Give Us This Day

One benefit to this world-wide virus event is that I have more time to do with as I please. Plans are cancelled or postponed, stay-at-home orders are in effect (although I did sneak across the border and into Arkansas today), dining out is not an option unless you enjoy eating in your car (fried chicken picnic by an Arkansas pond was different), but how much longer can this go on? What if the next two months are the same, or worse, locked down even tighter?

I am taking this day by day. That’s all I have. I can’t count on tomorrow. I’m not glued to my television, I don’t refresh the news websites, thank goodness I am not on social media and blasted with misinformation and fear. Is any of that necessary? No. I’ve proven that for the past couple of years and I am not missing out. I have time but I also want to make use of this time.

Eventually this thing will fizzle out. We’ll all flood the restaurants and bars and shopping malls soon enough. The offices and small businesses will open again and people will go back to work as they had before. The gyms will fill up with sweaty people, we can visit family and friends in their homes. Handshakes and hugs will be more heartfelt.

And when this virus has passed, can I look back and tell myself I was satisfied with the extra time I had? I still want to work out more at home, read and write more, experiment with my film photography, pick up that ukulele and at least make sure it’s tuned properly and more.

I’ve been reading the old stoic philosophers and I liked this quote from Seneca: “It is not that we have a short time to live, but we waste a lot of it.”

Check on family and friends
Better nutrition
Learn something new
Build your own music playlists for moods
Watch something different than usual and no more than 2 hrs
Solve the world’s problems in conversations
Play games

The best part of this list? I don’t need some damned virus as an excuse to do any of this. These are my goals and hobbies. For me. If this was my last day and I was able to do a few of these then so be it.

Coping Mechanism

I am proud to know people who are blessed with common sense and intelligence and I am even proud to know others who are fearful, anxious and nervous. This globe-trotting virus is crazy and is causing a lot of fear, anxiety and nervousness.

The usual ways most people cope aren’t working right now. We can’t procrastinate or avoid this. We can’t ignore it. We do not have control, we can’t quit this, we can’t lash out (we can, but to no good), the same goes for worrying about it. The sooner we throw all of these feelings out the better.

I can flip out or I can be more mindful and meditate. Meditation is not a cure all but it can help anxiousness and frustration.

I’ve been selfish. The freedom to do and go as I please was not fully appreciated until safety restrictions were enforced. I need to start embracing these constraints. I spent this past winter embracing the quiet times, to read, write, organize my thoughts and even sleep better. I can continue these things a while longer. But as a social extrovert who thrives being outdoors and travel, this isn’t easy. I can be bitter that my upcoming southwest adventures are postponed or I can be mindful and productive.

I’m choosing the latter.


Weeks ago, we were living on the greatest planet in the known universe but now we are living in quarantine for our own good and are living with constraints instead. We are learning that constraints can be beneficial. It is maddening to be restricted in such a way but again, maybe it’s for the best.

We are learning how to adapt how we work, play and rest. I’d like to add that we need constraints on media consumption. Less news, less screens. We need to be embracing these constraints and explore our creativity. Learn to be creative with what we have in the pantry, play with the toys we already have instead of wanting what we don’t have, and look for that bright side.

Sure, I am angry and frustrated at these constraints at first but I will adapt. I am adapting, slowly, but not easily. I have to learn how to vent this frustration in a more creative manner. Why don’t I embrace the improving weather and kick a ball around? Preferably kicked hard against a solid surface. Curate music playlists based on improving moods, read that novel. There are still trails to explore, parks to walk.

When the situation returns to some sense of normalcy we should find ourselves better for it and continue to enjoy this time we have left.


I’ve never been accused of being a sketch artist or good at drawing but I am more of a “doodler.”

My first attempt at comic book sketches was titled “Snake Eyes” that followed an ordinary snake fixed with two dice for eyeballs. The series probably didn’t make it past issue #2. I tried recreating simple comics like “The Far Side” or “Bloom County” but I just don’t have that talent. I never had the patience or the time to practice. Not when playing outside was available.

Alas, my drawing skills have not evolved from the second grade but I do find myself having a little more patience. I appreciate the therapeutic process and less on the end result that only a select few may or may not see.

I cannot be good at everything and that’s okay. For a hobby, I think doodling is just fine.

More Thoughts On Family Photos

I take a lot of photos of my daughter. She was born with a camera documenting everything like I was the paparazzi.

There are so many pictures of her throughout the years it is difficult which ones to choose for prints or in a yearbook. I’m trying to balance what photos are important to me and what photos she will treasure. What will she remember when she looks back at them? Oh sure, the exasperation at dad for asking her to pose or document her is real enough now, but will she look back with gratitude?

This makes no difference to me since I am unlikely to change my ways and keep snapping every chance I get.

When the time comes, I want those family photo albums that my mother has curated over the years. As an active child, my young life was a blur. Those photos will help anchor my memories. I can only hope that my daughter will feel the same way.

Perhaps this was clearer and more helpful than my earlier post.

The Music Of My Soul

“I don’t know why I was born with this belief in something deeper and larger than we can see. But it’s always called. Even as a boy, I knew that trees and light and sky all point to some timeless center out of view. I have spent my
life listening to that center and filtering it through my heart. This listening
and filtering is the music of my soul, of all souls.

After almost fifty years, I’ve run out of ways to name this. Even now,
my heart won’t stand still.”

  • Mark Nepo