What are we so afraid of?

What is with all the fear?

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There is a lot of be afraid of.

As we all know, there this virus going around.  And that virus has the potential to kill you.

And it seems like every day the news changing it’s story about the virus.  And as each day passes, the headlines become scarier.  And the messages are mixed.  Can anyone keep any of it straight anymore?

We fear for our health and we fear for our livelihoods.

And now it looks like 2020 is going to be the worst hurricane season ever.

And just when things couldn’t get any worse, we now have “Murder Hornets”.

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No wonder why we are scared.  Hurricanes are scary.  Any kind of flying insect with a stinger is scary, even those without the word “murder” in their name.

But have we stopped and asked us why we are so scared.

My daughter is scared of bugs.  It doesn’t matter what kind of bug.  She’s even afraid of ants.

I am not going to lie.  I don’t love bugs.  They make me uncomfortable.  But I deal with them.

My daughter is also afraid of various Disney villains and she is afraid of the dark.

I fear oompa loompas.  They make me extremely uncomfortable and totally give me the heebie jeebies.   Bryon enjoyed scaring me with that one.  One time when I was in the bathroom, he took my phone and changed my wallpaper to a picture of an oompa loompa.  So poor, unsuspecting me picked up my phone and saw that. I screamed.  I then put a lock on my screen.

There is a lot of things in this world to be afraid of.  And quarantine and the news and all the certainty is exacerbating our fears.

To be clear- I am not telling you to not to be concerned about the virus.  Your level of concern is up to you to assess and decide what your level of fear is.  Especially since I can’t write a post that is perfectly tailored to be perfectly applicable to everyone.  If you live in a place that is a COVID-19 hotspot, then you are going to be more fearful of catching it than someone who is not in a COVID-19 hotspot.

As the writer of this blog post, I have to trust you, the reader, to make your own decision about your feelings.  And that is how it should be.  As the reader, you need to take from this blog post what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t resonate.  Partially resonating is cool too.

One thing I do not talk about on this blog much is the fact that I am more into New Age thinking.  I don’t talk about it because I fear what people may think of me.  It’s not what Catholics do.  But I have issues with Catholicism and all organized religion at the moment.  But I will be clear, while I may roll my eyes at some of the hypocrisy I see, I am not an Atheist.  But this is all for another post at another time.

So try to follow me.  I am more New Agey now.  I do believe we are all energy.  The cool thing is that since we are all energy, we never truly die, which I know because I feel Bryon’s energy at time.  I keep my beliefs to myself because I am fearful of what people will think of them. Which is stupid.

Most of us have probably felt or been recipients to positive energy and negative energy.

The emotions we feel have energy.

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The energy we have affects ourselves and those around us.  Our energy can also be affected by those around us.  Raising your energy is your responsibility but it will help out those around you as well.

At the very least, people won’t be saying you are a bitch when you leave the room.

I kid.  I am sure if you are great and those people were blaming you and resorting to name calling.  I got your back.

If you notice on the bottom, there are contracted energy.  Emotions like Shame, Guilt, Apathy, Grief and Fear are all contracted energy.  We are not living to our fullest potential when we are in those emotions.

Let’s quickly go up the scale.

Shame.  The lowest energy.

I did a lot of soul searching after Bryon died.  I stumbled on this Ted Talk with Brene Brown and it changed my life.

 

Watch it.  It may change your life.

I then wanted to read every book Brene Brown wrote.  I started with The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  The link is an Amazon Affiliate link.  I read alot and I have always been afraid to make money with book recommendations.  It’s silly.  Why should I be afraid of that?

I have since read everything that Brene Brown has written.  I have watched her special on Netflix.  I hope I can see her talk in person.

But after I watched that initial Ted Talk, I felt free to feel vulnerable. The biggest piece I got was that you can’t be vulnerable without courage.

I have felt shame in life.  I have never felt good enough.  I was never smart enough, pretty enough, or thin enough.  Shame caused me to build walls and Brene has helped me tear some down.  I am still working on others though.

Guilt and apathy are definitely emotions I have dealt with.  Survivors guilt is real.

Grief…more than half this blog is about grief.  I don’t think I need to prove it’s real.

Then we get to fear.

While one can cause a person to feel shame or guilt, I feel like fear is easily manipulated by other people.  People can incite fear in you.

Heck, some of your fears may not actually be your fears.  You may have learned those fears.

