A Month In Review: Making Glad, Staying Home, Doing Whatever

Let’s start with the facts.

April is my second least favorite month of the year*.  This is the last day of April 2020, the longest April on record. Ever.

We do not need to go in depth into why this particular April has been endless, ridiculous, depressing, frightening, annoying, overwhelming, underwhelming, disruptive, insane, inane, et cetera, et cetera.

To my credit, I do believe, early on I set my intentions for this month and have accomplished those three intentions to the best of my ability.

• + •  💜 • + •

FIRST, I made a point to not complain about our personal small inconveniences during this dreadful month and I give myself an A- on this point.

Article to read: “I’m Depressed, But Feel I Have No Right To Be”: Class Guilt During The Pandemic

SECOND, I made a point to have no opinions about how other people  handled their time at home this month.  I give myself a B on this point, having mostly not said a word about some of your more dubious behaviors, oh my friends and family + neighbors and numbskulls.

Article to read: The Psychological Reason Why Some People Aren’t Following COVID-19 Quarantine Orders

LASTLY, I made a point to be gentle and forgiving with myself, allowing my moods to swing, my thoughts to roam, and my sense of purpose to be redefined within the context of the times.  On this I give myself an A+ because, not to put too fine of a point on it, I’m still here, sane, and relatively happy.

Poem to read: Lockdown Manifesto 

• + •  💜 • + •

And with that I will turn the page in my calendar, putting April behind me and gazing into the glorious month of May, my second most favorite month of the year**.  I’ve nothing scheduled to do in the month of May, but certainly it’ll be better than miserable old April, right?

One can only hope.

* August is my least favorite month of the year.
** October is my most favorite month of the year.

[May 2, 2020: I’ve reworked the look of this post to do an experiment with images, fonts, and the way in which Twitter tweets a link to it. The content remains the same.]

More Than Ever, Cleanliness & Curiosity Are The Keys To Healthy Living

Childhood saying as timely as today’s news

I’m checking in here to see how everyone is doing.  

I don’t have anything in particular that I need to tell you, my gentle readers.

Sure, I could go on about my understanding of the novel coronavirus and how much of this mayhem could have been avoided if sensible preventive measures had been taken earlier, but to what end?  It has been discussed ad nauseam, so why be redundant?

Nope, all I have to add to the blogosphere today is two pithy little images that summarize my current approach to living healthy in these difficult times.  

Historical perspective as timely as today’s news

The first image, that I created all by myself, is something that floated into my mind over the weekend;  I’ve no specific source for the saying.  My guess is that when I was a wee little bean I learned it in Presbyterian Sunday School wherein the emphasis on cleanliness was up there on a par with all things Biblical.

The second image is one that I found recently in one of the more enlightened corners of social media.  I’d suggest that Newton’s example puts a bit of perspective on the realities of our daily lives now.  Given all this free time it’s the perfect opportunity to follow your curiosity about something that you’ve always been meaning to learn about.

And with that I shall hit publish on this post, wishing y’all germ-free days and thought-filled nights. Stay safe.

Talking About Gratitude: Micheal Miller Has Good Manners

Micheal Miller works for the dry cleaner/laundry service that we use.  He drives the van to pick up then return Z-D’s dress shirts once they are clean and pressed with light starch.  Nice guy, very reliable.

It’s my habit at the holidays to give a monetary tip to our laundry driver guy, who this year happens to be Micheal Miller.  Thus I did that two weeks ago.

• • •

Growing up I was the child of older conservative parents and was taught that one must always send a written thank you note to the gift giver upon receipt of a gift.  This concept of proper behavior was ingrained in me to such a degree that for a few decades I judged people harshly who didn’t send a written thank you note.

It seemed like a slap in the face to me. Disrespectful, even.

Of course over the years society has morphed away from Emily Post expectations plus I’ve grown more forgiving.  I don’t hold myself or other people to the high standards of my childhood.  In fact, I’ve come to reevaluate what matters to me when I give a gift to anyone for whatever reason.

I’ve decided that I like the giving part more than the being thanked part.  I do what I do because I think it’s important to do so, not so I will receive a written thank you note.

