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Friday Thoughts May 15, 2020

I hope you had an enjoyable week and have had time to enjoy the sunshine. On Wednesday morning, I worked outside under a blanket while the dogs ran around the yard. I am fortunate; my neighbor is a music major and is working on her piece for her final exam. I get to hear her practice since she normally sings outside. I keep texting her mom telling her how luck I am to enjoy her “exam.” Matt’s final consists of Post-Colonial African politics which is not as much fun to listen to.

Interfaith Caregivers’ Updates:

We are getting more signs from Governor Murphy on what a reopened New Jersey will look like. Suzan and her team are working hard on developing safety protocols so when we are able, we can safely start to scale services. We are grateful to those of you who are shopping for our clients and providing those phone calls. I know it is making a difference, I know I enjoy the ability to talk to some of you and it is nice to have a new conversation whether about books, quarantine activities, or sports.

Pet Contest:

Voting for our pet contest will start on Monday. Pictures will be posted to Interfaith Caregivers’ social media (Facebook and Instagram) but the actual voting will be on our website. You will vote by making a $5 donation and in the Notes section write the name of the pet you are voting for. Walnut and Gus enjoyed being models for our social media this week, but Matt is mortified. His friends follow me on Facebook and apparently, they are now realizing how kooky I can be. Little does Matt realize, that some days Walnut and Gus are my favorite kids.

Reading, Watching, Doing:

Some of you know, we adopted a puppy right before the State of Emergency went into effect. After trying to train him on our own, we called Gus’s trainer, Pat. We have been doing puppy training over Zoom. If you have seen a smaller black dog pulling me while walking, meet our new puppy, Jett. Gus is much too dignified to pull. (I know, it isn’t nice to compare.) Luckily, Pat had a lot of good recommendations after asking me why I thought I could do this on my own. Jett is now pulling less but if you see me walking and turning, it is part of our training. Gus is not sure what to make of those over-energetic interloper and Walnut, who adores Gus, is not too happy either.

I have been baking and enjoying too many cookies. I decided to start Couch Potato to 5K again. Today was Week 3 Day 1 and the 30 minutes I spend 3 times a week is truly a blessing to me. That time allows my mind to not think about anything more than my own breathing. At the end of each session, my mind is deliciously blank. I am not worried about anything including COVID, my family, our community, etc. I hope you are finding an activity that leaves your mind deliciously blank, too.

I have been reading a lot about mindfulness and meditation and have attempted secular meditation. I realized that I enjoy guided meditation and my most favorite is a spoken meditation called Loving Kindness. I think we all could use some Loving Kindness as well all grapple with the State of Emergency and what social distancing means to each of us.

To practice Loving Kindness for Others start by taking 3 big, relaxing sighs, then say the following:

May you be peaceful and happy

May you be safe from harm

May you be healthy and strong

May you live with ease of well-being.

This meditation brings me a lot of peace and comfort. There is something to offering up loving kindness to others that feels right to me. I hope you find some comfort in it, too.

If you are interest in learning more about Mindfulness, please let me know. Jefferson has a wonderful course and the instructors are lovely and come from diverse backgrounds.

I hope you enjoy the sunshine this weekend and continue to stay well. I hope you are connecting with friends and loved ones from all parts of your life. My college best friends and I are in a huge group text right now as well all grapple with our kids and online learning from Matt, the oldest in college, to a few high schoolers, to the youngest in elementary school. Of course, the youngest one, who is in 2nd grade, has adapted the best and is a champ at Zoom. She has created a background for herself, I think she needs to give me lessons. Enjoy today’s meme courtesy of my pal, Paul. I think he may have a future in meme cultivation or in keeping me motivated to run!


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