What a Crazy Week with Coronavirus (and cute kittens)

Last updated on March 28, 2024.

Adorable black and white kittenAll kitten images in this article are from the Kitten Academy.1

This has been a crazy week! I’ve been working on part 2 of my article about the packaging industry, but I wanted to pause and write about the recent turmoil. Coronavirus has turned everyone’s lives upside down across the globe. The constant news updates, travel bans, canceled trips, closures of schools and organizations, and cancellations of classes, conferences, and appointments.

Besides sympathy for those hit by the virus and the fear of contracting it, our daily lives have changed for an undefined amount of time. Everything has been canceled for the next 2-3 weeks, but it could go on far longer than that. We really don’t know what’s going to happen, because this is unprecedented. There are so many things to worry about and it’s all a bit much at once.

Adorable black and white kitten

Adorable Kittens from Kitten Academy

I thought I’d feature cute images of kittens in this post to make people feel happy and warm, even if just for a few minutes. My office mate and I often livestream the kittens in our office from Kitten Academy’s youtube and they’re a nice break between tasks. Those who stop by our office notice the kittens and almost always comment or ask about them. A few will sit and watch them while chatting with us.

Adorable black and white kitten

Now, I feel the kittens are really important. The campus I work on is closed but we still have to go to work. We are supposed to mostly confine ourselves to our offices. So my office mate and I will at least have each other to talk to, and the kittens will brighten our day a little.

Which brings me to you, dear readers. The next few weeks or months may be very trying. So let me ask:

Do you have kittens in your life?Adorable black and white kitten

What I’m really asking is, what do you have in your life that is solid, constant, warm, happy, and brings you joy? Is it a person, your family, or a pet? Reading a good book next to the fireplace? Long walks in nature? Finding time to finish that sewing project, or jigsaw puzzle, or finally learning how to make vegan cinnamon rolls from scratch? Spending more time with your spouse? Perhaps additional time to write, or do yoga. Maybe you want time to simply throw a ball with your child in the backyard. Or perhaps it’s finding time for a (cat)nap. We should use this time to focus our energies on those things…and just slow down.

For me, it’s all of those. But the thing that brings me the most joy is having more time with my son. I’ve already gotten to spend some extra outdoor time with him, doing nothing but play and exploration. We chased bubbles and played in the mud, and it was awesome!

Inspiration and Positivity still abound

All of the bloggers I follow have published positive posts this week, and I found them inspiring and full of hope. We will get through this! Here are a few of my favorite reads from this week:

14 Achievable Tasks to Help Declutter Your Home While Stuck Inside by Joshua Becker. While he provides tips on how to stay productive if you’re homebound, he also writes that now’s a really good time to focus on being less busy. I couldn’t agree with this notion more, especially for myself. I have not yet managed to minimalize the tasks in my life.

“Spending a few extra hours or days over the coming weeks at home with family may be just what we need as a society.” 

Weekend Favorites: the comparison trap, broken news and comfort music by Courtney Carver. She writes about the heartbreaking decision to cancel her book tour that just started. She acknowledges that while it was something really special, it will be special again. “We are going to get through this together,” she writes so positively.

“What a year this week has been.”

Let’s Talk About the Coronavirus by Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists, who have postponed their current tour. Millburn encourages us to be mindful of our activities and behavior so that we limit the spread of the virus, but also to not panic. We will get through this.

“We never look in the rearview and wish we would have panicked more.”

Take a Break from Breaking News by Courtney Carver. While this article does not specifically reference coronavirus, it does have a positive message to take a break from the constant stream of news. We can catch up at set times so that our minds are not inundated with negative information all day long. Frankly, the frequent updates related to coronavirus are more than we can process at once.

“In the morning, don’t rush out of bed. Take in the birdsong. Brew a pot of coffee.”

Mel Robbins On How To Stay Centered With Coronavirus Anxiety Swirling on Youtube. In this video, she talks a lot about fear and anxiety and how to overcome those feelings.

“This moment is an opportunity for growth, even if it doesn’t feel like one right now. How about we go through these next weeks or months and help one another stay centered in our strength and our spirit.”

