2021, still in the grip of the pandemic, calls for a sense of calm and happiness. Maybe we can turn to Greek Mythology to help us.
In Greek mythology, Alkyone was the daughter of Aeolus, the wind god. When she learned that her husband had died at sea, she threw herself into the Mediterranean and was transformed into the beautiful bird called the kingfisher (so romantic!).
Aeolus calmed the sea for his daughter to hatch a brood of eggs on a floating nest.
We now use the phrase, halcyon days, to mean a time of calm and happiness.
In the turbulent days ahead as we change leaders, get vaccinated and remain socially distanced we will be seeking some halcyon days.
Ways to gain calm and happiness:
Take a walk in nature – breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds, laugh at squirrel antics…you’ll be surprised how happy you’ll feel.
Begin feeding birds at home, whether you hang feeders in your backyard or get the ones that suction cup to your windows. Birds can be fascinating to watch. Yellow finches, hummingbirds and woodpeckers are among my favorites.
Adopt a pet. There’s nothing like pet snuggles and animal antics to make you laugh and love.
Read a romance novel with a Happily-Ever-After ending.
Take a long, soaking bath. Add some bubbles or bath salts to soak those worries away.
Get the whole family in on the happiness by playing a board game. The benefits will include family bonding, healthy competition and laughs among others. My memories include playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Pictionary, Trivia…
2020 has been tough for everyone the world over and it’s predicted that this winter will be pretty bad with possible lock-downs again. So here is my attempt to make lemonade when life gives you lemons.
7 Things I Learned in 2020:
Walking & deep breathing helps with anxiety – I normally have a tendency to be a worry-wart and 2020, with its fear of contracting the coronavirus and stressing over masks and social distancing, has ramped up my anxiety ten-fold. This year I have really depended on my methods of walking in the fresh air and mediating with deep breaths to calm me back down to Earth. It truly works for me and 2020 has proven it without a doubt. Do you battle with worry and anxiety? Normally or just this year?
I’ve learned about writing mysteries – If 2020 gave us anything, it gave us more time for our home activities. My two favorite genres are romance and mysteries. Since I’ve published one romance and have written two more, I decided to try my hand at a cozy mystery series to take my mind off the contagious droplets floating in the air outside my door. Did you pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill this year?
Most people have too much stuff – A good way to pass a few days at home is to clean out your closets. Pull out anything you haven’t worn in the last year – odds are you won’t wear it in the years to come either, so donate it where someone else could wear it. If you are a shoe- or purse-fanatic (like me) you know you need to weed out a few every year to be able to buy more, unless you have a closet that you can designate exclusively for your shoes or purses. Blankets, afghans, luggage bags and belts are the same way – if you haven’t used them, keep your favorites and donate the rest. Remember, reuse/recycle/repurpose is better for us and the planet! De-clutter your house and it will become a more calming and rejuvenating retreat.
There’s always things to do at home – I love to travel – camp in the woods, hike, site-see, experience new things but Little Miss Coronavirus put her foot down on that this year. Bummer. So since we were sticking around home a lot, there is always chores or updates to do. You know, the things you are always planning on getting to but there’s usually a bunch of funner things to do instead? This year we planted some trees, had a garage built, replaced a ceiling fan, built a house address sign and painted. This way, we can travel and camp all we want next year and not feel guilty that there is so much to do at home 🙂 Did you do any home chores or improvements?
Reassurance in the goodness of people – I love seeing the videos of all the people doing something nice for someone else. The boy who gave out snacks to the delivery people, the townspeople who ran an auto-parade for an elderly lady celebrating her 100th birthday, people donating and delivering food to people in need, thank you cards and signs for our first responders, nurses and doctors. There is so much sadness and stress this year that we need to see people pitching in to thank or help, sometimes, a complete stranger. Keep those videos coming!
I like my own company – I am mostly an introvert and homebody so I guess staying home hasn’t been as hard on me as some people (my husband is the social butterfly) however, this year has practically made me a recluse – minus the ratty bathrobe, body odor and paranoid mindset. Still, spending more time alone has shown me that I like my own company. Have you found you’re okay with less socializing or are you someone who calls up the library just to chat to someone? (I work at the local library and we have had people call up with random questions.)
