Health & Wellness

In these times, keep busy, and write!

We are in the midst of the pandemic self-isolation and, for Jim and me, it is “so far, so good.” 

Last week, two of our neighbors and I took advantage of the beautiful sunny days and completed the much-improved flower garden at the entrance to our neighborhood along Territorial Road. We kept a distance between us since we are all seniors; we dragged ourselves home each day to soak in a hot bath or allow our aches and pains to abate as we could, but along with the aches was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

When the rains began, I chose one major spring cleaning job to do each day that I don’t do on a daily basis. One day I cleaned my refrigerator; another, I took down the shades and window valances from our bedroom windows and cleaned them as well as the windows and sills.

Another day, I decluttered one whole room, deciding what things I would keep. The things I had no use for at the moment went into the St. Vincent de Paul box and the rest was tossed. I still have a lot more to do, but staying busy helps to keep my mind off of the pandemic and the isolation.

I’ve also been thinking about more long-term projects that will allow me to focus on what could be this year’s 2020 Groundwaters anthology. I recently wrote an email to our previous contributors and other writers in my mailing list saying that this might be a perfect time for all of us to begin writing in earnest to help take our minds off of health issues and fears. 

During this time, we would like to set up a section in the next issue of the Groundwaters anthology where we can include our experiences, thoughts, hopes for the future and anything else we wish to express at this time. Our writing might include love letters to our family and friends or advice to future generations. Our world has so vastly changed in the last few weeks and months and we are surrounded by so much doom and gloom, we’d like our stories and essays to be as positive, thoughtful and upbeat as possible … but we also want them to be honest. Knowing that we are filled with so many emotions, we realize that political and religious opinion may enter into our writings—they are definitely a part of this experience—but we ask you to keep these things respectful, knowing that not everyone shares the same beliefs and ideologies.

For those of you who enjoy writing, I encourage each of you to keep a journal during this time. Record the things described above and even if you don’t want to submit them for publication, keep them for your family and your descendants to read. We are living in unprecedented times in our modern history and what we are learning and experiencing now may impact our lives and that of our family later on.

Each of us must find ways of being productive and/or finding satisfying means of living our lives during these days of confinement. Some generous and talented people are making masks and gowns for local hospitals; others, as one of our writers offered, “are staying balanced in our self-confinement, having slow, quiet days punctuated with nature walks and creative dinners.”

These people are honing their sewing and cooking skills, playing family games with their children, working in their flower beds, cleaning house, taking walks … and at the end of the day, there is still time to sit back and quietly read, listen to music or watch movies or stream favorite TV shows. Take advantage of this time to reflect on how important things are in your life … and remember them when we finally enter the “post-pandemic” days.

Contact Pat through her website,



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