Stay young!

Thursday, February 25

Ten tricks to stay positive

Now in February 2021 the world has been living with, fighting, learning about and worrying over Covid-19. I keep reading all the stories of students in emotional crisis failing at school, the large increase in depression and drug use. Many people  are feeling frustrated and hopeless as the months wear on, with no end or return to normal in sight. 


Because of my abusive first marriage and cancer experiences I’ve learned what helps me to fight off depression. During my cancer treatment I was on antidepressants for several months and saw a counselor for many years. Now I can recognize the signs and symptoms in myself that depression is starting to creep in and I have a bag of tricks I use to stay out of the mood ditch. Here are ten of my favorite go-to tools:
  1. Walk away from whatever it is that’s triggering you. Get your shoes on ( I LOVE my Skechers Go Walk shoes) and take a thirty or more minute brisk walk. Breathe deeply and pump your arms as you take long strides. If you go fast enough the boogie man won’t catch you. Walking outside in nature works best for me but you can go walk through Costco or a mall too! I usually go walk outside with my little ShihTzu puppy, Bitzi, with my disco fever playlist playing through my adorable little EWA Bluetooth speaker. It has great sounds and the quick tempo disco tunes keep me going and raise my spirits. 
  2. Water helps wash away my anxiety. I feel like it cleanses my soul. I like water aerobics or swimming or just floating. I also love a nice hot rejuvenating bath. ( Give yourself a fabulous spa treatment!) Water really works for me and it probably will help you as well.
  3. It helps me a lot to read ( often out loud to myself) Buddha quotes and other positive affirmations. Sometimes I print them out and stick them up to continually remind me of good thoughts that will heighten my spirits.
  4. Plan something special to do. Go visit a friend or a relative. Cook a special recipe. Write long letters. Plan to give yourself a pedicure or new hair style. Shake things up and dust off your sedentary glumness. Make plans for something different!
  5. Talk it out. Call up your oldest, best, truest heart-to- heart friend and just spill your guts. Catch up on what’s going on, vent, cry, laugh and just rebound with an old friend. It’s very restorative after all these months of trying to quarantine. Just DO IT. You’ll be so glad you did. 
  6. When I’m feeling blue being around animals really helps me feel better. Walking a dog, playing with a cat, brushing a horse, holding a chicken - any of those will work.
  7. One of my favorite things to do is take a nice long drive by myself and sing some of my favorite songs. It feels very relaxing and therapeutic. A lot of the old songs bring back so many wonderful memories. 
  8. Make a list of all the good blessings in your life. Carry it with you and take it out and read it often.
  9. Make a list of the things you will accomplish today, tomorrow, next week, next month. Check them off when they’re completed. 
  10. Each  day I look up at the sky and thank the great creator for my  life.I’m still here and alive after all these years and a few near-death experiences. . Usually I do my thanking floating on my back in the pool but you can do it anywhere. This one really helps uplift my spirit! 
  11. Okay I said I’d give you ten but I also thought of something that’s very important to me. If I’m mindful of what I eat and drink I feel better. I honestly am a stress eater and tend to binge on carbs & junk food when I’m feeling sad but that only makes me feel worse ultimately. It raises your blood sugar and can cause you to bloat, feel guilty and maybe even worse. Try to think of food as fuel and not comfort or a sedative. Eat healthy and you’ll feel better. Get some good nutritious food in you.
Despite these coping tools I have I still having be on guard and try to keep my protective bubble. The last several months there has been a lot of drama going on in my family. Adding that in with the election, the insurrection, the quarantine and rising Covid-19 numbers and all the dreadful news it has been hard staying on the rails. You just have to try to get up every day and find whatever good you can. 

Tuesday, February 23

Start each day as a new beginning




I have put my shield up to protect me from all the negativity and drama. I’m holding my blessings up to radiate and infiltrate others who are lacking. I feel strong, happy and alive.

I went for my pool exercise at 6:30 and then took Bitzi for a walk. I’m going to go to the store in a bit.

12:55 The snow mounds are melting and it’s very sunny outside. My kids are still arguing. There’s just a lot of bitterness, jealousy, betrayal, heartache between the four now. If their father had made the will out differently most of this could have been avoided. It’s a mess and I’m not legally involved but I am emotionally wound up in this, trying not to take sides.

I’ve had Bitzi outside for several walks 

Monday, February 22

Monday 4:56 am

It’s very early morning. I woke up due to Mike snoring and couldn’t get back to sleep. There are so many things to think and worry about. I just read that we’ve reached 500,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US ( Reuters)and Dr. Fauci said the pandemic may continue into 2022(People). Pretty depressing news. No wonder there are so many people with anxiety and depression. This is day two of me trying to snap out of it and get back on track with my eating and exercise. Due to what’s going on with the kids and the funeral Friday I’ll need to keep myself on a short leash emotionally and focus on positives. It may sound weird but that’s my plan. I’m going to the pool this morning early, have shopping to do and will take several walks. Mike is swamped with work and busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest so I can’t depend on him for comfort or to vent to. He’s not very warm and fuzzy like that anyway. He always insists I quit being a wuss. He’s right, of course. 