There is hope for 2021! – Any time now there will be vaccines available and we will spend next year under new national leadership with a female in the co-pilot seat. Things are definitely looking up. Hang in there everyone. It has been hard and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost someone to this virus, but we will get past this with caring, caution and science.
I hope you are, like me, only going out when you need to and staying safe. You know the deal – wash your hands, wear a face covering and wait at least 6′ away from others. Remember, these guidelines may be irritating and sometimes problematic but it’s what is going to save your life!
So, now that’s out of the way…what are you doing to keep your sanity during this pandemic?
Reading of course. I’ve collected a small bookcase of books picked up at random book sales and thrift stores over the past couple of years. So, I’ve been working my way through them not wanting to deal with library books handled by others. After things get back to normal, well as normal as we can, I won’t feel guilty in filling up that bookcase again with new books.
Writing of course. I’m trying my hand at a mystery with romance.
Hobbies are good. I play games on my phone and laptop. I build miniature dollhouses (see post: How to Have Fun With Miniatures ). I’ve dug out my old stamp collection and have enjoyed looking over them again. A great way to relax and pass the time is to color in an adult coloring book. I’m also addicted to jigsaw puzzles.
Landscaping our yard. My husband and I have planted trees, spread bark in the flower beds and have planned/scheduled a garage to be built just behind the house.
What are some things you are doing? Maybe it will give others ideas if they are running on low and tempted to go out in public.
I wrote this in 2014 and have shared it the past couple of years. It has now become my traditional Mother’s Day Poem. For all the beautiful women who bring joy and love to child’s heart, have a blessed and beautiful day!! ❤
Beautiful and conniving, maddening and brilliant, Esther is everything private detective Samuel Brass shouldn’t want. Esther knows she’s put herself in terrible danger, but nothing will stop her from making amends-not her family’s enemies, not old fears, and certainly not the domineering, interfering, and undeniably handsome former officer of the Scotland Yard. Yet whenever he’s near, Samuel makes her long for a life that can never be hers…and wish she were worthy of being saved.
I’m about halfway through this book and am thoroughly enjoying it. It has rich characters, humor and mystery which are things that grab me right away. To see my Top Ten Book Hooks, check out my previous post here. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Tell me, what are you reading? Have you read A Gift for Guile?
Cover – I’m a very visual person so I like a colorful cover. One of the best ones I’ve seen is The Azalea Assault by Alyse Carlson (the paperback version). It’s truly a work of art.
Locale – I love to read about far away and exotic places so locales of dreamy islands or Asian countries will grab me (and anywhere in the Carolinas since I’m a newbie Southerner).
Romance – I especially love the enemies to lovers theme with funny banter between the couple while they resist the attraction.
Mystery – I don’t always enjoy books that are only romance. To me they need to include a mystery of some kind (who’s stalking the heroine, who’s stealing company secrets, who murdered the butcher, etc.)
Suspense – Who doesn’t love a little nail-biting suspense? Nothing stirs up those desires better than a little danger to the hero and heroine.
Characters – Of course this is a major element. If you don’t care about the characters you won’t be able to enjoy the story.
Length – This is a lesser element for me except if the book is longer than 350 pages you better have a pace that keeps me turning the pages.
Author – I’m always on the lookout for new authors but with the authors that I know I enjoy, I will definitely try anything they write.
Time period – I enjoy Historical but mainly just in the 1800’s or else the current time period.
It’s been awhile since I posted about my love for martial arts movies. Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh are some of my all-time favorite stars. I know everyone will recognize names such as Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan but the other three may not be well-known to non-martial-arts-movies-loving people, so here are photos:
Maggie Cheung in Hero (2002)
Donnie Yen in Ip Man (2008)
Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Here are some newer martial arts movie stars you will definitely want to check out!
Cynthia Rothrock with Michelle Yeoh in Yes, Madam! (1985)
Tony Jaa in The Thai Warrior (2003)
Jason Statham in Redemption (2013)
Johnny Nguyen, starred in The Protector (2005)
Not sure what movie to watch or what actor? Here are two great websites with a ton of suggestions, ratings, bios and more: