pause @AprilA2Z @AtoZChallenge #AtoZChallenge

When I woke up and realized that he wasn’t in the vacation house, I breathed a sigh of relief.

But when I realized that the front door had a double deadbolt, that he had locked me in and that I had no key, I thought that I would never breathe again.

It was at that very instant that everything my gut had been telling me for months became crystal clear…

***********************************************

This is not part of my A to Z Challenge posts.

A reader asked how I got the idea for this A to Z Challenge story and that was the incident that sparked the story idea.

I wanted to speak to the red flags that we often choose to ignore when we don’t follow our gut feelings.

When I rewrite the story into a fuller length piece, I will share the outcome of this incident with my readers but not right now.

Sometimes sharing a few real experiences weaved into fiction can open the eyes of those with theirs tightly shut.

Hindsight is 20/20 and that your gut never lies.

Stay home, stay safe, stay health, stay strong.

M xoxo

if I had known … @AprilA2Z @AtoZChallenge #AtoZChallenge

Theme Reveal #AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

If I had known that these times would have been so stressful…

I would have picked a more cheery and romantic-type of old A to Z Challenge story to RE-post.

But it’s too late now and it is what it is.

I’ll be posting my A to Z Challenge posts to Instagram at the same time as an experiment in the power of hashtags.

I’ve never used appropriate tags for any thing so I’m curious to see how well they work.

So on that note, as of tomorrow, the challenge will be ON and here is a quick teaser again.

Sorry to those who have read this before and remember the story!

“Breaking The Mirror” (title subject to change)

Take care and stay safe,

M xoxo

i’m done

I’m tired and fed up but it’s my own fault.

Not just because I have been posting about our current situation way too often but also because I haven’t been limiting my intake of news enough.

This has been my routine for most of this week:

Roll out of bed in the morning.

Log on to my local grocery’s delivery website to try to secure my spot in its queue (it took 10 hours yesterday  😦 ).

Jump into the shower.

Do some work during my allotted work slot to not overload the work server.

Get essential to-do’s from my personal list done before the daily Prime Minister and Premier press conferences, then listen to hours of post-commentaries.

See where I am in the grocery queue while doing other to-do’s, checking with friends and family and listening to the local radio station or Spotify.

Find something on Netflix or Amazon Prime to watch while trading jokes with a friend about how much we have over-eaten that day.

Fall asleep to Netflix/Amazon Prime.

Wake up at 3:00AM wondering if it’s all been a bad dream.

Have random thoughts about the future and fall back to sleep.

Wake up again, wondering what day it is because the days feel the same.

That’s it, that’s all.

Wow.

Well, I’m done focusing on the stress of it all because it just makes it much worse.

My week #2 was supposed to be about “creativity” but instead, it’s been about creatively focusing on the negative!

So, I’m lighting this Covid-9 b*tch on fire and walking away.

If and when I post about Covid-19 or our #stayhome situation, I’m going to force myself to find a POSITIVE angle.

That’s it for now.

How are you holding up?

M  xoxo

 

 

30 boring things to do while under quarantine

Don’t tell me that you’re bored.

Because if you tell me that you’re bored, I can easily give you a list of boring things to do while you’re bored of being bored.

After reading this, you might decide that you aren’t that bored and will suddenly find the urge to find something more fun to do!  🙂

Below is a revamped post of a previous post adapted to our current “Under Quarantine” situation.

