Looking for the positives

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life67 Comments

Looking for good news during the Covid-19

Looking for good news during the Covid-19

Like many of you, the world seems a bit upended right now as we navigate the Covid-19 outbreak and how we are currently living our lives.  I’ve been trying to focus on positives, while keeping reality in mind as well, and thought I’d share my list with you today. Maybe it will give you a moment of pause to think of the positives for yourself, as well. Shall we?

  1. I still have a job I can do. As a self-employed woman, I still have work to do and will still have income. True, it may change during the coming months but for now, I can still work. And that is a huge plus.
  2. I can do my job from home. This is an upside for some people; not so much for others like our heroic healthcare workers, essential services workers (and yes, our grocery store employees are right in the mix of people working so hard for their communities), and other workers who quite simply cannot do their jobs from home.
  3. I’m an introvert. I’ve seen a lot of introverts joke that they’ve been training for social distancing their whole lives, but it’s true. Social interaction is less critical for me on a daily basis so I’m not feeling those pangs of missing something. I need to remember to keep messaging my more extroverted friends, for whom this is a bit more challenging.
  4. I can give myself manicures at home. I was thinking about all of my gel and acrylic nail wearing friends who won’t be able to go into the salon for a while and that would suck! I started doing my nails at home more during the past year (honestly? I’ve been mostly an at-home nail girl most of my nail polish wearing life), and it gives me a bit of down time and relaxation. (I did a video recently showing you my basic at-home routine, which I learned from Olive & June, if you want to check it out!) My advice? Keep your nails short, and don’t get down on yourself if you’re not great at it. It gets easier with time.
  5. My hair is already gray. I saw a funny meme about how now people are going to know what color a lot of people’s hair really is. I chose stop coloring my hair a few years back and even though I’m sure it would make me look younger, I’m glad for it now. Plus, I’m too frugal to pay for a color job. I hope if you’re stressed about hair that you know this isn’t forever and our salons will hopefully resume operations in the coming months.
  6. I still have healthcare coverage. My hubby is a public school teacher and he is still getting paid and still providing our healthcare. That’s a plus.
  7. My whole family is home. I am choosing to see this as a positive. My son may not be on the same page, but there are positives to this he just can’t see yet.
  8. I can go for walks, or drives. If I want to get out of the house, I can. In Minnesota, we are not presently under a shelter in place order, so we can still move about as needed. I was having a moment yesterday, and decided to get into my car and go pick up my tax returns from my accountant, who has been doing a contact-less pick-up/drop off for as long as I can remember. It felt good to have sun streaming into my car and to go do something.
  9. Video chat get-togethers can happen. Last night, my favorite neighborhood people held a happy over Zoom. It was really great to see all of their faces and to hear their updates on how everyone was doing. I know that both of my adult children are attending their respective college classes using Zoom and it can be a great way for adults to catch up with each other, too.
  10. I’m not fighting this. I have no control over this global situation. None. I can only respond every day and try to see what is true and what is needed. Any frustration or pain I’m experiencing, while normal, is nobody’s fault. It’s just life right now. Just writing that out alone helps me to feel a bit softer inside. A bit less on edge. It also reminds me to extend a bit more grace and understanding to those around me. No one really had a road map at the ready for this and we are all doing the best we can with the changing circumstances.

So those are a few positives I’m seeing right now. I would love for you to share any from your life in the comments below. Thanks for reading today. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make scrapbook pages for January and February.

Be well, friends.

Cathy ZielskeLooking for the positives

67 Comments on “Looking for the positives”

  1. #1

    Last Friday night, as the cancelations and closings were inundating my inbox, I had a mindset shift. Instead of focusing on what I could NOT do, I made a list of the things that I COULD and WANTED to do. It made all the difference in my attitude and outlook.

