Use What You Have

Often times we have to quickly adjust to changing circumstances.

To be successful, we have to do the best with what we have in the moment to create the best outcome possible with given constraints.

When we suddenly were ordered to stay home and “shelter in place”, most all of us had to adapt. Three weeks in, we’re still making adjustments and modifications to plan and place and schedule to accommodate.

Example? Living with four other people in a three bedroom house, you’d think there would be plenty of space. Not so much.

Two of the three bedrooms are only set up for sleeping, really; no desks, tables, etc. to use as work space. So my wife took the third bedroom we use as a reading room. That’s her base and classroom; she does her virtual teaching from there.

The kids are working at the dining table, and using the family room as their play/craft multi-use space. That leave me the garage, which I’m perfectly happy with. We don’t use it for parking vehicles; it’s a multi-use space too.

I started working in the washroom / dogs kennel side of the garage. I set up a make-shift standing desk on top of the recycling bin; that worked for about two weeks.

Now that we’re in this “work from home, shelter in place” mode for at least another month, I’ve moved to the other side of the space, where I already have a desk. I didn’t go directly there because it was piled high with other things (the garage space also function as storage for things only sometimes used). Enough of that though. In pretty short order I cleared, cleaned, recycled, and voila! a whole new look, a whole new functionality.

Amazing what you come up with when pressed. What actions can you take to improve your situation? Look around; there’re likely a few options to choose from. Go ahead, make it a little better. Make it GOOD.

Lyrics Post: “The Champion”

Sometimes you need a fight song to get your through the thick, help you pull out of the rut, and move yourself forward.

It’s cliche for a reason: being a champion comes from within. Anything else is a lesser substitute. The fight, the fire…it’s inside. Keep going. You’ll see. A champion comes in many forms.

“The Champion”
(feat. Ludacris)
By Carrie Underwood

[Carrie Underwood:]
I’ll be the last one standing
Two hands in the air, I’m a champion
You’ll be looking up at me when it’s over
I live for the battle, I’m a soldier, yeah

I’m a fighter like Rocky
Put you flat on your back like Ali
Yeah, I’m the greatest, I’m stronger
Paid my dues, can’t lose, Imma own ya, ay

I’ve been working my whole life
And now it’s do or die

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You’re gonna know my name
You can’t hurt me now
I can’t feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion

When they write my story
They’re gonna say that I did it for the glory
But don’t think that I did it for the fame, yeah
I did it for the love of the game, yeah
And this is my chance I’m taking
All them old records I’m breaking
All you people watching on the TV
You go ahead and put your bets on me, ay

I’ve been waiting my whole life
To see my name in lights

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You’re gonna know my name
You can’t hurt me now
I can’t feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion

[Ludacris:]
Born champion, Luda!
The C is for the courage I possess through the drama
H is for the hurt but it’s all for the honor
A is for my attitude working through the patience
Money comes and goes so the M is for motivation
Gotta stay consistent, the P is to persevere
The I is for integrity, innovative career
The O is optimistic, open and never shut
And the N is necessary cause I’m never giving up
See they ask me how I did it, I just did it from the heart
Crushing the competition, been doing it from the start
They say that every champion is all about his principles
Carrie!

[Carrie Underwood:]
I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You’re gonna know my name
You can’t hurt me now
I can’t feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion

[Ludacris:]
I’m the champion, yeah
Surpassed all rivals
It’s all about who wants it the most

[Carrie Underwood:]
I am the champion

[Ludacris:]
Fight for what we believe in
That’s what champions are made of

[Carrie Underwood:]
I am the champion

Writer(s): Brett James, Carrie Underwood, Christopher Bridges, Christopher Destefano

Easy Is OK

Sometimes it’s ok to go the easy route. In fact, it’s the smart thing to do if you know the outcome will be to your liking.

If you take the tried and true path, it might also afford you more time for other things; maybe those new and more challenging things you haven’t gotten to.

Simple example? Maybe using the “Popcorn” setting on the microwave. Follow the guidelines, easy peasy, perfect, completely-popped popcorn.

Been making a lot of that lately for kid snacks during the “work/school day” at home while we shelter in place from the Coronavirus.

Taking the easy route is ok. If you get the chance, give it a try.