  1. Streamline the number of blogs you follow. You probably only read 20% of the blogs you follow 80% of the time so just unsubscribe or unfollow them already.
  2. Create a short go-to list of blogs/websites you truly enjoy reading under a “Favorites” tab or folder.
  3. Sign up for Audible or Kindle Unlimited. From what I think I understand, they are being offered free of charge right. I am already subscribed to both so I’ll leave that up to you to verify that information.
  4. Get rid of unused apps on your cell. If you barely use them, why leave on your cell?
  5. If you don’t want to unsubscribe to certain emails, trash them. Sometimes when you unsubscribe, you end up getting even more spam so just tag them as Spam.
  6. Back up all electronic files. When was the last time you backed up your important documents and photos? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Don’t be like Carrie from that “Sex in the City” episode where her laptop crashes and she loses all of her writing.
  7. Donate.  Declutter your house and set aside items to drop off for donation when Covid-19 is under control.
  8. Sign up for electronic billing. Is your bank closed until further notice? Do you really want to touch that germy keypad at the bank machine? I don’t.
  9. Charge all recurring bill payments to one credit card, ideally one that has a loyalty program: One bill to pay. More loyalty points/reward which means more freebies.
  10. Automate credit card payment to your bank account. Similar to #9. Place your payment on Auto-Pay but still reconcile your purchases on a monthly basis.
  11. Dedicate a credit card with a low limit for online purchases: Because you aren’t going out much right now, your online purchases have likely increased. Protect yourself with a credit card with a low limit. If your card becomes compromised, there will be less damage to deal with.
  12. Set up savings fund for “emergencies”: Even if it’s $50/month, create an emergency fund. You never know when a little extra cash will come in handy (like right now).
  13. When you order online, double up or subscribe for recurring delivery. If it’s an item that you always use or need, why not order two or subscribe for a monthly delivery? I need to do this with the protein powders I constantly use.
  14. Make a list of emergency items you need to buy, if you are not equipped right now.  Cases of bottled water, batteries, flashlights, matches, candles, canned goods, a manual can opener… Think about what you would need if you were snowed in for a week or were under a “lock down” like right now.
  15. Make a bucket list of all the things you would like to do in the next 5 years.
  16. Scan or take photos of important documents. Your passport, driver’s license, your credit cards numbers. If you lose them, you’ll have a reference of them.
  17. Deep clean the house. No explanation needed.
  18. Make a list all the annoying things (not people) in your living environment that need attention. That bookshelf to install, the sticky closet door, the magnet on the medicine cabinet that disappeared years ago…Make a list and when the dust settles, hire a “handyman” to do them all (if you can’t do them yourself).
  19. Prepare and/or finish your tax. Though the government is extending the submission date, you’ll still need to get them done. Why procrastinate? Just do it now that you have time.
  20. Make sure that all postponed/cancelled medical appointments are rescheduled when the Covid-19 situation is under control.
  21. Do something for yourself that is long overdue. A self-mani/pedi treat, sleep in, retouch your roots with a do-it yourself kit from the pharmacy, maybe even that bikini line (though a vacation may not be around the corner for any of us).
  22. Clean out the fridge and pantry for expired products. If they are expired, throw them out. Do not donate expired goods to food banks.
  23. Double up on gift-giving: Leverage time and online shop for any and all gifts now. No fuss, no muss, no future last minute rush.
  24. Purchase all your cards online for future events. Birthdays, Valentine, Easter, Christmas, anniversaries.
  25. Take time to sit down and review your home or tenant insurance coverage: With all of the wacky weather we’ve been getting, it’s time to review your coverage and know exactly what you are covered for.
  26. Google cost-saving ideas for around the house. Put some extra money in your pocket by getting knowledge on how to lower your energy costs. On a personal note, since I swapped out my regular bulbs for LEDs and unplug everything to reduce “vampire” energy, I have seen a noticeable drop in my electricity bill.
  27. Set your short term and long term goals: Not happy with your accomplishments so far this 2020? No time like the present to set some goals (though easier said than done).
  28. Create playlists of “mood” songs. A playlist for when you’re feeling happy, when you need to concentrate, another for when you feel like crap and another for working out.
  29. Start one tiny habit now. Like drinking an extra glass of water a day, making your bed every morning, getting up an hour earlier every day, not checking the cell while still in bed.
  30. Make a “not to do list’. Life is short so why do certain things we don’t want or need to do? Make a list and see if what you can streamline out of your life.

Are you bored yet? What other items would you add to this list?

M xoxo

rediscovery

Being forced to slow down has lead me to rediscover things I forgot about. Things I used to LOVE doing but haven’t done in ages.

Take a minute to think about it.

Since you’ve had no choice to take life at a slower pace, are you reading more? Going for walks and working out again? Letting your inner decorator shine to tackle that junk room in your home? Planning new projects for your summer garden? Doing the research for that dream trip you always wanted to take (maybe not this year)?

