Posted in Family, quarantine, raising kids, Reading, social media

Quarantine: Week Two

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. My family and I have gotten through another week of quarantine and we haven’t lost our minds…yet. I’ve been putting my story together and I’m getting more and more excited. I’ve written this story differently than my other stories and I really like how it has turned out. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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So far, my family and I have stayed healthy, so the quarantine is working for us. It has also brought us closer together with late night Uno games and binge-watching Netflix. I love hanging with my kids.

 

Photo credit: hannah.rosen on Visual hunt / CC BY

But this quarantine can be hard on people who don’t have a family. People who live alone can become depressed and lonely. So, check on your friends who live alone, send them a text to make sure they’re okay. This is a time to stay connected even if we can’t get together.

There’s a variety of ways you can stay connected in this trying time. Social Media is a great way to stay in touch and make sure everyone is okay. There’s also program’s like Skype and Zoom where you can video chat with your friends. At the very least, you can pick up the phone and give them a call.

 

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Another way to fight depression is to stay busy. I’ve been working on my book, so it doesn’t register that I’ve barely left the house in two weeks. Hubby has a couple of major projects going on around the house that’s keeping him busy and the boys have their video games where they communicate with their friends. I’m letting them have more screen time because playing video games is another way to fight depression.

They’ve been reading every day and their school has a website set up where they can do some assignments. I think it’s great, but I’m not forcing them to do it. I believe they’ll be just fine when they get back to school. The school must adjust to the students needs and I believe they will.

 

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So, that’s how were dealing with the quarantine, working on our own projects and having more family time and staying in touch with my single friends. How about you? How are you combating depression in this crazy time when you can’t leave the house? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family, quarantine

Quarantine: Week One

 

Photo credit: musicalwds on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Last week was the first week of quarantine for us due to the Corona Virus. These are interesting times. Never in the history of the world, have we ever had a situation like this, except for that one time when the Bubonic Plague hit, but we weren’t alive then, so that doesn’t count.

Photo credit: Ephemeral Scraps on Visual hunt / CC

When I think about it, it does scare me. This virus that spreads like wildfire leaving death and destruction in its path. This is very real. I know there were many people who felt like it was ‘fake news’ in the beginning and who can blame them? The way our media spins things and out right lies to the public, but this is a very real situation.

The only answer is social distancing and of course, washing your hands. Fortunately, we’ve been practicing it.  I feel fortunate that I work for a company that allows its employees to work from home. In the beginning it was a recommendation, but last Friday they closed the doors and all employees are required to work from home. Our schools have closed, and I haven’t been out of the house in a week. So far, we haven’t driven each other crazy, but who knows how long this quarantine will last.

 

There have been some positive changes due to this situation, though. Because people are staying home, the earth has started to self-correct. Pollution has been reduced and there are dolphins in the canals in Venice. That hasn’t happened in years, maybe being a part of the indoor generation isn’t a bad thing.

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I’ve also been able to spend more quality time with my family. The other night we all sat down and played Uno until eleven o’clock on a school night. I had the best time. Gone is the rigid schedule of dinner, homework, and bed. I’ve spent most of this weekend in my pajamas and helped my hubby with a home project we’ve been working on.  Last night we had movie night and binge watched “The Office” for a couple of episodes. My boys love that show and it was nice to laugh and enjoy each other’s company. I have a great relationship with my family, and it’s getting stronger because of the quarantine. This is a good thing.

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My kids are learning to negotiate. This is another good thing. For example, the school created a website with lessons on it for each grade and subject. I expressed by excitement over this because I don’t want them on their computers all day. I also expressed that I wanted them to read for at least a half an hour each day and get outside and get some fresh air. My oldest immediately piped up and said, “We’ll get outside every day and read for a half an hour, if we don’t have to do the stuff on the school website.”

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I laughed at this, but inside I was bursting with pride. It’s a good compromise. The schools will have to adjust to their students like they always have, and I’m confident my boys will get where they need to go educationally. So, if I get them outside for an hour each day and reading for a half an hour, it’s a win-win in my book. Plus, I’m helping build my son’s self esteem and reinforcing his problem solving abilities. Another win.

Let’s turn this horrible situation into a positive. This is an opportunity  to slow down and strengthen the bonds with the people we love. Do it before it’s too late. We don’t know who the virus is going to take from us. Make sure you leave memories of love.

Photo on VisualHunt

 

Stay healthy and safe my friends, and please know, I appreciate every one of you. I’ve made some great friends through the blogging community and I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs and connecting with all of you. Let’s keep up the good work and show the world that Corona Virus isn’t going to bring us down!

Thanks for reading my blog today. Do you have any news or statistics on the virus? Or maybe you have some recommendations on how to spend our time during the quarantine? If so, leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Documentaries, Family

“The Pharmacist,” more on the Opiate Epidemic

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a full week of working and writing and kids. It has been busy, but I was able to get quite a bit of writing done this weekend, so I’m feeling pretty good about that.

