Tales From A Hungry Life

April 15, 2020

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Maria Schulz

As a native New Yorker, sarcasm and pessimism come as naturally to me as breathing. Now, as a native New Yorker in the midst of a pandemic, it’s even harder to be optimistic some days. I worry about my family and friends, and grieve for those lost to the virus.

It’s not always easy to stay positive in the current climate, and with a nod to Eric Idle’s song in Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian,” I set out on a quest for some good news and the bright side of the current situation.

dawn sunset beach woman

Find the beauty all around us. (Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com)

Along the way,  I read an article in The Washington Post about “Positive Things”. It inspired me to search for – and actually see – the beauty that still exists in the world around us. Here are some things I’ve noticed and some things I’ve tried.

Connecting With People Is Still Possible

In the age of social distancing, being friendly is more of a challenge, but not impossible. I smile and wave (from a socially distant place) to my neighbors, yell across the street to others about how big their kids are getting, thank my mail man from the window and wave/get a big wave back from the sanitation workers while I walk my dog. A big smile and a friendly wave does the heart good. Try it!

Good Dog

Dog Therapy with my good dog.

Playing Isn’t Just For Kids

Pre-pandemic, I often felt sorry for my young dog because I thought she might like to be with a family that had small kids who would play with her. But now that I’m around with time to spare, I am running and playing like a kid again. I suggest Dog Therapy as the perfect remedy for worried adults everywhere. Cat Therapy works too, if the cat allows it.

Productivity Is Overrated

Move over, Marie Kondo. This Maria is here to tell you that cleaning out closets and throwing away things is a drag. If that actually brings you joy, then by all means, go to it. But for me, I get no joy whatsoever in watching the sun rise and set while I clean out a drawer. I’d rather be outside playing with the dog or looking at photos of a pink Super Moon. For those of us who are productivity-challenged in that area of life, don’t worry. You’re not a monster. Now go do something that makes you happy.

Treat Yourself

Use that bath bomb you got for Christmas, bake cookies, or read a classic book. Use your kids’ arts and crafts to paint a mug or make pipe cleaner flowers. Drive to the beach and take photos of a sunrise. Figure out how to prank your brother from afar. Do whatever your creativity tells you is rewarding and fun, and don’t let your inner critic keep you from doing it. Honestly, your inner critic is a jerk. Tell him/her to shut up!

Apple blossoms

Call Someone You Love

Or FaceTime them if you prefer. I used to call my father, brothers, or friends when I was commuting to or from work. But since I’m working from home, I carve out time from lunch or before/after work and I call and chat. We laugh, share stories, and are reenergized. Give it a try.

Write a Letter to Someone Special

One of my oldest friends recently sent me a long letter and I was delighted! It’s so much fun to get a letter in the mail that doesn’t have PAYMENT DUE stamped on it. I could hear her voice in my head as I read each page. I’m busy writing her back, and I hope she enjoys my letter half as much as I enjoyed hers. Maybe surprise an old friend with a letter and make their day.

Take a Letter, Maria

Enjoy Dinner With Your Family

We are all together again, and we actually have nowhere to go afterwards. The result is that we spend less time rushing through dinner and cleaning up, and more time talking to each other and eating a leisurely meal. Win/win.

Keep Smiling MM quoteJPG

Notice the Beauty All Around You

One of the things I’m enjoying most is watching the flowers and trees bloom. It’s a hopeful sign and one that I’ve often missed in the past. The birds are singing, the squirrels are running everywhere, and the bunnies are back. It makes me want to stop and take photos each time I’m out walking the dog.

 

Sicilian Roasted Chicken

Recipe:

Sicilian Roasted Chicken

This is a really delicious chicken dish.  My family loves it, and I love it because it’s so easy. The only things I added were Italian seasoning and Onion powder to the spice mix, and after it baked for about 20 minutes and the skin started to get crispy, I took the pan out and added chicken broth so the chicken didn’t dry out. I popped it back into the oven to cook for another 40 minutes. So good!

Cherry blossoms

So, Hungry Lifers, what have you done lately to stay positive? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks!

9 Comments »

  1. Hello Maria,

    So great to see your blog and you are so right… and Iove the new Pup…. and the recipe for living daily during this challenging time… and forget about cleaning out closets we cannot bring our “stuff” anywhere anyway… yes enjoy the day with all we can. Stay well Maria… Donna Skjeveland

    Comment by Donna Skjeveland — April 15, 2020 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  2. I agree! One can always let the troubles of the day, and there are always troubles , drown out all the good that is around us if we let it do so. BUT the idea is to drown out the troubles by, not to sound trite, by counting and one’s blessing and then concentrating on them and enjoying them to the fullest. Good blog!

    Comment by bglou — April 15, 2020 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  3. Just what I need on a rainy afternoon, Maria–thank you! As you say, take time to play: I get out my construction paper, scissors, and glue and make cards for a doctor at our church who was saddened by the number of patients alone and lonely in the hospital. If you’re interested, you can make a card(s), too, scan it or photograph it, and send it to getwellgreetings@gmail.com. If we’re lucky to be healthy, it’s a win/win.

    Comment by Beth Goehring — April 23, 2020 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

    • What a lovely idea! I am not a great artist but I will enlist my daughters and we will send some. Thanks Beth!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 23, 2020 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  4. I call you!

    Comment by lisasafran — April 27, 2020 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

    • Unless I call you first!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 27, 2020 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

    • It’s a tough time but worry only adds wrinkles while a smile erases them. You are too pretty to have wrinkles so let a smile be your umbrella! Lou Maria’s Dad

      Comment by Bglou — April 28, 2020 @ 10:39 am | Reply


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