I had an unexpected and uplifting conversation with my adult nephew today as he was driving from California to Florida. He is in the process of moving back to Florida after living in Orange County for over five years. I’m not sure why he is so lucky that he gets to live in two of my favorite states while I am stuck in the land of over 10,000 lakes. One of these days I will be free of the frozen tundra known as Minnesota. I can’t take nine months of snow anymore.

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My nephew had a lot of windshield time and we chatted for quite a while catching up on life and the holidays. Of course the first topic of conversation was the pandemic. He said, I wonder what everyone talked about a year ago prior to Covid-19? This pandemic sure has infiltrated every aspect of life.

One unfortunate outcome for me from this pandemic is that I cannot watch the news anymore. The bombardment of Covid-19 information has become so constant and in your face every minute that I cannot take it anymore. I noticed that it was having a negative affect on my mood and outlook. I had to unplug from the news so that I can keep some sense of positivity and balance.

As an introvert, I typically enjoy being home. What I have noticed over the past nine months, even for a home-body, human interaction outside of my home is a must. Thankfully my daily trips to the dog park help meet that need. Since moving to Minneapolis 10 years ago, and traveling for over half of those years for my career, my inner circle of friends is still back in my hometown. It is not as easy to stay connected due to the distance that separates us and staying safe in the midst of social distancing requirements. Some days I have found that I have to get out of the house to try and preserve a healthy mindset. My nephew said that California being shut down has taken a toll on him too.

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As we talked he said, do you remember the kids pedal tractor pulls that grandma and grandpa took us to when we were little? Of course I did. Pedal pulls are fun events for children at county fairs in Minnesota. As you’ll notice in the picture, as the child pedals the tractor, the skid on the back has a weight that starts moving up the ramp and gets heavier and heavier the closer it gets to the top. The weight moves up the skid until it gets so heavy that the child can’t move the tractor any further. The child that is able to drive the tractor the farthest is the winner. My nephew had a great analogy in relation to the pedal pull and the pandemic. He said the dailiness of the pandemic sneaks up on you unexpectedly and immobilizes you at times. That is so true. Everyday we’re moving through our activities and all of a sudden it becomes too heavy and becomes overwhelming and sometimes immobilizing.

It’s important for each of us to be mindful of self care. What are you doing to help you cope these days and to keep you healthy mentally, emotionally and physically?

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Frederick Douglass

The joy is in the journey!

Peace,

Mary

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