Romance Sprinkled Respite

Gratitude to start the week. Gratitude to start every day. Extra bunch of grateful just now, after a short weekend escape sans children.

Grateful to my beloved for planning it.

Grateful for the support for the kids so we could get away.

Grateful for living so close to a very different, wild, and beautiful place.

Grateful for the walks on the beach, for the conversations.

Grateful to have the chance to be just the two of us, reflecting and remembering and rekindling and refocusing an resetting our coupleness, romance advanced, time well spent.

Just GRATEFUL. To be fortified. Recharged. Ready now once again.

Into Week Three, we continue in this COVID-19 Shelter In Place, Social Distancing, in collective efforts with our global cohort, to beat this virus back, stay safe, and save lives.

A few images linger…

Slow.
View.
Flock.
Last stop.
Back home. GRATITUDE.

Good Where You Least Expect

How to discern good, how to find it, especially during difficult times? How to hear the truth above the din of naysayers? The reading from the Gospel of John 7, one of the phrases stands out for me: “…no prophet arises from Galilee…”, said the Pharisees of Jesus. This was in response to some saying, “Listen to how he teaches,” and others saying , “perhaps he is the Christ.” In other words, good can’t come from there. You’re mistaken: what you think is wrong. I find the exact opposite to be true from this excerpt. I find instead this lesson: maybe Good reaches us, maybe God speaks to us, sometimes from the least expected places. We’re in the midst of a life-changing pandemic right now. Even if we don’t get sick ourselves, even if our loved ones stay healthy too, most everyone’s life is turned upside down right now. We don’t know how it’s going to play out. We have to wait and see. Even in the dark, in the dirty, the dull and bland and difficult, we might find a bit of wisdom, some unexpected beauty, a splash of color. In the midst, let’s look for the lessons about how to cope, what changes we can make, to the what and how of the moment, and let’s cope and support each other and learn the lessons. We’ll be better for it.

Inspirations, COVID-19 Sequester Week Two

Low simmer of stress. Emotional ups and downs for sure.

Overall Family Goal: Adapting, accommodating, making the best of the circumstances. Second week, the whole family home for work and school and life and staying safe. Keep life going forward for two adults and three little kids.

The Community Goal: “Flatten the Curve” and stay healthy, as the health professionals get a handle on the pandemic, save lives, and keep more people safe from the virus overall.

So, some wandering inspirations along the way…

Garage Office: do what you can where you are.
Do the simple things: replacing the hand towels a lot more often because we’re at home washing hands all day, everyday.
Creative lunch prep: eat what’s there.
Efficient Kitchen Service: keep getting better.
We’re still on the front end of this outbreak: STAY HOME
Get your steps in: I’ve been walking this backyard path a lot these past two weeks.
Glad to have more time with this one.
And this one too: enjoy the sun.
YES: Inspiration everywhere. This found on a walk this week.

COVID-19: Listen to the Science, Stay Home

I live in one of the so-called “hot-spots” for the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States: Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Depending on where you draw the boundaries, we have about 5 million people in the are; there are more than a million in our county alone.

Our kids have been at home since they were furloughed from school on 03/13/2020; we’ve all been home since the county (and area-wide) order to “shelter in place” was released.

It hasn’t been easy, but it could be a lot worse. A LOT worse. My whole family is heathy, my wife and I can still work and get paid, our kids are doing ok overall with the sequester regime; we’re really blessed, given the circumstances, I say.

All that said, this pandemic and the crisis it’s created…it will fully be a defining time for multiple generations of people; here in the US, and around the world.

We are still on the front-end of events where I live; the same goes from coast to coast, Pacific to Atlantic, and North to South too. We really don’t know how many people have been exposed, or infected. Thousands have died already around the world; hundreds of thousands more have been stricken.

Here in America, there are cases in all fifty states. Nearly a thousand people have died already, and tens of thousands have become sick with COVID-19.

It’s VITAL that we all work together, all follow the orders and protocols that have been established, to slow the spread (“flatten the curve”), as the experts are saying, and save lives.

So let’s stay home, listen and trust the science.

Let’s work together, to help our communities get through this difficult time.

Lean into the difficulty, the changes, the hardships big and small.

Make it so, and thus, make it GOOD.