I’m Hanging in There. You?

I’m Hanging in There. You?

Life is nuts, isn’t it? Although I’ve enjoyed my yard and taking my dog, Tripp, up and down the driveway, I’ve only left my home three times since March.

Has it really been five months?!

Thankfully, I’ve been healthy (and I hope you have been, too) but I’m still struggling with finding a rhythm to life.

Even though I have all the time in the world, I still can’t lasso my thoughts in a cohesive way to write to you regularly.


Thinking has become a full-time job. Staying positive. Resisting the negatives. There’s active warfare going on in my mind and it’s a hot mess in there. The volatility alone seems to shut down my natural urge to make sense of it all, write about it, and wrap it up with a bow to send out to you.

So I preoccupy myself with less volatile things. Manageable things. Controllable things.

I’ve become a decluttering machine. Old manuscript drafts are gone. Empty binders await my new thoughts once the battlefield calms down. And every expired item in my pantry and refrigerator has left the premises.

I’ve rearranged my bedroom furniture three times, discovered some of my children’s treasures and mailed them to my grandchildren to re-delight in (I hope), and faithfully recorded my daily 100 ounces of water to both inspire and encourage me:

daily 100 ounces of water

My iPhone is my new best friend. I’ve found apps to track my intermittent fasting hours (attacking those extra Covid lbs.), a new Tabata exercise program (wheelchair dancing to my funky music for a HIIT—high intensity interval training workout), and an app to boost my Quiet Time with daily meditation (although I’m impatient with the results). Thankfully, I’ve become self-aware enough to know to laugh at that last oxymoronic (yes that’s a word) statement.

Apparently, my writing style has changed, too! (Parentheses-driven? An editor would tell me I’m being lazy—but at least I’m back to writing!)

Anyway, (back to my thinking dilemma) the layer of thinking that permeates it all is:


Constantly, I’m assessing reality. What’s new? What’s relevant? And most importantly, how does that affect my daily living?

In a recent blog post, psychologist Nick Wignall describes the impact of positive thinking, negative thinking, and then he puts a label on the category that seems to be troubling me:

Evaluative thinking.

What leads to major emotional suffering is too much evaluative thinking. –Nick Wignall

What leads to major emotional suffering is too much evaluative thinking. –Nick Wignall

Exactly! It’s non-stop with every news cycle.

And, we are not only evaluating our ever-changing reality, we are also evaluating our own (and others) responses to it.

From the personal, Why can’t I write? to the indignant, Why can’t people just wear the friggin’masks?

Covid has flipped politeness on its head. We’re justifiably nosier.

It’s not only, Do you wear a mask; it’s also, Where have you been? Who have you been with?

It can also be, Have you kept yourself socially distanced from others in the last two weeks?

Or even, Do you have a fever? Have you been tested?

How rude, right? Not now. Especially if you are considered at risk.

What was once intrusive is now common place, even wise. The fingers of Covid have reached in deep, making it easy to be suspicious, distrusting, and judgmental.

If we let it.

But on we must go, making the best decisions we can with what we know at a given point in time. To keep our thinking in check, sometimes we have to just do the next thing.

Structure helps.

Writer Brooks Adams may have said it best:

What difference does it make

What difference does it make how much honey the honeybee makes if the power of the honeycomb fails? The honeycomb falls and becomes a formless mass in the beehive and the honeybee drowns in his own product. —Brooks Adams

So I track my water, do my exercises, give thanks for the good things, and pray I have the wisdom to make good choices to keep safe. The more structured I am, the more the mental warfare becomes manageable.

Meanwhile, I’m more aware of my thoughts. They can only take up so much room in my mind if my day is filled with healthy productive activities.

As the poet Josiah Gilbert Holland reminds me:

The mind grows by what it feeds on. –Josiah Gilbert. Holland

The mind grows by what it feeds on. –Josiah Gilbert. Holland

And, I was struck by the intensity of this statement by writer Shane Parrish:

The ability to change your mind is a superpower. –Shane Parrish

The ability to change your mind is a superpower. –Shane Parrish

Isn’t that encouraging?

So, are you hanging in there, too? What structure keeps your thoughts in check? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Big news on the family front! Welcome to the world, Baxter Joseph! He was born last week weighing in at 8 lbs. 2 oz. Mom, Dad, and siblings are all well, as am I, Naynah, who cherishes every photo, snapchat, FaceTime and text, but deeply miss being onsite.

Welcome to the world, Baxter Joseph!

P.P.S Thanks for those who reached out and wondered where I’ve been. I’ve missed connecting with you all, too! Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong!

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