 

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Anyway, enough about that. Today I wanted to talk about a documentary I watched over the weekend, and it relates to what Mike Hamp is trying to raise awareness about. It is the opiate epidemic. The documentary is called “The Pharmacist.”

 

 

To check out the trailer for “The Pharmacist, click here.

It brings to light the prevailing problem of doctors who are writing prescriptions for the drug Oxycontin. These doctors are making a lot of money prescribing this highly addictive drug for people who need it to manage pain. The documentary reveals how  “pill mills”  have sprung up and shows how doctors keep writing prescriptions for this drug long after it is needed. Many have lost their medical licenses and some have even gone to prison.

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It’s an excellent example of what happens when there’s no one regulating the drug industry. Oxycontin is a great drug for managing pain, but it is highly addictive. There are many doctors who took advantage of people by prescribing this drug. When authorities started getting involved and they were no longer able to prescribe Oxycontin. People who were addicted turned to heroin.

It reminds me of the tobacco industry and how they made their cigarettes more addictive by adding nicotine. This documentary illustrates what happens when no one monitors an industry. The doctors created “pill mills” to make money at the expense of the public. The drug company manufactured the pills, but it was the doctors who ultimately wrote the prescriptions.

Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com on Visual Hunt / CC BY

This is the opiate epidemic that Mike Hamp is walking for. If you have a few spare moments, check out the documentary. It is very informative and shows what the public is up against.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about the opiate epidemic? Should drug companies be monitored? Or should it be the doctors? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Health, mental-health

Strive for Balance

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a weekend of writing. I had a procedure done this week that left me exhausted. It was a routine procedure and everything came out fine, but it did wipe me out. So I didn’t get much writing done during the week, but I made up for it over the weekend. 😊

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However, today I want to talk about finding balance. It’s hard when you’re juggling so many balls like family, a full-time job, writing, and exercise. Sometimes, you must spend a lot of energy  helping your family. Sometimes you have to spend extra time for your job. When this happens, things like your writing, self-care, and exercise fall to the wayside. This is unfortunate, but quite natural.

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However, when things settle down, it’s important to get back into your routine and take care of yourself. Right now, I find myself out of my routine and I’m struggling to get back into it. Why? Because this procedure I had to do this last week left me exhausted. So, exhausted I didn’t have the energy to exercise. I also had a couple of nights when I didn’t sleep well and that has also wreaked havoc on my motivation.

So, I spent most of the weekend writing and I feel good about that, because my story is one of my goals, but I need to get back into my exercise routine because it’s important for my health. Taking care of myself is one of my goals, and  I’ve lost some weight. I want to keep it off, so I need to get moving again.

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The way I try to maintain balance is to set up a flexible schedule for myself each day. I actually schedule time for exercise and time for my writing. Some days, it’s hard to maintain my commitment to my schedule, because sometimes I don’t feel like exercising or doing housework during my allotted time. During those times, I have to fight the urge to get back to my story and do what’s best for my health.

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Sometimes I give in and write instead of exercise. When I do this, I just adjust my schedule and exercise another day. The flexibility is important because the routine can sometimes grow restrictive and boring.

So, strive for balance by scheduling the self-care you need to do into your weekly routine. It’s important, especially as you grow older and less active. You’ll be happier when you do. I know I am.  What self-care activities do you do? How do you balance them with your other goals? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family, mental-health, Parenting

Focus on the Journey

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I’m back after the holidays, Christmas break, and sickness. Yes, the flu-bug hit our home and got to me and the kids. My youngest had it the worst, but he recovered, finally. Then I got hit with it. (A nasty cough and congestion, but no fever.) Now, my oldest has it. Sigh. When it rains, it pours.

I had a blog post all written for today, when another idea hit me. Yes, I’ll save that blog post for another day, or maybe I won’t. I wasn’t too attached to it, but I digress. Back to the topic at hand. Today, I’d like to talk about focus.

Photo credit: Thomas Sommer on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

What I mean is this. I want to talk about how society tends to focus on the results of our actions. We talk about being “results oriented” and how this is something to be proud of. This focus negates all the efforts it took to reach the result and what happens when we don’t get the results we expected?

We feel like a failure. Our young people are engaging in self-destructive behavior and committing suicide because they’re so focused on the results, if they miss their mark? Well that’s when depression and anxiety set in. We need to change our focus from the results to focusing on the journey.

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Focusing on the journey, allows us to celebrate our smaller wins. For example, if you’re writing a book and you’re focused on the result of getting the book published, you miss out on celebrating hitting your word goals for the day. You miss out on celebrating that amazing description you’ve just written. You see focusing on the journey allows you to enjoy those moments and they are worthy of being celebrated. Don’t let society dictate whether you’re a success or a failure. You decide.

