#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 15 (Final) My Epic Success and Failure

Friday, March 27th, 2020 – 6:24pm – The Ending Of my Challenge.

The good news is, in so many ways, my 30-day challenge, that I only ½ completed, was a great success. It pushed me to write at times I’ve never written before. That was huge.  Breaking out of my systematic way of writing by hand and then transferring written work to a digital format was/is time consuming. I feel comfortable in saying, I don’t need to do that anymore.   Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer to write with pen and paper, especially when it comes to my journal or writing the first draft of my second book, but I’m not against writing straight from keyboard anymore. In that sense, mission accomplished!   

My failure is that this coronavirus situation in our country and world has done me in something fierce.

Emotionally, I’m an absolute mess. I’m keeping it together, mostly for my friends and family. I have family who work in hospitals and clearly we’ve all heard the horrible circumstances they’re dealing with just not having enough of the basic equipment and gear (PPE’s) to do their jobs.  But there’s also a mental toll they’re taking on. Watching people die. That’s hard at any time.  Sure, it’s part of their jobs but it’s never easy. It’s made even harder because it’s continuous. And, I’m sure, some people would not die during this pandemic if we had been more prepared.  If our government… 

I can’t even go there. This is not about THAT. My point is, being there for my friends & family on the front line as best I can – listening to them when they finish a shift, is what I can do to help them.  But hearing them vent and just watching the toll it’s taking on them has been heart-wrenching to say the least. I don’t let them know I’m crying, I want to be strong for them. But inside I’m dying. And when I finish the call, I cry. Deeply.  And then I move onward.   

I have friends – mi familia – with young children who’ve never had to spend this much time with them regularly. In one way, it’s very funny.  I remember these friends wanting so desperately to have children. And of course, they love their kids, but yeah, damn!  I couldn’t spend that much time with a 6 year old either, let alone 4 of them.  I’ve done my best to answer every call and be the “Auntie” who’ll talk to the kids for a bit on WhatsAPP or Skype or Zoom just to give mom or dad a break.  I mean it’s not much, but it’s what I can do to help. Again, I don’t share how bad I feel for them – but after I’m done, I say a prayer for all them. 

I have a couple of friends whose marriages were on the rocks to begin with but now this situation is making it even worse in a lot of ways.  Relationships are hard always. Harder when you’re basically in quarantine and your responsibility is to your kids.  So… I’m happy to hear them vent too. One of my friends shared a glass (or bottle actually) of wine over Zoom.  I literally watched her get drunk via video cam, all while she complained about her fiancé.  Yikes!  

I’ve also had to revamp my own job/business. Like everyone else, I’ve been considering long-term changes to my own industry and possible job/client loss and adjusting accordingly. It’s tough.  I’ve seen major businesses get stuck in this and I’ve heard small business owners and CEO’s cry because they had to let their staff go and can’t pay them anything because they have no sales to cover the costs. Better to let them file for unemployment…  It’s been sad to listen too and yet I continue to do my job as well – even though I know I’m not getting paid either. It’s the right thing to do. 

My epic failure, if you will, is not being able to finish the challenge because by the time 9pm rolls around and I eat my dinner and think about my writing challenge, I end up falling asleep – lately on the couch, with the TV on, watching some show I was sure to start binging, humming in the background.

So, I’m okay with finishing my 30-day challenge today.  I didn’t complete it, but I accomplished my goals and for that I’m so grateful. 

More importantly, I’m so blessed to have so many friends and family who feel comfortable to talk to me or reach out to me when they need a hand. I wish it were like normal times where life was just doing it’s thing and we were all hanging out together because that’s what people do – but this works too.  Our true character is tested not when things are easy, but when things are hard.  And so far, I think I’m doing okay. 

I hope you are too.

Much love & thanks for stopping by.

Carm~  

This just made me feel so good… We all need a little more joy.

#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 14 @DNICE Instagram Block Party

#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 14

March 21st, 2020 6:30pm – Instagram Live with @dnice is what I needed

As I’m writing this, I’m still listening and watching live D-Nice on Instagram.  Fifty thousand people listening to this amazing talent spinning some old school music.  It’s exactly what we all need… being able to connect when we can’t really be near each other.  Dancing on Instagram with 50,000 new friends is really a thing! 

Quarantine is also bringing out the best in all of us…. 

Posted this today before the house party on IG — but see, I had a vision it was going to be a dancing kind of day!

Keeping it in joy for as long as I can!

Quarantine Fever: 50 Things I've Never Been Asked #30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 13

March 20th, 2020 8:30pm – oh, some fun questions

1. What is the color of your hairbrush? – I don’t use a hairbrush. Fingers only.

2. Name a food you’d never ever eat. – Shellfish

3. Are you typically too warm or too cold? – Too cold

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? – Checking out TikTok Dancing

5. What is your favorite candy bar? – Not a bar. Justin’s Peanut Butter cups DARK Chocolate only. Yes, I’m bougie like that nowadays.

6. Have you ever been to a professional sports event? – I’m originally from Boston. It’s mandated for every child born in the state.

7. What is the last thing you said out loud? – “Oh my God! You’re a f*cking Moron!” Screaming at TV watching “someone” doing a press conference.

8. What is your favorite ice cream? – I don’t eat dairy anymore. But it used to be chocolate chip!

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? – Water

10. Do you like your wallet? – I get compliments ALL THE TIME. It’s very unique.

11. What was the last thing you ate? – Spinach Salad w/Chicken

12. Did you buy any new clothes last weekend? – No.

13. The last sporting event you watched? – NBA Championship 2019 😦

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? -Popcorn is not my jam, so just regular, I guess. At the movies, sharing it with someone.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? – My friend Mia

16. Ever go camping? – Yes!

17. Do you take vitamins? – No.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? – If you mean the beach, then yes. I go three times a week at least.