• • •

Still, when I found a written thank you note pinned to an empty laundry bag hanging from the hook by the door on our front stoop, I was pleased to see it and said out loud to myself: “Micheal Miller has good manners.”

It was a sincere spontaneous remark. A blessing even.

One that put me in a happy place for the rest of the day as I mused on what seemed to me to be a random act of kindness, a throwback to a different era when a written thank you note was the done thing.

Such as this handwritten message of gratitude scribbled on a piece of paper by an almost stranger.

Who I appreciate very much.

Blog Post #901: What We Have Here Is A Tuesday-type Situation

IF AFTER 900 POSTS on The Spectacled Bean you know anything about me you know that I adore images that summarize what’s going on.

While it’s true that I’m a wordy girl at heart, I’m not a word-exclusive snob so I find a visual image, such as the one I’ve shared here, can get to the point of a situation quickly and accurately.

Make it snappy, I say to my wordy self as I compose posts for this blog;  tell the story in whatever way conveys your message clearly, I remind myself before I add an image.

Yep, that’s how I talk to myself when writing a personal blog post.  Scintillating? Not so much.

ALSO, FOR THE RECORD, I found this image in a file on my old computer and realized I’d made the image in order to learn how to make a Venn diagram but had never used the image for anything because, I guess, once I’d learned how to make a Venn diagram I had no need for said image.

Until today.

A Tuesday, a day of the week that sometimes can be difficult to embrace wholeheartedly.

A Tuesday on which I want to return to blogging after a long hiatus but am feeling awkward about how to start writing again.

This particular Tuesday to be exact.

THUS IN KEEPING WITH the concept of SIMPLIFY, my #OneWord365 for 2020, I thought for blog post #901 I’d write something light and easy, something sincere but a bit silly. Something that acknowledges that it’s a new year on the calendar but confirms that I’m the same old me.

Something, in fact, that might be construed as a catalyst for comments and conversation about your approach to blogging OR your word of the year OR your opinion of Tuesdays.

What’s new with you, kids? I’ve been away far too long.

Voting With The Presbyterians: A Conversation About How To Get There

IN THE PAST

ONCE AGAIN OUR VOTING PRECINCT has been assigned to a different polling place. In the 20+ years we’ve lived in this community we’ve voted at:

  • the VFW Hall [smoke-filled with parking in a field used for their monthly turkey shoot];
  • the Country Club [time-consuming with parking at nearby Methodist Church, involved a shuttle bus taking us to the country club’s front door and then back to our cars];
  • the Elementary School [smelled like chicken sandwiches, had limited parking but nice landscaping to look at while waiting for a space];
  • the Non-denominational Christian Church [easy ingress and egress, adequate flat parking, short walk to front doors, only there one year];
  • the Greek Orthodox Church [difficult ingress and egress, limited parking on uneven sloped lot, many shiny gilded-gold objects inside building];  and
  • the Presbyterian Church [no deets yet].

BUT FOR TODAY

HIM: Where am I voting today?

ME: With the Presbyterians.

HIM: Which Presbyterians? The ones near us or the other ones?

ME: The ones near us. The ones who were hidden down the lane.

HIM: They’re not on the lane anymore?

ME: No, they’re in the same place on the lane but they’ve built a big driveway to the road, so that’s how you get to them now. They have a big welcome sign on the road.

HIM: How do I get there?

ME: Go down the road past the street that takes you to the United Methodists, but not so far as to make that sharp right turn into the Roman Catholics. And for goodness sake don’t go around the curve and make a right into the Bible Believers Baptist Church compound. Who knows what weirdness is behind the bunker they’ve built around that building.

HIM: OK. So where do I turn to get to the Presbyterians?

ME: It’s easy. When you see the big welcome sign on the left, turn left, and you’ll be in the right place.

HIM: Are you telling me directions to the polling place or voting advice?

ME: Both, I guess. Get on the road, go left, and you won’t go wrong! 😉

HAPPY ELECTION DAY

May you find your polling place without trouble. May you say *yes* to the school levies and mental health issues and support for the less fortunate. And for the love of all that is good and holy, I beg of you, may you dump the Trumpian chumps.

~ ~  🇺🇸 ~ ~