Another question to ask is if someone wants you to be fearful, especially if they gain from you being fearful.  Maybe you have a friend who tears you down to lower your self confidence and that makes you fearful to take chances in your life.  Your friend may want to keep you down because they are afraid you will make other friends or that you may outshine them.  I don’t know.  Really, if your friend does that, you probably need a new friend.

It’s okay to feel fear from time to time but is fear taking over your life?

So if you feel like you are playing into the feeling of fear, it might be a good idea (just a suggestion) to try to understand why you are afraid and see if it’s something that can be addressed and rectified.   Especially, because fear is keeping you from being the best version of you.  We all deserve to at our best.

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Social Distancing Maine Coast-Style

I am currently writing a post but I need another day to work on it.  I don’t want to rush it and have it suck.

I also meant to write a Weekly Gratitude post but didn’t get around to it.  Work and home school is exhausting.  But I decided to do a gratitude post of sorts.

I am grateful to have been able to be socially distant in one of the prettiest places on Earth.  And due to the rural nature, we have been able to still go to beaches and to go hiking in the woods.  We are very lucky.  I thought I would share some pictures.

 

Quarantine Ponderings: Overloaded

I am one of those people whose mind is always going.

I can’t just sit still and do nothing.  I hardly watch TV.  My DVR is overrun with episodes of Blue Bloods, This is Us and Better Call Saul though I pretty much only have the brain capacity to binge watch old favorites.

I have lots of thoughts.  I haven’t been writing about it.  I have spent most of 2019 away from my blog because I needed space at that time.

I brought back my weekly gratitude posts for awhile.  I need to bring those back.  Gratitude is a good habit to have.

Then 2020 happened.

I think we have all had time to sit in our thoughts.  I don’t think that is a bad thing.  I think more people need to spend time thinking.  I have had many people in my life that tell me that I need to stop thinking so much and that I need to get out of my thoughts.

I disagree.

Perhaps people need to think more.

So here, in 2020, during a time of Quarantine, we are experiencing something new.  Some thing no one alive has ever experienced.  Well unless you are over 100 years old and even if you were alive during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, you probably don’t remember it.

With this new experience, we have probably been thinking about things we may have never thought about before.  And we are surrounded by other people who may be thinking about things they have never thought about before.

And then people may post on social media and the collective energy may feel like the outlet that Clark Griswold plugged his Christmas lights into.

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You may be feeling overloaded.

Clark Griswold’s electrical outlet is your brain on quarantine.

I am probably dating myself majorly here but I was an 80’s child and my overstimulated brain thought of this 80’s commercial.

 

This is your brain.  This is your brain during the 2020 Pandemic.  Any questions?

Anyone else shocked that a commercial towards kids lasted a whole 30 seconds in the 1980s?  15 second Insta-stories are the new 30 second commercial.

I am also amazed that the guy cracked the egg with one hand.  Of course, the video quality if poor and for all we know, there could be egg shells in that fried egg.  *insert shrug emoji*

Maybe the egg is another analogy of how our quarantine brain feels…with or without drugs.  (Not judging nor condoning.  Use responsibly.  And kids….your brains are still forming.  It’s your best asset.  Don’t eff it up.)

So I have these thoughts but I don’t take the time to write out blog posts about them.  My style of writing is usually spending 2-4 days drafting a post, usually handwritten in my blogging journal first.  Then I spent a couple hours transcribing it into blog form.

Yeah…between homeschooling my kid and working 40 hours a week, I don’t have time to write in my normal style.

But it became clear to me that I must write because I need to get these thoughts out and to clear my head.

So I am changing how I draft blog posts.  I am doing something new and out of my comfort zone.  You are going to get my ponderings in a more raw form.   And I am going to blog about that I need to say and maybe it will reasonate with you.  Feel free to share with me what you are thinking, even if it has nothing to do with what I wrote about.  I love hearing from people.

I hope you have a great week.

How quickly things can change

March 12.

That was a Thursday.  At that point there were no cases of COVID-19 in Maine.  We were the last state in New England standing.  If I remember correctly, there were cases in 30 states.  I was excited for Saturday as my town was having a Bean and Potluck Supper to celebrate Maine’s 200th birthday.  I had volunteered to make a cake and I was going to decorate with a blueberry theme as I had Maine blueberries in my freezer.  My daughter’s class was going to helping out at the supper.

I had been following the virus for the previous 6 weeks.  What can I say?  I’m a nerd who loves maps and I work in healthcare.