19. Do you have a tan? – Born this way. Don’t be hatin’.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? – I prefer Chocolate Cake above all else. But sure, Chinese food, if you mean American Chinese food over pizza wins every time.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? – No.

22. What color socks do you usually wear? – depends on the outfit. Prefer NO socks.

23. Do you ever drive above the speed limit? – Not on purpose.

24. What terrifies me? – The pain I see in others that I cannot fix or help them with.

25. Look to your left, what do you see?American Collector Magazine with Barack & Michelle Obama on the cover.

26. What chore do you hate? – Doing my own bookkeeping.

27. What do you think of when you hear an Australian accent? – Hot men?  My friend Andrea and I were just talking about how men with accents trump all other “must have’s” in men. Hahahaha! 

28. What’s your favorite soda? – Root beer

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? – Drive thru.

30. What is your favorite number? – 12

31. Who’s the last person you talked to? – Beata

32. Favorite cut of beef? – New York steak, short loin

33. Last song you listened to? – “River” Bishop Briggs

34. Last book you read? – “The Alchemist” again.

35. Favorite day of the week? – Saturday morning

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? – Yes. (the trick: write it down first.)

37. How do you like your coffee? – with Almond creamer

38. Favorite pair of shoes? – My old school Jimmy Choo Classic Boots, Tamara Mellon MJ Patent, Office of Angela Scott  Mr. Colin Monkstrap  ßit depends on what I’m wearing that day.  Favorite pair for shoes is too big!

39. Time you normally go to bed? – 10pm-ish.

40. Time you normally get up? – between 4:30am-5:30am

41. What do you prefer, sunrise or sunsets? – Sunrise. My favorite time of day. 

42. How many blankets on your bed? – That’s too personal.

43. Describe your kitchen plates? – Blue-ish grey.

44. Do you have a favorite alcoholic beverage? – Red, with chocolate notes.

45. Do you play cards? – War? That’s all I know.

46. What color is your car? – “Champagne” – that’s what it says.

47. Can you change a tire? – Yes, but never have.  Nails.

48. Your favorite state? – To be in a state of joy. Laughter. 

49. Favorite job you ever had? – Speaking on stage.

50. How did you get your biggest scar? – I jumped out of a window and my knee caught the fencing and sliced open. I was a teenager.

That was fun — just for a little change of pace!

Hugs.

Carmen

We Are Better Than This #30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 12

March 19th, 2020 7:20pm – We Are Better Than This

What I didn’t plan on, what I didn’t foresee is how much my arm and wrist would hurt with all this additional writing.  It’s not just that I’m typing later in the day – In the past, I’ve written for hours at a time and never flinched.  But with this whole coronavirus situation, my whole way of doing things been has thrown in so many surprising ways.  I’ve been using social media that much more and writing (by hand) in the morning, typing throughout the day and then trying to type at night, I’m definitely feeling it in my right hand and arm.  I never understood what carpal tunnel was/is, but I do now.  The strain is real.

As I’m writing this, Governor Newsom (California) just announced a “stay at home” order for all of California.  Hmmm. About time. I’m so okay with this – we’ve had this in place in Los Angeles for a bit of time anyways.  It’s all good. I’m happy to do what I can to help my fellow Angelinos and my fellow Americans to stay safe.  This is easy.  We’re in this together and we’ll get through all of this ONLY by caring about one another.  Kind of crazy though, right? 

I want to mention I was on Facebook and pretty much reprimanded a few people who were inflaming people and freaking people out.  I don’t know why people enjoy almost gossiping or sharing crappy stuff?  I honestly don’t understand the point most days.  I mean, sharing something that may be an injustice so people are aware of it is one thing, but sharing people behaving badly – like freaking out over toilet paper?  I don’t know.  We are better than this.  All of us. If people are behaving badly out of fear, don’t exploit it. Help people calm down. Relax.  And remind them we’ll get through this together.

By the way, there’s plenty in this country for supply. But if you keep hording, there is not enough for your neighbors.  Take a breath. Be considerate. Be kind. Be a loving human being. Yeah, let’s bring that back. A loving and considerate American. THAT is my American dream.  That we all get back to loving each other for reals.  Yeah, yeah, I know it’s kind of kumba-ya-like, but isn’t that the real American dream?  Where we all feel safe and supported?  Hmm… Maybe it’s a Global-human-dream. 

Okay, yeah, I need to stop writing right now… my hand hurts and I’m a little over-top even for myself.  Ha! 

But hey, if you’re gonna dream, you might as well dream big! 

#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 10 & Day 11

March 16th, 2020  9:20pm  –  Oh, all this social distancing is making people nicer!

Yesterday I wrote a piece for the AuthorToolsBoxBlogHop that I belong to so I didn’t write for my personal night time writing challenge for Day 10. Well, I did write, but not for THIS.  Hmmm. In the future, I may have to include days that I actually write for a BlogHop or for another reason as a “day” of the writing challenge anyways.

Today’s joy was easy. A woman was walking toward me as I was out for my daily jog and as she noticed me, she went to cross the street. Everyone is doing this – we’re all moving out of each other’s way. But as she crossed on over, she waved to me and said, “Have a great workout”.  I smiled and waved back. 

No biggy.

But it happened again with a guy on a bike. Then another woman walking her dog – she waved and said, “Good morning”. Everyone is keeping their distance, being careful, but adding a “Hello” or a wave and a smile. 

Maybe my bar is so low that I was surprised at the kindness.  Or maybe, in a crisis, the best of who we are prevails anyways.

Yeah, I’m gonna believe in the latter.  I just have too.

On my Walk in the Rain Today