      1. #1.1.1
        Erica Hettwer

        I’m a SAHM who loves my job. Hanging out with the heathens is my favorite thing in the world. And now I get to do it for over a month without the neighborhood kids taking them away. I’m savoring this because while they are only 13 and almost 11, soon they will be 18 and gone.
        This is by far the biggest positive for me during this scary situation.

  2. #2

    This right here is what we all need to do- to look at the positives! Thank you Cathy! I have many of the same positives that you have listed and being in Canada I’m in ever so slightly different situation.. I am truly blessed dispute the world going to hell in a hand-basket! ♥️

  3. #3

    1. My pathology after my double mastectomy came back great. No cancer in any lymph nodes.
    2. It’s beautiful weather here in the NW.
    3. We have wonderful friends that provided meals for the last 2 weeks.
    4. 2 of my daughters came at different times to help after surgery.
    5. We discovered the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!
    6. Cleaned out my closet and now need many new tops.
    7. I have enough craft supplies to last through this pandemic.

  4. #4
    Melissa LaFavers

    Thank you for inspiring us to make space for focusing on what’s good. This is all so scary and surreal, and looking for the silver lining, recognizing the light, is good mental medicine.

  5. #6

    1. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the temperatures are a bit warmer.
    2. I am getting in 3 walks a day, averaging approximately 15,000 steps.
    3. I am reading every day.
    4. I have learned some new things, such as Zoom.
    5. We are spending time planning meals and cooking/baking from scratch.

  6. #7
    Jan johnson

    Hi Cathy, I love what you had to say. I myself am not afraid. There is no fear in trusting God and I know that he has my back no matter the outcome. Thank you for your words and thoughts.

  7. #8

    Thanks for being positive!

    1. My husband and I like each other!
    2. I’m grateful my kids are grown…I don’t think I’d be a good homeschooler.
    3. I have a lot of things I like to do around the house (crafts, cooking and reading)
    4. FaceTiming with my kids and grand babies
    5. If this had to happen I’m glad it happened when we have streaming services
    6. I’m extremely grateful that it’s spring

  8. #9

    I live in Oregon where we have had sunshine all week and I have enjoyed my daily walk. I have been making cards to send some cheer to family and friends, have a pile of books to read, and some stitching to do. I am a positive extrovert, so I am calling people to chat each day. I keep telling myself to take one day at a time and this too will pass.

  9. #10

    this is such a lovely message, take time to pause…create and be at home with your people or technology 🙂 this is just so lovely. I am off to make my list. Thank you Cathy for your positive voice of reason 🙂

  10. #11

    Having the college kid home is both a blessing and a curse. Thrilled to have them, but they don’t want to be here. It’s a very hard thing to reconcile. My positives? I got over an attack of my sciatic nerve and food poisoning earlier this week. Last week was a haze of painkillers and nausea. So I have only been in this reality for about one week. I love seeing my family. I love being home with my cats. And I actually did work a full week this week due to the church I work at wanting to create online services. So there are positives. But I do fear what this is going to do to our families, our country, the world economy, it’s a lot to take in.

  11. #12

    The sun has been shining here!! We’re all home together! We are working in our garden & are very blessed to have this space to make our own:) So many birds & bees out and about now & our raspberry plants came and are already in the ground! Making progress here!!

  12. #14
    Kathy Meredith

    1. My pathology after double mastectomy showed no cancer in any lymph nodes.
    2. 2 of my daughters were able to come at different times to help with care.
    3. Wonderful friends brought meals for the last 2 weeks.
    4. The weather has been spectacular here in the NW.
    5. I was able to get outside and go for a short walk.
    6. I cleaned out my closet and now need to shop for new tops!
    7. I have enough craft supplies to last through the pandemic.

  13. #15
    Christine Miller

    The week before last was my Spring Break, and we spent it having a long-awaited flooring installation. We had two extra duty-free days out of school which allowed me to get everything cleaned up and (mostly) back in place. While the flooring was being installed, hubs and I repainted his office and assembled a new desk, his birthday gift. He has a beautiful office for at-home work, something we had not anticipated months ago when we made this plan. The other space we painted is my craft room/study/place-to-get-away. It’s a small room, and the lighter paint color was a great choice for brightening the room and making it feel better. When we bought the paint, I had no idea I would be holding on-line fifth grade from this space!

    The school board voted to continue paying ALL employees, so my friends who drive buses, clean the school, and prepare meals are being taken care of, too.

    We have everything we need. My husband had a significant birthday last week, and we celebrated our 30th anniversary on Tuesday. I was able to visit the store and find all the fixings for his favorite meal on our anniversary, and that was SUCH a blessing.

    I am looking forward to “seeing” my students on Zoom when we start on-line classes Monday. I am about out of make-up and will surely have some computer gaffes, but fifth graders are wonderful people with great senses of humor!

    When I last visited my (out-of-state) family, Mom sent me home with two huge tote bags full of books, so I have plenty to read!!! That’s important to me. After that, I’ll e-read….not my favorite, but still entertaining.

    These times have been called uncharted waters, and Cathy’s comments were right: folks are doing the best they can. It’s up to me to choose to have a good attitude. I realize that I have lots more to be thankful for and could type for a while…it’s been uplifting to review all the good stuff.

    I am giving myself the weekend off; I can tell that on-line work will be even more of a time investment than teaching face-to-face. Looking forward to some crafty time in my clean, organized craft room/study/classroom. On Sunday, I will go to on-line church and will “visit” some other churches, too.

    Everyone be cautious and well!

  14. #16
    Monica S

    Cathy, Thank you! I needed this today. I recently retired and don’t need to worry about going to work-very grateful. My adult children are at their homes and safe. Thank goodness for Face Time. I have enough craft supplies to last!!! Praying for everyone and that they get this under control and over quickly.

  15. #17
    Andrea S Pearson

    Hi, Kathy,

    Thanks for keeping in touch! I appreciate your posts and the online community of crafters, all of whom (including me) have enough craft supplies for however long this thing lasts!

    Super grateful for sunshine, and grateful for full-spectrum S.A.D. therapy lights on cloudy days!

  16. #18
    Andrea S Pearson

    Cathy, sorry, I just posted a comment and spelled your name with a K. Oops! CZ designs, not KZ designs!

  17. #19
    Teresa Doyle

    Cathy, I am a 61 y/o grandma, was a SAHM and definitely an introvert. So I have been in training all of my life for this. Growing up in a large family in the 60’s with an extremely limited household budget has trained me well.
    As long as we listen: stay isolated, be extra careful about hand washing (especially when we HAVE to go to a store/etc.) and don’t panic, most of the population will come through just fine.
    I do want to say though, even if only a scarce few read this: PLEASE EVERYONE, be KIND and PATIENT with the folks who are out there on the front lines STILL working to keep everyone safe. Eg: My DIL works in our small town pharmacy and they normally fill around 200 prescriptions per day. Lately they are filling well over 400. She is working nearly 7 days a week and 4 hours past her regular scheduled time each day. People are bitching (pardon my French) at them while they wait and others are bickering in the isles over who deserves the last bottle of hand sanitizer. For crying out loud, we are ALL dealing with the same issues here. BE KIND! These folks are all becoming stressed because of the pressure put on them and let me just say, if they throw in the towel and go home…..you might not be able to collect your prescription! Just say thank you!!!!
    OK Cathy, sorry about the rant but I love my DIL and worry that she could contract this virus while doing her job trying to help others.

  18. #20

    I live in California and contrary to what some believe, here “shelter in place” is different from “lock down” and “quarantine.”