Social distancing doesn’t have to doom your weekends. We have ideas from CNN. This article offers a lot of positive, great ideas about how to spend time alone or with others virtually during this quarantine period.

“Social distancing doesn’t mean your weekend is doomed. You just have to get a little creative.”

The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’ from The Atlantic. This is the best article I’ve read yet that describes what to do in our real, everyday lives.

Adorable black and white kittens

Thanks for reading, please subscribe! Leave me a comment below about how you’re using new found time at home. Stay positive and strong!

 

Footnote:

You Don’t Need a New Year to Reach for Your Goals

Last updated on March 10, 2024.
Black and white photograph of the beach.
Photo by Marie Cullis.

Happy New Year!

Many of us get caught up in setting New Year’s resolutions that come from good intentions but get lost in the mix of daily life. We get back to work, get the kids back in school, and the extracurricular activities pick back up. For many people, the credit card bills roll in as well, like a hangover from Christmas. Then maybe working additional hours to pay those bills adds to the inability to work toward those resolutions.

I gave up New Year’s resolutions a few years ago. I heard someone say they didn’t set New Year’s resolutions because they didn’t need a certain date to set goals, and I loved the idea so much that I immediately adopted it! If I decide I want or need to do something, I need to do it right away. I don’t want to wait for someday anymore.

“Someday is not a day of the week.” —Joshua Fields Millburn

You don’t need a new year to have a clean slate. Permit yourself to start over now. Allow yourself to start working toward your goals now. Don’t wait until next week, next month, or next year. Let your heart guide you, and live your best life now.

Black and white photograph of a tree branch with a single dead leaf.
Photo by Bea Sz. on Unsplash.

But how do you start?

Your goals should come from your heart.

What do you really want? I’m not asking what you should be doing, because we all know what we “should” be doing, right? Focus less on the things you think you should change and more on the things you love and desire for your life. What can you remove from your life that isn’t adding value?

“Don’t tie your success to the results. When you are hyper-focused on the end of the goal…you discount everything that unfolds along the way. There is great opportunity for growth and joy long before you reach the end. What’s more successful than that?” -Courtney Carver, Be More With Less

Black and white photograph of a snow covered creek.
Photo by Tono Graphy on Unsplash.

Start small.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says that we need to start with small behaviors and habits to achieve bigger goals. New behaviors create a lifestyle change, and our outcomes come from that – not the goals themselves. Start small! He wrote, “New goals don’t deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is not an outcome, it is a process. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better rituals, not chasing better results.”1

“Make it so easy you can’t say no.” -Leo Babauta2

Let Go of Guilt.

I’ve written this in other articles: let go of guilt. Feeling bad that you didn’t accomplish something or haven’t been putting in enough effort toward a goal won’t motivate you. It just keeps you down.

“You’re not gonna feel like doing what you have to do all the time. That’s the truth and it makes you human. Don’t beat yourself up for leaning into the lazy space now and then. Just don’t claim that space as your new identity. You have places to go and goals to crush.” -Mel Robbins3

Black and white photograph of trees growing in a lake.
Photo by Dave on Unsplash.

My non-New Year’s Resolutions

I want to continue to spend as much time with my little boy as I can. He makes me laugh and feel joy and I want to maximize this.

I plan to continue working on my health by creating individual small habits (per James Clear) centered around diet, fitness, and mindfulness.

I want to spend more time writing and I will continue my quest to find alternatives to using disposable items, plastic items, striving for zero waste, and living minimally.

I am continuing to work on building my self-confidence and I’m still learning how to say no. I’ve just downloaded Sarah Knight’s newest publication on audiobook, F*ck No!: How to Stop Saying Yes When You Can’t, You Shouldn’t, or You Just Don’t Want To. I also follow Mel Robbins on social media.

That is by no means an exhaustive list. They’re just the ones that spilled out of my heart without me thinking too hard about it. Listen to your inner voice for those – that’s where the good stuff is.

Thanks for reading, please share and subscribe!

 

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