COVID Close to Home

 I\’ve known about the pandemic for months. I\’ve been a careful mask wearer for months. But I hadn\’t encountered a person with Covid in real life until this month. It scared the shit out of me and my co-workers.

It turns out that an infected girl in the time frame of being contagious was at work. Where I work we wear masks, but we are not able to social distance from each other. And we touch each others tools and work stations. The girl was at work on a Monday, and experienced symptoms a day after being at work, a Tuesday, and did go to a doctor. Her initial Covid test was negative (taken too soon in the cycle), so the doctor gives her some medicine for symptoms and antibiotics (really? Doctor doesn\’t know shit). The girl develops a heart condition due to the medication and ends up in the hospital for 2 days. A second Covid test is positive. (Have these doctor heard that Covid affects the heart?) Sad situation for a 23 year old woman. 

This time line so far took 9 or 10 days. So the manager at work doesn\’t know about the positive Covid test until 10 days after the girl was at work and contagious. At first, the positive test has to be reported to a district manager (time taken). Then the approval was given to send home anyone in direct contact with the sick girl. Well, crap. These other people were at work, not social distancing for 10 days, not knowing anything about the sick girl. (Luckily, no one else got sick. Masks work I guess).

I didn\’t work with the sick girl, but I did work with everyone else. I heard about the exposure on day 11 when a guy on my shift was sent home. Even then, it wasn\’t the manager who told me. I heard parts of the story in the form of gossip over a head set.

That afternoon when I left work, I was pissed. I couldn\’t figure out the time line at that point but I knew it was 10 or 11 days when I finally heard the second hand information. I stayed by myself for 2 days. I was concerned because many of my friends are in their late seventies or eighties. Finally on a Sunday, day 13, I call my manager and ask her to explain the time line details to me. I need to know if I can go around other people safely. She explains what I wrote above.

My next work shift is that Tuesday at 11:30. At about 8 in the morning, I realize I am terrified to go into work. I look at all the pieces of this puzzle. I realize that there is not a chance in hell that our workplace can really be safe. Does a person know if they have contacted the virus? How many days are they contagious before symptoms? How many days until you can get a valid test, and then results? 

Now I\’ve known about some of these facts, but you don\’t really understand how all these features play out until it happens in front of your eyes. Then you realize that you can\’t be safe at work. My answer was to quit.

I will also say that this girl turned up at work again on day 16. She still had symptoms. They let her come back because of a negative test. But actually, we don\’t know for sure that she was not contagious.

My co-workers were hot about this. The manager wasn\’t there today, so tons of conversation went on. I wasn\’t the only person to be afraid and angry.

Covid really sucks. It is a squirrelly disease. This time line will happen again because thats how the disease plays itself out. That is why I decided I was done with that work place. (Luckily, I have other options).

Everyone stop and think about the time line. Realize that you will get caught up in this Covid cycle at some point. It is inevitable that you will be exposed at some point. Lets hope you have a mask on and you wash your hands alot. Or you will be sick.

Keep Breathing – 2020

 Last week was focused on my 35th sobriety anniversary. 8/8/85 is my sobriety date.

I love being sober and I cherish my sober adult life. I love the fellowship of AA. It is a spiritual fellowship offering unending spiritual growth and conscious contact with a power greater than myself. Alot of people weren\’t even born in 1985. It gives people pause when they ask about my shirt and what 1985 means. I got sober in the last century.

I have a friend who makes masks. She made me some coffee masks to go with my job at Starbucks:

Speaking of Starbucks, I finally got my manager to move me to the afternoon shift. Yay! No more getting up at 3 am more than once a week. Actually, Starbucks may have outlived it\’s usefulness to me. Moving to afternoons may be a temporary measure. Quitting is inevitable as my personal wealth continues to expand and the health insurance game becomes less necessary.

What interests me the most today? Coincidence x 3? Part 1 of this coincidence: COVID is a respiratory disease. One thing I became aware of a few days ago at work was that I was breathing through my mouth more when wearing a mask, especially when stressed during a rush. Don\’t do it. Keep that mouth closed and force yourself to breath through your nose. Do this consciously. Ensure your respiratory health by breathing through your nose. Part 2 of this coincidence: I started reading a book called \”Breath\” by James Nestor. Very interesting the health and longevity proposals related to breathing. And then, part 3 of this coincidence: My hero Courtney Dauwalter had to end her attempt at an FKT (fastest known time) of the 500 mile Colorado Trail due to acute bronchitis. She ended up in the ER on low oxygen. Yipes! I cried. Too much dry dusty air through the mouth. 

Something about breathing. Everybody, take a long deep breath in, hold for a beat or two, the long slow breath out. All the way in and all the way out. Just like sex. Don\’t hold back. Feel better? I do.

Stress Relief

Pretty much everybody nowadays is picking a path of least resistance to relieve their fears of corona virus. Only those who are for sure steeped in well being, or have created a future, or are in alignment with their inner being, are not afraid of the virus. The president of the United States is a man who is afraid. His path of least resistance to deal with his fear is to take a drug with no known effect on corona virus, but since he believes it will help him, the idea will work for him. We get what we believe. We are all doing something which we believe in.

I\’m running across Tennessee and working at Starbucks and escaping into fiction. I\’m doing my morning meditation, journaling and pre-paving well being for each day. I do all these things regardless of any virus. My activity choices are things I want to do, and would be doing without any corona fears. My choices give me alignment with my inner being and well being for a reality. No just well being but prospering and thriving.

Speaking of thriving. It is May 20. In the past 20 days, I have completed 232.6 miles across Tennessee. Only 389 to go. Here is a course map showing where I was as of yesterday:

Today I had a delightful long run. It was awesome to spend nearly 4 hours in a forest.

This run was an out and back of 16.3 miles. I carried my hydro-pak and used 4 gels. I did NOT get any blisters. Along the way, someone had written encouraging words on the bike path like \”You are loved,\” and \”You can do it!\” It was cool, like I received a message from my inner being. I have another day off tomorrow, so plenty of time for more miles.

In my post lock down job at Starbucks, I find myself incredibly appreciative and energized. In fact, I\’ve never loved life so much as I do now.

Yesterday I heard Dan Harris interviewed by Terrie Gross on Fresh Air. I learned about Loving Kindness meditation. And so when I go to bed at night, I do the loving kindness meditation until I fall asleep. So wonderful.

Letter 5/9/20

Wow, I had such a great time today. I WENT TO WORK!!!!   And I loved saying hi to all our returning customers. I got to be the person who took orders at the drive through and I could recognize the particular drinks people were ordering, so I would call them by name and welcome them back. It was such fun.

I had another realization as I took my walk this afternoon. It is sort of complicated. But when I left my career, I received a perception of life that I wanted but couldn\’t put into words. Part of what I wanted was freedom, and that is pretty easy to see. I\’m not locked into a chemical plant 5 days a week. Harder to see is related to voluntary downward mobility. My new realization is that I received \”life on the edge.\” Life more on the edge of uncertainty, and that makes it more thrilling for me, more adventurous, more open to creativity and innovation.  I didn\’t realize until today how much I actually wanted to walk on the edge of civilization, not in the secure salary zone. I want less insulation and more reality. No, three hots and a cot are not guaranteed to me. I live in such a way that other things can happen, and by my choice. Downward mobility has made me richer in a way.

It is not that I gave up safety, but that I transferred my safety to a different source. I actually walk with a higher power instead of a full wallet. I can see this reality actualizing. Some people work hard to move up the ladder towards luxury. My goal has been to move down it. I want to be on the front line.

In other news, I\’ve walked 117 miles of 622 miles in my virtual race across Tennessee:

In the picture, you can see the whole course, green circle and the start and blue circle at the end. I\’ve drawn a black circle showing approximately where I am. Approaching Selmer. This project, virtually walking across Tennessee, actually captures my attention and imagination and energy. Hence, even though I worked on my feet this morning, I still got in 9 miles of walking.

March 27 Letter

Today is the 8th day off work (of 32). Today I went by my Starbucks (which is closed) to see my manager and pick up papers. My manager is very compassionate and a giver. My manager has such a good heart. She had some resentment towards Hobby Lobby for how they are treating their employees at the moment. In contrast, Starbucks is awesome.

Note that despite the insanity of the human race, spring is coming. Yesterday I noticed that tulip trees, another flowering tree, and daffodils, are in bloom. I also saw two baby calves. The redbuds are not quite popped. Today I saw this tulip tree.

When I was a little girl, my father used to like to take my picture every year in front of a tulip tree. It was one of the few times that I felt like I was his special little girl.

I have been getting in lots of miles. Usually I have been running 6 to 8 miles in the morning and then going for a 5-6 mile walk in the evening. This has been going on pretty much for the last 8 days. Plus some weight lifting in the evening. Today, I did a 15 mile jog all at once. It went really well. I was feeling very energetic at the end, and no problems with joints or tendons. So….