    “Shelter in place” means stay at home when you can but we are encouraged to get outside to walk, jog, hike, whatever. If living with people, you can be closer than 6′ to them, but if passing strangers, give them 6′ of room if possible. We’re playing in parks (not on the equipment), we’re going to beaches, we’re walking our dogs, we’re hiking on trails, we’re jogging in the streets, and we’re getting in exercise. We’re getting outside and enjoying nature – so spread the word: going outside is okay and encouraged – just be aware of strangers and give ’em room. Believe me, I’m thankful we are encouraged to get outside and I’m really hoping we don’t move to a lock down or worse stage here.

    (What you did yesterday, we can do here – and my county has a high COVID-19 infected number – leaving the house is encouraged; I hit a drive-thru line at a restaurant, hit a big box store for groceries, took a walk, and accompanied my partner to a coffee shop for to-go coffee. The list of what’s considered “essential” businesses is interesting – Home Depot is open, as is OfficeMax and Best Buy (and our local farmer’s market is happening Sunday). Barnes and Noble, Michael’s, and gyms are closed.)

  19. #21
    Cindy McCool

    Cathy, your words are soothing plus I never knew you were an introvert. Guess I missed that along the way. We’ve been on Shelter in Place (SIP) for 6 days now as I live in SF Bay area. Things haven’t changed a lot for us as we’re retired and seldom go places because of husbands health limitations. I did go grocery shopping on Day 3 of SIP and that was weird because senior hours stated at 0600 so I was there at 0550 waiting with over 30 similar soles. A lot of familiar brands were gone off the shelves so I viewed it as an opportunity to try others to fill our needs. Who knows maybe we’ll find new favorites. I’m still baffled about people hording TP but took solace in the fact that I bought only what I needed while other’s piled it into their cart. I’m keeping a journal in these extraordinary times and appreciate your calming comments.

  20. #22
    Pam Weiss

    Hi everyone and sending a virtual hug to you all. I’m a hugger so this has been hard for me to not hug. Well it’ s the 1st day of me being out of work for 30 days, I am in Reno NV and in accounting at a local casino ( all casionos are closed). I care for my mother in my house, so today is a cleaning catch up day for me. I am so thankful to have family and freinds close by and we check in daily. I am looking forward to finishing some task that I usually put off do to work , spending more time with my Mom and card making of course. I am thankful that my employer is going to cover the cost of our Health Insurance during this time and the month following to give us all time to get back on our feet. I always say if I get to see the sun rise, it’s a GREAT day! I wish everyone the best of health and enjoy your Staycation at home. Smile it’s free and makes everyone feel better! 🙂

  21. #24
    Lynn Beaumont

    Our adult kids are safe and working from their homes now
    Free shipping from our favorite out of state wineries
    Both my husband and I can work from home and still enjoy each other
    Happy hour with our backyard neighbors on our own corners of our porch
    Free online concerts
    Extra time in my craft room
    Crafting YouTube and blogs for new inspiration
    Learning to use Zoom to stay in contact with friends

    Thanks for suggesting this Cathy! Cheers from Seattle!

  22. #25

    Good things, right now:

    1. I let the bread dough rise in my office while I worked and the next day J could still smell it

    2. The sound of my daughter’s online play with her best friend.

    3. The shelves I just dusted in my home Library, which are now cleaner, but smell like Lemon Pledge and remind me of childhood Saturday mornings and the weekly cleaning routine I long abandoned

    4. The daffodils outside swelling inside their buds and waiting for the right time to put on their show

    5. Slowly reading a book I have had on my shelves for 30 years, but never managed to pick up before

    1. #25.1

      Mmm… the smell of Pledge on Saturday mornings! I remember that too. You just inspired a story I could tell from my childhood, so, thank you!

  23. #26

    I am also so thankful that I already work from home and the fact that my husband is also able to. I consider myself a “friendly” introvert. Most people think I’m an extrovert, but *I* think I’m a poser. I can pretend to be an extrovert for short spurts of time. (I can talk with anyone while standing in line to check out.)

