Sunday, July 5, 2020

Random Thoughts | Turning Negatives into Positives

I like to keep things upbeat and positive and creatively interesting here on my blog; but, let's be honest, this has been a tough year! 

It seems like it just keeps getting harder and harder to turn those negatives into positives, although I'm willing to give it a try.

Travel: If you know us at all, you know that Robbie and I enjoy traveling and typically take several vacations a year. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, we put a halt to our travel plans, cancelling a week-long road trip we had planned with our nephews in May and giving up dreams of flying to Hawaii early this fall. 

However, we did actually see a bit of the Sahara Desert in a dust plume that lifted up in Africa, traveled across the Atlantic and into the Gulf of Mexico, then arrived in north Texas in late June! I didn't even know that "Dust" could be a forecast until I woke up to this prediction on the weather app. Of course, this dust has caused terrible air quality and sinus issues, but we can at least say we've seen a new part of the world this year, right?

Staying at Home: When President Trump's initial 15 Days to Slow the Spread was initiated in mid-March, we curtailed all activities outside our home with the exception of Robbie's once-a-week outing to buy groceries and household necessities. Over the past 4+ months, we've continued this process with only one day trip out to visit my parents, a quick stop at our local scrapbook store, and two appointments to drop our cars off for needed maintenance, repairs and detailing.

The upside of all this is that we love being together and have truly enjoyed all this time at home. We've completed several home projects - pressure washing the patio & staining/sealing the outdoor furniture, cleaning out & reorganizing the pantry, setting up and displaying the collectibles in the toy room, organizing and culling my scrapbooking supplies, and cleaning out the garage. 

Working from Home: During this time, Robbie has been working full-time from home. He has a workstation set up on Grandma's old sewing table in the room at the end of the hallway, which works well for audio and video calls whether it's 8:30am or 11pm!

We are fortunate that he has been able to continue working as so many are currently unemployed. And, despite a 10% pay reduction due to a downturn in the economy, we were able to follow through on our plan to pay off our home mortgage!

Meals: Before Covid-19 shut everything down, we had gotten into the habit of ordering in or picking up or eating out several times a week. We weren't eating as healthy as we needed and had fallen into the habit of eating lots of prepackaged snacks.

Now that we are home all the time, we have both enjoyed getting back in the kitchen, cooking and baking and planning meals. In fact, we haven't eaten any meal that we didn't prepare here at home (with the exception of the meal Mama made when we went out to visit) since March 15! After an initial run of creating the same few things, I've gotten out my recipe books to make some old but forgotten favorites and Robbie's been inspired to create new versions of other favorites. We don't miss eating out at all.

Looking Ahead: I am a planner by nature. I enjoy setting up my calendar and making plans and figuring out the details of what's coming up. Unfortunately, there's really no way to plan ahead right now - our current plan is to continue to stay at home. It will be a while before Robbie's office will reopen at full capacity, so he'll continue his work duties here at home.

In the meantime, my plans will center around completing more scrapbook projects and possibly cleaning out and reorganizing the closets.

Current Events: Have y'all seen the number of new Covid-19 cases growing here in the states this past month? And the protests and riots taking place due to civil and racial unrest? And the massive changes being made by governments and companies and sports franchises? It's pretty scary really; what is happening to our country?

Honestly, these situations are not anything that I could have imagined when this year began, and I'm having trouble envisioning what the end outcome will look like. So, I'm working at just taking it one day at a time and finding the positives in the everyday aspects of life at home.


  1. Great post! I agree with it all. Despite giving up two big trips this year to Hawaii and Scotland, we've been lucky to recoup our money for the Hawaii trip and are using it to enhance our back yard and patio--something we wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. So many people have lost their jobs (and their health care) and have lost friends and family to this terrible virus. So there's no complaining from me, although I do share your concerns about the future. I think we're in this for the long haul.

  2. Yes the Sahara Desert has come to visit - we are also getting some of that sand, it is making for some really red sun rises & sets. I've read that it is a good thing, it helps to fertilizes areas. This pandemic is certainly causing us all to halt how we normally go about our lives. I can only cope with a day at a time which is difficult because like you I like to plan, to make lists. Making positive posts like this is a good thing! We will get through this, no storm lasts forever.

  3. This is a great post - so positive to read ... and I may borrow this idea, if I may?

  4. Well, your positive attitude shows through in this post. We have been eating less healthy since we went to more pantry type foods instead of fresh choices from the grocery in order to limit our trips. After putting on unnecessary weight we decided that going back to more frequent grocery shopping was the better healthier option. The only other thing I am getting out for is Pilates (and being very cautious about that.) Numbers are spiking here, including at our church, so that continues to be a no-go. Watching the online services is sufficing for now, although I do miss the fellowship.

    Since hubby is doing more of his Red Cross volunteer work from home instead of going into their office, he decided to set up a work area in our daughter's old bedroom and working from there instead of his recliner, where it wasn't as easy to do Zoom meetings. He likes gaming from there as well.

    The atmosphere of unrest is very troubling. I was actually hopeful that some real progress would be made on race issues, but the stress of lock-down on top of already very divided politics means that things have deteriorated and lots of nonsensical side issues are so distracting that that nothing will be done - again! I guess we just need to keep lifting that up in prayer! Whew, I really needed to end this on a positive note.


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!