NOV 2020

November newsletter

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Winston Churchill

   

COVID and TRUMP
COVID and TRUMP, a combination that’s as close to Doomsday as we want to get. It’s been a horrendous four years, years no one would believe could be real except in some Hollywood script. But both are real and they are wretchedly distressing.

US election
One man preaches hope and that the old ways of hard work, honesty and sweat will help us heal; the other fear mongers, trumpeting that only he can lead us back to the promised land of milk and honey as he promised four years ago. In a few days we may have a clear decision but a return to days of normalcy and calm again are very unlikely. More likely? A disputed American election, an America in chaos, confusion and violent turbulence. We all hope not.

COVID
COVID has knocked the hell out of us for eight months. It continues, unabated, maybe worsening. Protect yourself with every precaution you can. Err on the side of doing too much self-protection, even if you are skeptical about the authenticity of the virus. Better safe and alive than sorry. Wear your mask, wash your hands, stay distanced. We must be getting close to a vaccine, most likely late spring. Regird yourself, a few more months. Our parents, grandparents lasted nearly 6 years of war. Surely, we can last another few months. It is miserable living anxiety-laden days but for many, it is worse. Disastrous for small business owners, horrendous for restaurant owners and deadly for older people in long-term care homes.

ABC
Act: take all the necessary actions to protect yourself. You can do it. If you have doubts, there are services and community resources that can help get you. Do some serious self-examination. If you think you just might need some help, call for help.

Believe: Believe in yourself, that you can do it. You got this far. A bit more. Dig deep again for a few more weeks, likely a couple of months but believe things will get better. We’re in the darkest hours right now but not for much longer. Believe. We are nearing the corner. Think positive, be optimistic, dig deep for a bit more determination, effort, and courage. You made it thus far. You’ll make it further.

Conceive: You can do it. Picture the end of it all. It’s just around the corner. Yes, a long corner, a slow curve but you can see it coming if you put your mind to it. Conceive, create a positive image. Make yourself see it. It will happen and you will look back and say “2020” was the worst year, ever. And for us, it has been but we survived.

Find ways that work
Find ways that work for you, that keep you going, that reinvigorate your hope, recharge your batteries, and help you cope. Cabin fever may be threatening, knocking at your door. Beat it back in every way you can. Use whatever means that works for you: radio, TV, books, Internet, socially distanced connections like ZOOM, Skype, telephones.

Socializing in these times
So you can’t socialize in the old way, coffee klatches at the local Timmies; sippin’ a brew at the pub down the street watching packed NFL stadiums on sports TV. OK, so those activities are restricted or even banned. Find alternatives that work for you. If you have a computer, ZOOM a “brewski” with a friend. Oh, you eschew beer, fine. How about wine? No? Tea for two? Fill your glass, your cup, your mug and join a friend in whatever safe way you can.

Radio
No computer, no electronic device. How about a radio? Find a station you really like and enjoy it all day. So many stations, AM, FM, so much choice, all-talk, all-news, comedy, music. Did someone say music? You name it, you have it. One of our favourite stations caters to people in our age group playing music we remember and like, interviewing guests who deal with current events relating to our demographic. Find your own favourite and sway to the music.

TV
Cable vs antenna? Each has benefits from price to program versatility. Cable offers much. Talk to your phone service provider and learn about bundling to save money. Ask and you may save. Cable, if you can afford it, seems to be the biggest bang for the buck. Find shows that make you feel good. Enjoy them and escape the stress and anxiety that surrounds us in the real world right now.

Computers or electronics
If your budget allows it, consider a computer with cable service. The horizons of the Internet seem limitless. Consider alternate devices. Tablets or iPads can give you access to worlds beyond television. Computers offer you a near-boundless world and if you don’t know how to use a computer, find someone who can help you. Help is even available as you sit at home on your device with the assistant helping from afar. You are never too old to learn, nor too old to be capable of doing things with a computer. Try it, you might like it.

Books
Local libraries are open, regulated hours and controlled entry. Borrowing books is free entertainment, learning, escapism, joy and pleasure. Talk to friends, family. Ask what they are reading or share your reads with them. Some books may even inspire you to do some writing yourself. You have a life story. Capture it by writing it. Somebody will read it someday and reminisce about you and your life. Who knows, you may write it so colourfully that publishing may become a consideration. Go for it. Join a virtual book club, some hold meetings online with ZOOM. You don’t know what ZOOM is…oh my, you really need to visit the library or explore the Internet.

And that brings us full circle: “Writers for Writers”
We are associated with some of the best writers anywhere, a group of writers who are not just creative people, passionate practitioners of their craft but who are generously willing to share their expertise, their knowledge and their time. They have created an association to support and assist other writers, writers of all ages, all levels of experience and writers of all genres. Visit our site and see what they have to say.

Without a doubt, these are the toughest times of our generation. None of us have experienced such stress, worry and anxiety for many decades. Rather than listing all the stressors, look to ways you can find some solace, some calm, some comfort. Better days are coming soon and all of us can make it there.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay socially distanced and wear a mask.

Best,
Richard

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