    I’m kind of bummed that I’m essentially housebound due to my compromised immune system and that I take a biologic med. I did get to go for a ride to Fargo with the hubs as he had to pick up some things from his workplace (that isn’t open on the weekends). However I had to sit in the car when we stopped at a couple of grocery stores – and the hubs made sure to disinfect himself once he got into the SUV. We weren’t searching for any essentials items, just a ham with a bone as I want to make bean soup. Apparently everyone else was going to make this too because there were only boneless hams available. 🙂

    We’re having a Skype call today with the hubs’ parents who live in Arizona at 4 pm our time (2 pm theirs). They are feeling kind of isolated after moving there last summer and now they are trying to stay at home.

    At my workplace a M-W-F morning meeting is with video as well, so that helps to see my coworkers, who are mostly in Wisconsin with one still in Fargo, me in Minnesota, and another in Mississippi. Another call I’m on everyday has people in TX, NY, NJ, GA, DE, FL. It’s interesting to talk about what their areas are going through.

    I think what is really scary is what the government ISN’T telling us. Although I see their point. Telling the general public that this may take 18 months could cause looting and whatnot. Two weeks is sooooo not long enough.

  24. #27
    Judy Rutherford

    Cathy, I am so glad you are focusing on what is good and positive. I believe that is so important always but especially now. I have much to be thankful for and I know that. I, too, am an introvert but I truly enjoy what I do outside my home. Normally I just am grateful to be able to come back home to refresh. I have enough crafts and books to read to keep me busy for a looonnnggg time. My church has the ability to watch church from home – especially grateful since we won’t be having church services for now. I have family and friends I can talk with over the phone when I want to “reach out” to others. Now I come to you and those like you. I am so thankful to be able to watch your videos etc to learn and just plain ENJOY. My friends and family are safe and well. I am safe and well. My redeemer lives… God is good. I am looking forward to the rainbows that will come when this is past. Thank you for all that you do to enhance our crafting world. Blessings to you and yours.

  25. #28

    Thanks Cathy for this post. In addition to all the things that are posted that people are grateful for I am also happy about the reduction in pollution this brings to mother earth. She needs a breather too.

    So happy to enjoy crafting it is something you can really loose yourself in which is great during these scary times.

    If there are people who know how to sew you might like the idea of making face masks. I posted some links below and I am sure you can find plenty more.

    I read somewhere that you can drop them of at Joans and they are distributing them to the hospitals.





  26. #29
    Honore´ Francois

    One of the “perks” of this experience: the support & encouragement we each receive and give one another, virtual strangers, yes and beyond: virtual friends and cheerleaders and comforters, etc.
    Thank you for sharing and inviting us to count our blessings in this clearly unprecedented time.

  27. #30

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this but…
    The water in the canals in Venice, Italy is clearing. You can actually see fish! And dolphins are coming in for a frolic.
    It’s also been reported that the air in China is clearing.
    The earth is taking a breather and that has to be good doesn’t it?
    Thanks for putting the positive vibe out there Cathy.

  28. #31

    Cathy, thank you for sharing this. I had to laugh when I read your no.3 as I am right there with you, but also with KimberlyO who referred to herself as a ‘poser’ extrovert (me too!!!! thanks for putting it into words I couldn’t). I wrote out a list as well but I can’t share it here as there were 20 things on it! I did want to share with you however, that on my list was one thing that you inspired, and that is the 30 Days of Thankful class. When I took that class last November I assumed it would be for the month… and normally it is right? But for me it started the practice of gratitude as a daily practice for the year! So, I have journalled every day since November the things that I am grateful for. My DayOne app is full of reasons to be thankful, and it has changed the way that I view things now. So, my point in writing this is to say thank you. Thank you for that class that instigated a practice I never would have conceived of myself. Thank you for the learning journey it started me on. And thank you for sharing this post! P.S. I can stand with you in agreement on all of the points on your list except the one… no.5. I was embracing my newly emerging grey but I kept getting hassled about it so starting dyeing it! Grrrr. Atleast now though I can let go of the dye bottle and embrace my grey and no one should say a thing! lol

    1. #31.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Well that is a wonderful thing… all that gratitude! And the gray… it’ll soon pass… salons will reopen. 🙂

  29. #32
    Pami Ballington

    My daughter had major surgery last month and is ahead of schedule in her recovery.

