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Thankful! November, 2020, still healthy, warm house, showers, good food, music,

November 16, 2020

The moments of our lives……what has changed in this year, this month, this week! So much, and yet, here we are, still getting up in the morning, going about our day, even though so much has been customized to fit a lifestyle defined by keeping safe from an invisible virus. 9 months of serious alteration of lifestyle where work is defined by how well we can work from home, if your job allows, or how to keep safe if you need to work with people. If a person works in retail, do I even go in, or take a leave of absence. Bars, restaurants, non-essential retail, closed, then cautiously open, and now closing again.

In my own family, 4 grown children, one mom, we have several scenarios: I switched all my lessons to online in one day. All speaking engagements are cancelled, all performance gigs are cancelled. Oldest Daughter: all performance gigs are cancelled (approximately 3 per week) and all music lessons are online. Next daughter: Project Manager at a large commercial real estate company: working from home except one day a week. Oldest son: Retail at Home Depot: various: laid off, back on fulltime, but due to people not wearing masks, and company not strictly enforcing policy, leave of absence as he and his significant other are health risks. Youngest son, part time from home, then full time but with most of his team still at home.

All except for 2nd daughter have seen less money coming in.

So, what have we done with our extra time not commuting? Baking, crafts, working on business websites, making music, art, gardening. For me, from March on through October, my sanity was created by having an electric assist bike I purchased last year. How I looked forward to planning my day around the #1 question……when and where can I bike today? It was my #1 question for the day. Because of the assist my lovely bike has, I could finally ride around Mercer Island again…..and I did…..52 times! How free I felt to get my bike clothes on, helmet, hop on the bike, and spend an hour a day on my personal racetrack. Knowing I could hop on anytime I had at least one hour, I could get through the worry, stress, loneliness, boredom, and just feel the wind in my face, the rush of going downhill, and then crank it up to ascend the steep hills.

Making music every day – even just sitting down and listening to the tone of one or two notes, followed by another, and another, just meandering along, exploring sound. Music is our first language, and we as humans are better if we produce pleasant sound every day. Singing, playing piano, harp, instruments, moving to music, drawing to music, breathing to music, dancing, listening on a car ride. Music can be the soundtrack of your life if you let it.

I want to encourage you, my reader, as our dark days are here. So many people realize they have depression and can’t think what to do to climb out of it. If this is you, start as you wake up:

1. Make yourself list 10 things you are thankful for. It will be hard because of your depressed brain, but just do it. Take an action and just say them out loud. Your list doesn’t have to be serious, it can be funny, but take an action to do it FIRST THING as you wake up.

2. Make yourself get out of bed, or if you can’t put some music on from your phone quickly – Have a list of calm music to sooth your brain. Practice breathing deeply in time with the music.

3. Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and get out of bed. Don’t think about it…just do it.

4. Brush your teeth.

5. Nourish your body

6. Get dressed

7. Put on music and move around.

8. Reach out and help someone, even just to say hi.

9. Get out of your front door and breath the outdoors

10. Congratulate yourself that you made steps to train your brain in a healthy way.

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