Thursday, March 26, 2020

These Days: Finding New Rhythms

Roads themselves are not very attractive: just slabs of pavement slashed through the landscape. Were it not for the utilitarian roads, much beauty would remain inaccessible and unknown to all but the most intrepid explorer. 

This was our view driving home last week from our shortened trip to the north of the Island. 

I'm thinking about how the pandemic is taking us on some new, and not well-engineered roads. Things are bumpy and uncomfortable as we steer our way through something so new. We try to find the best way to avoid potholes. Sometimes, we just need to pull over to the shoulder and give way to our feelings. 

A way to find new patterns is to look to old ones. Those Black Turnstones know nothing about our human concerns; they live as they have always done for millennia. 

This week has been challenging. Tears, loneliness, some fear, along with moments of contentment, creativity, and joy. When I think about the new reality we are all living in, where conditions change constantly and we are always trying to find equilibrium, it's to be expected that our emotions will ride the roller coaster with us. 

My husband was off on vacation last week, and was encouraged to stay off until Monday. He's working long, long days and when he comes home, we eat supper and go for a walk before he settles down to do more work for a couple of hours before bed. I realized this week that I'm self-isolating mostly by myself. 

It's important to me now, as before, to get outside each day and go for at least one walk, to spend time reading, thinking, praying. I've not set a schedule for myself, but in the morning I think about how I plan to structure my day. 

"The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" by Katarina Bivald is my most recent finished book. Stories about books and book lovers always appeal to me, and this one was charming. 

I drink tea throughout the day, but decided yesterday that I'm going to use one of my pretty teacups each afternoon for a little tea time treat for myself. "Pandemic Pounds" is a real thing, and I am trying not to allow that to happen, so a square of dark chocolate is a treat. 

On Tuesday an embroidery book that was back ordered arrived. It's full of charming projects and I immediately chose a design, pulled some ramie linen from my stash, and started stitching. I don't have all of the threads recommended, but I'm substituting with what I have. I'm enjoying spending some time embroidering while listening to music or watching a movie. 

I've begun putting on classical music while I prepare dinner. The ebb and flow of the tempo of Chopin's Nocturnes appeals to me just now, played by YUNDI, and is having the effect of making me want to sit down at my own piano and play. 

When the first suggestions of staying at home were bandied about, I thought about all the things I could accomplish - unfinished projects, cleaning, writing, etc. However, I find myself easily distracted. Let's be kind to ourselves. Finding new rhythms in the midst of uncertainty is unsettling. 

I'd love to know what new rhythms or old patterns you are finding help your equilibrium these days. 

Julie H. commented on my last blog and I am unable to reply to her, so Julie, if you read this, please know that your words encouraged me, and that I will be thinking of you as you work as an RN through this crisis. 


  1. Beautiful and thoughtful post
    You embroider well, pretty flowers there.

    I'm blogging more during the stay home days, and eating less. Food lost appeal when I bought more than usual, not big amounts, but more than usual amounts. I am careful what I eat, (now that the ice cream sandwiches are gone), and wonder if the natural brain knows what we are going through, as in slows down the appetite for survival. I now have a focus on eating healthy, that I should have had anyway.

  2. I like your metaphor regarding the road ahead - I must admit that I too have shed a few tears this week, not really tears of sadness but tears brought to my eyes by things written to me by my sons - things that we should say to each other far more often.

  3. I have been doing a little spring cleaning to pass the time. Trying not to watch too much news because it can be overwhelming. Take care.

  4. That last comment was from me....I wasn't signed into google lol. Penny @ Enjoying The Simple Things.

  5. Those unattractive roads sure do open up a view that would never be seen otherwise. I think this pandemic, as vile as it is, will provide so much new knowledge that we will ultimately be grateful for the trial. May you safely dodge the loneliness and the sad feelings, though it is not an easy time. I do appreciate your blogging for you always share beauty.