I had been slowly stocking up on food over the past couple weeks. No panic buying.  Just picking up a little extra on things my 5 year old would be pissed if we ran out of, so things like Dino-Nuggests and Cheez-Its with the Frozen characters on them.  The important things.  No TP Hoarding here.

I had an almost empty chest freezer that I was slowly filling.

I also did my Easter Bunny shopping early.  I figured there would be two outcomes.  If Easter products were hard to find, then the Easter Bunny would still come through.   If there was no shortage of Easter Products, I would still be happy to have that shopping done.  The latter was the outcome.

A little voice told me that morning to go to Wal-Mart and do another grocery trip.  Just one last trip.  So I went.  Got on extra box of Frozen Cheez Its and Two extra bags of Dino Nuggets.  And my intuition told me to buy an extra bag of flour.  I had no idea flour would become hard to find in the coming weeks.

I came home and put the Dino-Nuggets in the freezer.  Then I went to work.  (I work from home.)

That afternoon it was announced that Maine had it’s first case.

It was only a matter of time.

As expected, the first case was in Southern Maine which might as well still be in another state when you are from my part of Maine.  (I kid.  Well, I kid but there is some truth to that.)

Then a bunch of activities and events planned were postponed and cancelled, including the bean supper.

I picked my daughter up from school because there were T-ball sign ups.  Of course that season has been postponed.

I took my daughter to the beach that evening while everyone went to the supermarkets and bought all the hamburger and toilet paper.

 

We found a piece of sea glass.  This has become a new hobby.  Maybe I will write a post about our sea glass adventures.  (And it’s okay if you look at this piece of sea glass and think it looks like…something.  Or maybe I just have a dirty mind.)

You can also follow our adventures on Instagram at @kerryannmckim #shamelessplug

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The next morning I dropped my daughter off at school and things were different.  Instead of all the kids congregated together, the children went straight to their classrooms.  No panic.  It was sold to the kids “we’re doing something different today.”

It was announced that the teachers would be coming up with plans should school be cancelled.

Saturday morning my daughter sold cookies with her Girl Scout Troop.  People needed to get cookies before quarantine.

That weekend I went out for one of my best friends birthdays.  We were still cautious.  We had hand sanitizer.  Plus, alcohol kills germs…right?

Not going to lie.  Even with modern technology, I miss my friends.  I did drop off ice cream to them the following week but I miss seeing them.  One of my friends has a birthday in May and we were joking that we wouldn’t get to see each other until her birthday.

Now I don’t think that is going to happen.

That night we got notified that there would be no school for two weeks.  Which would later turn into 6 weeks and then turn into the rest of the school year.

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Sunday morning was my daughters dance class and then we stopped in at her troops last cookie booth so we could pick up and deliver some cookies we sold last minute.

And that was the last of life before the quarantine.

I’m trying not to complain.  While homeschooling my kid and denying my social nature is not easy…this still doesn’t compare to those 5 months that Bryon was hooked up to a ventilator.  But uncertainty is still never easy.  The only difference is that when Bryon was sick, it was only our world that was unstable….everything was going on as scheduled around us.  Right now, it is uncertain for everyone around us.

So while I can draw a lot of parallels between that crisis and this crisis, there are very big differences.

But remember….nothing ever lasts forever.

And everybody wants to rule the world.  But that is another whole issue.

 

 

Quarantine Brain

When I became pregnant with my daughter, I became flighty.  I blamed it on “Pregnancy Brain”.

When I was engaged and planning my wedding, I became forgetful.  I blamed it on “Wedding Brain”.

When I was going through Widow Fog (which is 100% real), I blamed it on “Widow Brain”.

And now I realize that I am afflicted again…with Quarantine Brain.

It makes sense.  I am working 40 hours a week from home (which I am grateful) and I am homeschooling my kindergarten daughter.

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To be truthful, I am envious of those who are having a restful quarantine because between work and home school…I am exhausted.

Add in all the news.  Lots of news.  Press conferences.  I have hit my limit.

And all the opinions.  Everyone is an expert.

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My brain is on overload.  I haven’t had time to read much or write and I have thought about writing many times.  But the thoughts are so jumbled right now.

I have done some cooking and some trips to the shore.  We are allowed to go to the beaches here, we just need to remain socially distant.

Quarantine got the best of my daughter.  She gave herself bangs.  (insert facepalm emoji)

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So I wanted to do a quick check in?  How are you feeling during this quarantine?  What are you thinking about?  Have you cooked?  Have you given yourself bangs?  How are you dealing?