    On a side note, you really need to recreate the picture at the top of this post on a card.

    1. #32.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Good news indeed! That photo is pretty old… I went digging through my archives to find it!

  30. #33
    Aliza Deutsch

    I am a preschool teacher who loves, loves, loves my job. But I am also an introvert, and so I often have said, the only thing I don’t love about my job is that I can never be one of those people who works from home. Well, now I can!

    That said, I am thankful that I still have my job. I still have so many ideas for ways to connect with my students; ways that I hope are meaningful, that are helpful and not stressful for parents, and that keep kids playing and imagining.

    And while I adore my work with young children, I am thankful that my kids are no longer small. This would be a whole different kind of challenge, and I know I would fail to gracefully meet that challenge at least 50% of the time.

  31. #34

    I live in Rome, Italy and we have been under quarantine since 5 March. I am thankful that we can still leave our houses to grocery shop, go to the doctor, and exercise (however, that one has recently changed with the closure of all parks and public gathering places…now you must stay close to the home if you are exercising).

    I am so thankful that I live on the third floor and have a beautiful terrace that I can sit on during the day. I am also thankful that the temperatures have been in the 60s with lots of sunshine.

    I am thankful for the Italians that open the terrace and sing/play music for the neighborhood.

    I am so thankful for my 15 year old who is am ambivert and isn’t stressing too much about online learning. She is such a great kid and kind of just goes with the flow. There is no end in sight and she is adjusting great! She is really thankful that her AP European History exam may be postponed.

    I am so thankful for her International School that switched to an online platform within a day and no school time was missed because of their planning.

    I am thankful that my husband is working from home most days. He still has to go into work every so often which really stresses me out.

    I am thankful for my Portiere who still comes and gets my garbage everyday. I love him.

    Most of all, I am thankful that we are all still healthy (knock on wood).

    Thankful that I can still get the lowdown on the happenings in the states from places other then news sources because I have had to stop listening to the news. So thankful that Cathy created a place for people to lists the positives and focus on those!

  32. #35

    Thanks for this post Cathy! I’ve got so many positives.
    1. After 2 cancer bouts I’m here and doing great.
    2. Hubby and I are both introverts so like the meme said we’ve been practicing for this all our lives.
    3. Doctors who use phone and video to interact with you.
    4. Found a good grocery delivery service as no family anywhere near to help with that.
    5. Skype and Zoom I can even go to my WW workshop on Zoom.
    6. I have so many things I want to do – online courses, reading, scrapbooking, knitting and the supplies/means to do them.
    7. Neighbours who check in on us.
    8. Spring is on the way and soon we’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors.
    9. My online friends and groups.

  33. #36

    Cathy, once again, you’ve brought a smile (an maybe a tear – I’m a softy) to my face and boy, I really needed it, so thanks for such a wonderful post and for inviting everyone to join in. I feel better just reading all of the wonderful comments.
    My list contains many of the same things as yours and the others. My family is safe and together (and so far, we’re actually getting along fine!), we have plenty of food (and TP!), we can go outside and enjoy Mother Nature, lord knows I have enough craft supplies to last forever and now I’ll actually use some of them, and I have Netflix and Disney+, not to mention a Kindle well-stocked with ebooks.
    Who knows, maybe when this crisis is over, we’ll all have gained a new perspective on life and we’ll realize what’s important and how to enjoy the little things and maybe even appreciate each other a little more. In the meantime, staying positive is the best advice, so thanks for reminding us all! Stay safe, Cathy, and keep posting!

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