  6. I love that winding road with the beautiful views ahead. I am keeping busy with a variety of things. I try to do one project per day. SO, today, I baked French Bread. This was the first time in many years and it turned out ok.

  7. It's very nice to be able to get outside and walk and go for the drives too. I stay at home a lot so it's not so different....but the stress is hard to ignore. We hiked this morning and I sewed some this afternoon. It's been a very good day....unless I think about the bad news. I'm praying. And doing a few extra things every day. Love seeing your pretty embroidery. I might want to do that soon. Oh, and the book sounds good. Hugs from Florida, Diane

  8. Ah Pandemic Pounds...with my bi weekly bread baking that may be reflected on the scale.
    Walks are so important right now, even more so than usual.

    Taking lots of tea looking for an online yoga class to follow as I have more time to fit it into my day.

    Listening to the daily press conference by Dr. Bonnie Henry is a new routine. I love her soft voice and calm demeanour.

    Hope your husband can get some "down time" and fresh air walks with you over the weekend.
    Take care,


  9. It is interesting that with all this "new time" we have at home it is a different kind of time. I've been distracted easily, too. I like the things you are doing for such a time as this. I do want to pay attention to what I can learn and how I can grow during this pandemic and the unprecedented restrictions we are having.

  10. Lorrie, your lovely posts have inspired and comforted me during this roller coaster ride you spoke of, even when I haven't commented. Oddly enough, I have my Chopin and Champagne cd playing now but alas, no champagne in a glass. I'll add that to my next stock up experience, praying the need never comes again though.

    I just got up to go take a big loaf of banana bread out of the oven, feeling happier every minute.

    Thinking of you there in your lovely part of the world,

  11. I can relate to this post. Reordering our time and our days is not so easy as I expected. Changes in routines, and "extra" time only complicate things. I vacillate between being productive and being unproductive and I think it will take some time to sort it all out.

    "Grace for the day" continues to be my prayer!

  12. You have put into words my feelings entirely. I’m looking for a way forward and seem to swing from deep gloom to normality in seconds. Gardening is my soul mate at the moment. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on reading and cooking is fraught with the many restrictions of what is available and having to queue up for basic items. Enjoying reading my favourite blogs though. Thank you. B x

  13. Just catching yp whilst we have internet connection which is very patchy these days. A beautiful post that echos much of what I am feeling and experiencing. We are filling our days quite productively and achieving so much more than we anticipated due to the copious amount of crafting and DIY materials that we have stored. Anxiety overwhelms me when I think about my family but all we can do is pray for them and trust. Take care and stay safe.

  14. Uzun yolculuklara çıkmayı özledim. İnşallah bir an önce bu günler biter ve istediğimiz gizi gezebiliriz.

  15. Dear Lorrie,
    When reading your posts I am reminded that I need to invite many more thoughts and activities into my life.
    I feel very positive about the future. It isn't all hopeless. New and old medicine are showing promise.
    My days are mostly taken up with painting ceramics and deadlines. It is the deadlines that keep me grounded. I don't want to disappoint my clients and so I concentrate on how best I can divide my time.
    Soon, serious gardening will begin. My dog Sadie insists on being taken for a walk at least once a day. In between she gets into all kinds of trouble. Right now she is collecting goose eggs from secret nests around the pond. At least I know where to look for her when she escapes.

  16. This is such a good post.

    I’m thankful for a teenager still schooling at home, so that has kept us in somewhat of a normal pattern. I’ve been cooking more, too. Trying to keep things as normal as possible for the family. I was hoping to go out on a long drive tomorrow but it’s going to be stormy all weekend.

  17. I haven’t found a true routine yet, but I don’t think it matters. I am being kind to myself for now. everything else can wait.

  18. Take care as you are isolated. It does indeed swing with emotions.
    Reading, tea time with a little chocolate, and stitching are all good therapy in this troubling time.

  19. I'm having a hard time developing a new routine. My old routines were always getting interrupted... and now, my daughters think I need to get more sleep to help me deal with various stresses of the last few years that seem to have weakened my immune system.

