• Marilyn Gardner Woods

A rocky start to November.

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Less than a day after writing this, I awakened to the announcement that Joe Biden is the forty-sixth president of the United States. Within moments, rain poured down outside my windows and I was calm.


It’s November 6, 2020 and I am in the midst of an unbelievably stressful, commitment-plagued period of time that happens to have an unresolved and ugly presidential election in the middle of it. Oh, and there’s the pandemic. And huge economic challenges. My stomach churns with the power of an industrial strength concrete mixer.


How and why on earth I let myself get into this mess gnaws at me. Zoom meetings, Power point presentations, power walking, writing deadlines, re-writing, editing, researching, trying to eat healthy, books to read for both Book Club one and Book Club two, fantasy football team trades, tending the newly planted succulent gardens, review insurance plans—in spite of Covid directives that keep me home far more than usual—is too damned much stuff to contend with at any time.


After seven months shuttered in solitude for the most part, this onslaught of obligations and engagements overwhelms me. How I loved those entire days of private, discretionary time before we all learned how to fill up our calendars again.


I’ve got to get back to that.


In the meantime, I ate a cookie. Temporary fix.


Later, after moderate exercise I took a mid-afternoon bubble bath. I considered a nap. Too much on my plate.




I’m embarrassed by how many times I have taken my damn phone and plopped down in a chair and played Words with Friends and Solitaire. So much so that the pointer on my right hand is numb.



And still my stomach churns. I writhe in anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. Time wasting is an avoidance behavior I’m becoming quite good at. A friend recommended meditation. Way too jumpy for that.


What I am realizing is that I don’t deal with uncertainly well. Given a finite period of time up front, I can do most anything for the duration. Maybe not prison time. It’s not knowing the end time that drives me wild. Covid. How long? How many? Election final results? How long until the uproar subsides, and our country regains its composure?


I am a good dreamer. And sometimes I find it helps to float in an imaginary cloud of wishes and what ifs. Pretend.





Alone in the bar at the Connaught Hotel in London.

Ballroom dancing, not alone.

Singing in a choir.

Wine Tour of France.

Drawing Salon around my fireplace. Inside.

Crowded in a limousine with party friends.

Orchestra seat on Broadway.

Día de los Muertos in Oaxaca

Visiting a nursing home. A nursery.

Thanksgiving with my family and a carefully curated collection of friends, crowded around a beautifully decorated and long extended table.


Not out of control.



Freedom from Want, Norman Rockwell, 1943

How about you? What are you dreaming about?




Beautiful writing and the vibration of my heart's-cords resonant with yours. I had experienced all the anxiety and frustration that you expressed, and I even lost many a night's sleep!  But whenever I managed to fall asleep, I always dreamed (I am always a good physical dreamer). A big share of my dreams in this home-confined time was that I was lost in foreign country (whose language I did not know) and I had no money!  What's interesting and strange was: it always happened that at the highly anxious moment, I suddenly became aware that I was in a dream and I forced myself to wake up (yes, deliberate effort).  Chia Hui


Actually, pretty good.... so far!

Looking forward to Thanksgiving . Some of my kids and grandkids are celebrating Thanksgiving in Colorado this year ! We have rented a home 

and it will be just our family! This is the fourth

year we’ve done this! It is so wonderful and refreshing! The Aspens are beginning to turn into those gorgeous fall leaves!  Lou in Dallas



Hi,

We echo your sentiments.  We have enjoyed activities in small doses and have been pretty happy despite COVID.  But, my day

is full today, and that's okay too.  Enjoyed your thoughts.

Bob


   I feel like my feet snuck into your socks because it seems that most of us are going through similar trips. But then I smile because after saying so many times that this is the worse-ever year, all of a sudden there was this cleansing dramatic rain storm that announced a way out of our funk. 

     Yes, there are so many obstacles in the steep up-hill road ahead, but we are going in the right direction under the leadership of people that care about us and our country. Renato

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