I’m drinking my coffee, trying to wake up. I’m only eating between noon and 6pm and then limited carbs. My gut feels better on this system. I have more energy and focus. I started getting off track in January a little here and there but then it snowballed and I was eating bullshit again so now am getting back on my better habits. Food is medicine to fuel and heal your body. I am lucky to still be alive. I have to take care of my body the best I can. I cannot let my emotions sabotage my health. I have a crazy amount of sub jobs available to me. Most of the area schools are back to in-person or hybrid learning. There were twenty-four available jobs for today. I’m not accepting any in person sub jobs until two weeks after I’ve had the second vaccine. March 9 would be the earliest date I could have it but I haven’t gotten an email yet to schedule it. Mike got his five days after me and they already set his second vaccine appointment. He got his here at Sun City and got the Pfizer. It got the Moderna through my school district, so still waiting to schedule my second dose. 

Besides the stage four colon cancer, my ex husband also had a couple serious blood clots the doctors were concerned about. One by his heart and one in his leg. Supposedly he’d been doing better with his chemo treatments, gained a bit of weight back, more energy and doing better. The night before he died he fell on the ice when he got home from the sale barn and told his mother and our son he was just tired and wanted to go to bed. The next morning he got up and got dressed to go to the sale barn and just fell over on his bed and died. My son found him a couple hours after he died. I bet one of those clots got him. My kids are all now dealing with all this stuff. He had cattle in Missouri and Nebraska and locally. What a huge mess. You just never know. Life is short and you should never assume you have another day. I need to be as loving, giving, joyful and grateful as I can be every single day for the rest of my life.





















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7:37




Thursday, February 18

It’s over

Thursday morning

My daughter Sarah just called me sobbing. Her dad died in his bed during the night. My son Alex found him this morning. They all have been fighting like cats and dogs the last few weeks. Supposedly Gary, my ex, had been improving and doing well with his chemo for colon cancer. I’m stunned and don’t know how to feel or what to say. I feel bad for my kids. That’s all. There are a lot of memories and emotions swirling around inside me. I’m sad for my kids and grandkids.

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I had to do a Zoom training meeting for subs at one of the districts I’m with. It was mildly informative.
I want to be with my kids and hug them. I’m crying but I don’t really know why. 

Wednesday, February 17

Mittwoch

It’s a blah day today but at least it’s not as cold and the snow is melting. I’ve taken the dog for two walks. She was thrilled that it wasn’t horribly cold out.

I went to the grocery store and got a couple bags of food. I made a Bundt cake. We have two kinds of soup, salad and rice and sausage in the fridge so I’m not cooking dinner. I’m tired and my nose has been running. I took. Benadryl a while ago and turned up the heat. I watched both Grumpy Old Men movies today. I played with Bitzi on the floor and wrestled with her and played throw stuff for her to fetch. She’s so cute and feisty and funny. I laughed big belly laughs until my eyes water from her every day. 
Tomorrow I have a 6:30 am pool appointment and some Zoom sub training for D300 from 12-4. I’m not considering subbing until the end of March.






















Tuesday, February 16

Snow and more snow

We got another 4-6” of snow last night on top of the piles that were already out there. In our small yard some of the drifts are more than 18” high. I went out with Mike and helped clear the driveway and walks. Thankfully I have my super warm long quilted coat and tall fur-lined boots for times like this. It’s actually not as wickedly cold out today as it has been recently so at least that’s good. I don’t think I’m going out anywhere today. After Mike gets done with work tonight we’ll drive the one mile to Beef Shack for their $1.00 hot dogs Tuesday special. They’re pretty good fully-loaded Chicago style dogs. 























Monday, February 15

Fighting off gloom and depression

This is a typical shitty cold overcast bucket of suck February day. I was up in the night coughing because my sinuses were draining despite my foam wedge pillow. I got up and took a Benadryl, used Flonase and read on my iPad for a while. I canceled my 6:30am pool appointment and turned off my 5:15 rooster crow alarm. I slept until 7:30 and now feeling okay. I took Bitzi for a short walk but it’s too bitterly cold outside for her. I rescheduled my pool time for 12:15. Mike is in election hell now and preparing to do all his Zoom candidate interviews. He has to record them all they’ll be published on the newspaper website. He is not happy. 

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4:56

I had my pool time, drove to Discount Tires in Carpentersville and got air in my tires, drove to Algonquin Kohl’s to return two Amazon items and came home. Damn it’s cold! I made some chicken noodle soup and that’s about it. 

Ten tricks to stay positive

Now in February 2021 the world has been living with, fighting, learning about and worrying over Covid-19. I keep reading all the stories of ...