    The morning and evening prayers at regular, do-able times that my priest is streaming are providing a skeleton of routine, and prayer in my church, with my church ! is a great way to begin and end the day, but I feel very scattered in between times, except when I am writing ;-) -- but if I only do that, oh my goodness, the house!

    I'm thankful for people like you, Lorrie, who lead disciplined lives full of beauty and love. You are probably providing much of the human "energy" that's keeping our world as sane as it is. God bless you and your family.

  20. I too am quite used to being at home and never am bored or have nothing to do! That said, it's all very frightening as to what the future will bring and be like, not only for us, but for young people and children. . . . . . and those to come.

    I'm finding good sleep hard, some nights I admit to having a few tears whilst tossing and turning. Getting going in the mornings is a bit of a struggle. I feel that "there's always tomorrow ((hopefully!)", so things get put on the back burner, housework especially as nobody is coming to visit! I'm longing to be creative again - all these years of blogging, plus the thousands of photos from travels, have taken up a lot of my time - so am dragging out boxes of old scrapbooking stuff and trying to decide how to use my photos. . . . . making cards comes to mind.

    Every day feels like the weekend. I'm eating too much and walking too little! My grey roots are appearing and I can't get my hair colored for ages - perhaps time to go au naturelle! My nails are getting too long - how does one manage gel nail fill-ins with no access to a salon for many weeks by sound of it? I feel for my hair and manicure ladies, self-employed or small business owners - how will they pay their mortgages.

    My garden like yours dear Lorrie, will be my salvation. Even the overgrown bits feel comforting and beautiful as birds sing and fly around looking to build nests. I will sit in my gazebo often now it's warmer

    Take care on your lovely island - you, and all my dear blog friends, are in my thoughts.
    Mary xx

  21. I have some embroidery floss and linen, you have inspired me.

    A daily walk is such a good idea, especially now. I'm so glad it is getting warmer here in Michigan.

    So nice to visit your lovely blog.

  22. We've been on home lockdown for about 10 days now. I've been a bit disappointed in myself for not getting much done, except crafting, which has been my great escape, but now I see that I needed this time just to adjust. I'm hoping to get started on a lot of projects around the house that I've been wanting to do and I'm still working my usual hours, just from home. Surreal times. Hope you stay well and safe, dear Lorrie!

  23. I've also been incorporating my tea pretties into my daily tea time. I'm also grateful for all the chocolate that I received last Christmas--they're being put into good use now.

    Will you be doing online teaching if the schools remain closed?

  24. Wayne and I have both been retired for fifteen years (now that's hard to wrap my head around). We are used to being together pretty much all the time and are used to isolation from living up the lake at our cabin for weeks at a time. But experiencing "forced" isolation is a whole other concept but we understand out lives and the lives of others are at stake. Stay safe over there on the Island. - Margy

  25. Pandemic Pounds !!!! Oh NO!!!!

  26. I think the uncertainty of how long this "new normal" might be in effect is perhaps the hardest part. I wonder how we will ever feel totally comfortable in returning to socializing and not washing our hands a hundred times a day. There seems to be so much we still don't know about this virus. It can all be so overwhelming. I think it helps to limit daily exposure to the news, get outside and busy with something that takes our minds off of it all. I am enjoying walks, climbing in bed with a good book and gardening. I haven't stepped on the scale in weeks, but fear that a few of those pandemic pounds have crept up. Must do better about that.

  27. If I remember right, your husband is a hospital administrator?? Oh dear, if so, STRESS. God bless all of you!

  28. Such extraordinary and challenging times, Lorrie. How bad, how long, so many unknowns.

  29. I think we are all finding new rhythms as our time of 'distancing' stretches out. I am doing odd jobs, getting exercise daily, keeping in touch with friends and family, cooking and baking. Did I mention eating? But I am SAFE at home and thankful for that! Take care.


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