamous attacks. Just as I started thinking I’d passed that stage, it came back… But it was different, somehow. No stomach lock-down and it didn’t last as long as its predecessors did. I am starting to think maybe the stress is a bigger incentive for these attacks than I care to admit.
  • Thursday – My pet gerbil Waldo has an inner ear infection for which he is being treated. But because I cant explain this to him, he keeps scratching his right ear in an attempt to make the itching and hurting stop on his own. All this scratching made him look like he escaped a gerbil horror movie, as right now it looks like half his face is gone! I found him, all bloodied up, in his cage and my stress meters immediately went berserk! I’ve now taped his hind leg so he can’t scratch (he still tries it!) and have added painkillers, cleaning sessions and honey creme to his list of medicine. How I am going to fix this, I am not sure… Worry Fest 2020 was now in full swing.
  • Friday – Today I learned my blood pressure is low. Which is kind of funny, because with all the stress you’d think it was so high you could climb it to pluck a few stars from the sky. But no, it’s low. It explains the exhaustion and the headaches and maybe even the attack, so for a strange reason I am happy about this.

I have set upon doing breathing exercises (at least) twice a day to help let go. I drink more in general, and licorice tea (yuck) in particular, and eat more salted snacks to up my blood pressure. When I feel worried, I visualise a beautiful colour or happy thought into the worries, to make them more bearable. I keep feeding my father tea and check up on Waldo every chance I get, knowing that even if he doesn’t like what I do to him, it will help him more than if I’d do nothing.

And I’ve stopped telling myself I don’t do enough to feel better.

Because I do ❤

How have you all been doing on your goals? Let me know in the comments! 🙂