I forgot how I used to love:

Randomly freestyling a recipe and seeing how “pretty” I can present it. I was into food porn in the 80s when PBS had all the Saturday cooking shows;

Lighting a few scented candles, turning off the lights and curling up on the couch to watch a DVD rented from Blockbuster video store;

Dancing around the house to my favorite R & B classics while singing off key at the top of my lungs.

Tell me, what have you been learning or rediscovering about yourself since you’ve been in Covid-19 limbo?

Let me know.  🙂

week 1 done is over

I know it’s difficult for most of you out there – I’ve been reading your social posts and perusing your blogs.

Cooped up at home. The children (maybe) getting on your last nerve. Having to teach them at home. Not working at all or learning to work from home. Not able to visit with your parents, grandparents and friends. Not knowing how your bills are going to get paid. Not knowing what the future will bring.

And a bunch of other not-so-great scenarios.

I think that we are all wondering what our new normal will be after things have settled down.

I won’t lie to you.

The stay at home part of this craziness has not affected me much.

Being an introvert and a homebody who has the flexibility to work remotely whenever the situation requires, I’m good and technologically equipped. And when I’m not working, I ALWAYS have a laundry list of things to do so I’m never bored.

During my Week 1, I decided to concentrate on being SUPER productive to lessen my anxiety, distract myself and get a number of to-do’s done just in case I’m called to work any emergency situations at my job.

  • All bills paid? √
  • May vacation plans cancelled? √ (By now, I think we all know that this is going to last months, not weeks)
  • Deep cleaning (my go-to stress reliever) of my upstairs living space? √
  • A to Z Challenge posts for April set up and scheduled to auto-post? √
  • Sign up and figure out how online grocery services work? √
  • Figure out how to play my father’s weekly lottery online? √
  • Make a list of all the online courses I’ve ever purchased and start scheduling them for Week 2? √
  • Calendar reminders of when family medications need to be ordered and delivered? √

For me, the hardest challenge is not being physically present to help out my folks who are in the “vulnerable” category and with whom I spend a lot of time with on the daily. But thank God (or whatever higher power there may be), so far, so good. We’re on the phone numerous times a day and I make a daily visits to their place where I stand halfway down their walkway outside and they talk to me front inside their door.

At least I am blessed that I can see and talk with them in person, right?

Most days, I wake up wondering if all of this is really happening to us. It feels like we’re trapped in a bad weird movie.

I’ve decided that my Week 2 will be mostly about creativity.

Online courses. Getting back on the writing horse. Blasting some good old school R&B playlists from free Spotify since music is an instant mood booster for my soul.

Tell me, how was your Week 1? What are your plans for this Week 2?

Bisous,

M xoxo

 

dumb and selfish

I’m completely confused.

Why is it sooooooo difficult for certain people to follow simple public health advice that will keep them healthy and possibly save the lives of their loved ones or others in their community?

Because they are just dumb, selfish or both.

Yeah, I said it…

DUMB, SELFISH or BOTH.

I’m completely confused at the spring breakers who were partying it up last week because they felt they needed a vacation. If they can’t follow simple instructions, I wonder how they passing their classes. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to collectively slap a bunch of people at the same time.

I’m completely confused at that person we heard about on the news who was officially diagnosed, told not to leave her home and to not interact with others – no exceptions. Supposedly, when health officials couldn’t reach her by phone, the authorities were called in and when she was found, she was allegedly arrested and detained for knowingly circulating in public spaces. From what I understand from the media, she was tired of staying at home.

The last I heard, boredom can’t kill you or others around you.

Most of all, I’m completely confused that some people don’t understand that the more we comply NOW, the QUICKER all of this mess will be over.

Do they not understand that if we don’t follow the public health advice NOW, we will soon be OFFICIALLY ORDERED to stay home???

Yeah, instead of being able to walk around the block to get some fresh air, your backyard deck or your front stairs could end up being as far as you can go.

As I write this, certain provinces are getting fed up and are no longer playing games like this Premier who isn’t playing around – law enforcement, huge fines, towing cars of those still gather in parks and similar places…

So to all those who aren’t doing what they should be doing right now…

Smarten up, think about others and do your part for the greater good – NOW.

Think about how horrible you’ll feel if you play a role in someone getting sick and saying you are sorry, after the fact, will be worth sh*t.