I remember my second born. He was a striver when he was young. He still is, but I digress. Anyway, he was a Transformers fan and one Christmas we got him these big Transformers. They were these robots that could be changes into cars and vice-versa. Well, when he first got them, they were hard to transform. I mean he would be so frustrated, he’d be crying, and I’d tell him, “It’s time to take a break.”

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He’d shake his head and wipe his tears and he’d tell me no. He was determined to get it right. He didn’t give up. I admire this resilience in my son. He’d fail and fail again, but each time he learned something that brought him closer to his goal. He was getting closer, so he knew he could get there. I admire this “stick-to-itivness” in my son.

His focus wasn’t on the result, but on achieving the next step.  This is what we need to teach our kids to focus on the journey and the results will take care of themselves.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I appreciate it! How about you, what’s your focus for the New Year? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family, kindness

Kindness Matters

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. The holidays are upon us and I’ve had a busy weekend with Christmas shopping and decorating. Later tonight, we’re putting up our tree. So, I haven’t gotten much writing done. So, it begins…tis the season where I struggle to find time to write. It happens every year and this year is no different. Hopefully, I’ll find some time to do it. I do get a little cranky when I don’t get my writing time. 😉

 

Photo on Visualhunt

 

Anyway, enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about kindness during the holiday season. I remember growing up, we would always spend Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family and Christmas Day with my Mom’s side of the family. I remember looking forward to those holidays with so much excitement. I loved getting together with my cousins and everyone was in such a good mood. I loved Christmas. I loved all of it, the food, the presents, and the high spirits. That’s what Christmas means to me, but it isn’t like that for everyone.

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I know many people have painful memories of Christmas. It’s a lonely time of year for them. There has been speculation that the suicide rate increases during the holiday season, but that has been debunked. In my research, I’ve found the suicide rate rises after the holiday season is over.  What this tells me is people can’t pull themselves out of that downward spiral that occurs during Christmas. So, it’s more important than ever to be kind to our co-workers and people we meet along the way. You never know what people are going through.

Kindness does matter, even if our acts seem to go unnoticed, they are not. They’re felt by the people we touch and they’re able to pass that kindness on. It’s the ripple effect, and it does exist.

I know the holidays are about family, but for many people, their family is the problem. They may have toxic relationships inside their family that they can’t change. If you know anybody like this, extend an invitation to them to spend part of the holidays with you. So, they can find a safe place to decompress if they need to from the toxicity of their own environments.

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So, please be kind to everyone you meet. You never know when you might be the person to turn someone’s day around.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I hope the holidays don’t have you frazzled. Do you have memories of someone’s kindness to you? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Parenting, Personal

Parenting: It’s not for Sissies

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did. Although, it seems like the holidays fly by faster and faster every year. I love the holidays and it’s always great to get together with the family and catch up.

I was also productive with my writing. I got a couple of scenes done and I’m getting closer to the end. I’m hoping I’ll get this done by the end of the year or maybe even January. Cross your fingers for me. It’s getting close. 😊

 

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about the sadness of watching your children grow and become more independent. I know they’re supposed to grow up and move away, but I get so much joy just hanging out with them and hearing their stories that it makes me sad to think about the time when they won’t be there. I’m sure every parent experiences this, but for some reason, I’m becoming more acutely aware of it every year that passes.

Photo credit: Ted’s photos – For Me & You on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

I enjoyed all of it, watching them grow and watching their personalities develop. That’s why when I hear statistics saying that the suicide rate for teens has doubled. It scares me. I don’t want to lose my kids to something like that. So, I talk to them about depression and anxiety. I tell them that anxiety runs in our family and if they’re feeling anxious, they can talk to me or the hubster. But I worry. I worry that talking about it isn’t enough.

So, I try to tell them about coping mechanisms they can use to relieve their anxiety or stress. I tell them how exercise is a great way to calm your mind. I’m hoping to get them into the habit of exercising at least three or four times a week. Right now, they have gym class so it’s not a big deal, but later in life exercising a couple times a week will help them manage their stress.

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I’m trying to prepare them for every situation that comes down the pike, but this is an impossible task. Some things we can only learn through experiencing them first hand.  I hope I’ve given them enough so they’re resilient when adversity strikes. I hope. I hope. I hope.

I know every parent has these thoughts and feelings and I’ll get through them, but I miss those years when they were younger, and they came to me with all their problems. Those years went by so fast. In the blink of an eye they became teenagers with smart mouths and sassy attitudes. I love to hear them stand up for themselves though. It does my heart good to know they’re not afraid to voice their opinion even if they’re different from mine.

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Parenting is a tough gig. No one prepares you for when the kids start to leave the nest. Sigh. They’re not there yet, but it’s coming, and I can tell when it happens, I’m going to be a mess. Thanks for reading my rambling post today. Do you have any ideas on how to handle your kids’ growing independence? If you’ve got some advice, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!