I think poets naturally show a gratitude for life. We appreciate solitude for writing, and yet, perhaps when there is too much of it, like during the pandemic lockdown, it gets a little much for us all. Before the pandemic, I would make it a point to get out of my office twice a day to do errands, just to break up the long day. Now, errands aren’t something I am doing.
I learned when I was in my thirties, when I was facing a major, unexpected crisis, to be grateful for what I had, though it didn’t seem like I had much left at the time. I learned to practice affirmations, and to this day being grateful and affirmations are a way of life.
During the pandemic, I am eating a lot of canned food, something I didn’t do much of before. I’ve never been creative in the kitchen, in fact, I always do bad things in the kitchen. In my lifetime, I’ve only really mastered baking chicken and making rice krispie cakes with cereal and marshmallows. Mamma wouldn’t let me in the kitchen when I was growing up, because it was her sacred place, so I didn’t grow up with an appreciation for making my own food. I have relied a lot on eating out, particularly in my twilight years. Now, my eating-out routine has been “tabled,” no pun intended.
But rather than think, “Gee, this isn’t great food,” I am grateful to have food, as I think of those who don’t have anything. Rather than focus on negative thoughts, it’s always good to replace the latter with positive ones for your mood, especially during sequestration.
At the very least, I hope people aren’t spending time at home drinking alcohol and eating obsessively, as this isn’t helpful for one’s well-being, especially now.
I try to sleep a little longer, so my mind is sharper, and I can strategize for future times when my work in meeting with people and doing writer’s events will be restored. Without things to plan for and look forward to, life doesn’t offer much. No matter what our predicament, we need to have hope and plan. Make a list for the short-term, like three months out, and of course, for the long tern, like a bucket list.
I look forward to enjoyable things, such as sitting out in the sun. Yesterday, it snowed here in the Midwest, and it was very gray. I look forward to May weather when things will be in bloom, as now the trees are still bare. It’s still a little cold for me to enjoy walking, but I keep the window open for fresh air and I hear robins in the morning. Hearing birds chitchat, reminds me that it’s life as usual for creatures, a soothing thought.
I also practice deep breathing with the window open. This helps my thought processes. I like to daydream about simple times and simpler living. At night, I watch light-hearted television, re-runs from the 1960s. I enjoy watching Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show. If only living simply and having community connections were still the same in the 21st century, as they were then. But maybe we can strive for that in some ways by connecting with those in our own neighborhoods. In the U.S., there is “NextDoor” online that allows us to connect for free with those in our immediate areas and share valuable ideas and resources– a good method of connecting.
And, since we are writers, we can still create and get published. I’ve never been one for journaling much, though some of my friends do it. With journaling, you can’t often share what you write and get it published, as with other types of writing. That’s why I prefer writing poetry and short stories. So much of writing for me, at least, has to do with sharing and networking to get input on how others perceive what I write. Hearing other people’s comments, gives me ideas for future work.
As far as my own creative work, I look forward to getting more poems published in the coming months. If some of your work isn’t getting published, persist in submitting it to more places or revise it. And, you can even email what you write to friends and family as a way of maintaining communication lines.
Writing is healing, and I thank the people who’ve already read my new poetry/reference book, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, and written to me about how the book personally speaks to them. As a reference book, it also provides exhaustive ideas on how writers can network with others to share the written word and to promote writing as a healing exercise.
Always connect with your fellow writers, and let them know how their written piece or book has affected you.Writers shouldn’t hide in the shadows. They need to share their work to keep up their momentum, motivation, and goal planning.
And, thank you to all who regularly comment on these blog posts featuring writers from about 50 countries. It’s wonderful to connect with writers of different cultures, thousands of miles away, and know that your writing is impacting their lives in some way. That’s why we write.
Copyright 2020 by Charlotte Digregorio.