Unfocused Rage, Intentional Joy

Dear Liza,

Our country is a very nervous place these days. People are worried about the Corona Virus, people being out of work, and political upheaval in our cities. I have been upset, too, and am doing what I can to cope.

I have donated supplies to the braver souls in downtown Portland who are standing up to (President) Trump’s Federal goons. I have written my Senators and Representatives to encourage them to use the power of Congress to censure these illegal and unwanted actions.

But other people have other, less positive coping mechanisms. One unhappy soul has been wandering around our dear Lone Fir Cemetery, kicking over beautiful, historic headstones.

Yes, I am angry and wish he (Folks have see him and say it’s a man) hadn’t done it, but mostly I am sad for him. I mean, how bad does your life have to be that you take it out on the dead?

Is this who we are becoming?

But then I see acts of love, large and small, in evidence all over the neighborhood, and I find my faith in my species returning.

People are working in their gardens, writing encouraging words on sidewalks, making beautiful, positive murals, and donating time and money to good causes. People are learning to smile with their eyes over the masks to show folks they are loved and appreciated.

Life is good, it really is. Not always easy, but good.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Getting off the Couch

Dear Liza,

Mouse and me, doing our Couch thing…

Before we all had to stay inside so much, Grandpa Nelson and I would take long walks all over the city. We walked eight miles to Sellwood one day, and four miles up to Klickitat Street on a regular basis. But now, with social distancing and not wanting to spread the virus, we are staying inside. We sit on the couch with the cat, reading or talking or watching television.

Cookies!

With all that sitting, I got bored, so I baked some cookies. And bread. And marble pound cake. And then it was right there, going stale every minute, so I ate it.

I was getting chunky, and developing butt roots. You know, where your butt grows roots into the couch.

This week I decided to start exercising. I put on some music and jogged in place for a few minutes. I stopped when I got out of breath, but in an hour or so I got up and did another few minutes.

Inspiration….

Auntie Bridgett found the five pound barbells upstairs, and I started jogging around the house while carrying them. It’s been four days now, working out for about twenty minutes a day, and I am feeling better than I have in weeks. I look forward to my three times a day ‘music and moving’ sessions.

I choose the music for pep and happy connections. Vince Guaraldi, Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” most of the Hamilton soundtrack, or anything by ABBA, get my heart singing and my blood pumping.

And energy

My body is happier, my mind is more rested, and I don’t feel the need to eat everything in sight. It’s good to know that when I am allowed to go for a long walk again, my body will be able to.

Love,

Grandma Judy