The marathon I was signed up for in April has gone virtual. The real event is cancelled. Also, I have learned of a virtual event which I probably will enter. A 100 mile challenge which takes place in the time frame just before I am scheduled to go back to work. So it would be my grand finale. If you are a runner, check it out: https://www.aravaiparunning.com/aravaipa-strong/

I can get a belt buckle for 100 miles done within the time period. And I\’ll probably buy a hoody. In Missouri, it is hoody weather most of the year.

I am amazed at how much time I am spending on spiritual studies and well being. This break from work has given me a chance to take a breath and figure out where I am with my life. Yesterday afternoon, I could feel non-physical energy down loading a vibration. I knew that infinite intelligence had communicated. Today, my meditation was calm. At the end of it, I realized that the virus is a consciousness, just like all the cells of my body. Therefore, the virus can be dealt with vibrationally. Any vibration can be integrated (yeah, engineer speak to the max). Drink some water and think about vibration.

Letter – March 22, 2020

It is a Sunday and rainy and cold. It means that my run will be in a  rain suit. I can do it.

I am feeling incredibly blessed at the moment. A situation came up yesterday over which I felt powerless given the current environment of distancing. But also, a solution arrived. The solution arrived after I practiced conscious creation. I was wowed by the Universe\’s response. Such a path of least resistance. And, I have taken a hot shower and washed my hair, so of course I feel good.

Yesterday was also an amazing day. I went to my Starbucks store because I had to log in on a company computer. While there, my store manager sent me on 30 days paid leave. I was amazed that she didn\’t even ask me if I wanted. Then later in the day, Starbucks Corp. decided to close our store completely. Every barista is being given 30 days paid leave. That is amazing and wonderful.

Yesterday was a sunny day. I ran 5 miles. Then later, I walked 7 miles. During my later walk, lots of people in the neighborhood were outside. At one house, a wine party was going on in the front driveway. Law chairs carefully placed in a semi-circle and socially distanced. Each person had a glass of wine, and they were visiting with all of us who walked by.

Yesterday, I listened to the first hour of Abraham Live. It was amazing. I almost cried as I listened to the opening music. I was so touched by the presence of my own inner spiritual resource. Abraham stresses that we all have our own source of spiritual connection. We all can tap into the powerful shower of well being which is that if we focus on it.

Our mayor sent out a news release, a stay at home order. Only essential trips. We\’ll see how that goes.

I am working on my writing projects. Editing one book which is in first draft. Working on character development and scenes for another book. Writing \”Morning Pages.\” Focusing on being a full time writer. Making sure that ink gets put on paper. I find that I have turned on my brain and creativity is flowing. My advice for the next month of isolation: turn on your brain and listen for creative ideas. They will come from within.

Letters – Day 2

I didn\’t sleep well last night. I guess thats because I slept really well and too much the night before. In any case, I was up a little earlier today. During my morning meditation, I also got the quinoa cooked in the instant pot.

Yesterday I didn\’t listen to the news at all. I fasted from Corona.

My brain was trying to decide if I wanted to return to work and when, if ever. Having a few days away from Starbucks is the perfect opportunity to stop and think. I added up all my savings which I hadn\’t done since the market fell. I harvested my money out of the market before it fell and got it into some CDs before they also fell. So I was curious to see where I am now. I still have dollars above set point. So, financially, Starbucks is not needed. Starbucks is needed for intangible reasons. Reasons I can\’t fully explain but they have to do with fun and joy and endorphin rushes. So I let my manager know I was planning on coming back. I could feel this decision for sure in my guts. Also, Starbucks has stopped allowing any public in the lobby, drive up only, so that makes the job safer. It is weird that when I had a lucrative career I always wanted more time off work and to get away from work. Now, I don\’t pay any attention at all to time off work because I live a very daily life. That is, do I work today or not. One day at a time, never focused on how little vacation I have.

I took a seven mile walk in neighborhoods around where I live. It is very cold and windy today, 21F wind chill. But the sun did come out.

I first became interested in Corona when I heard about the Diamond Princess. The Diamond Princess was the cruise ship anchored off Yokohama and not allowed to disembark. They had Corona on board and the Japanese decided to quarantine the ship. It was to me an interesting example of class structure in our society. The rich first world passengers were quarantined in their cabins but the servant crew, many third worlders, were still serving and not quarantined at all. The passengers got Corona despite being in their cabins. America is wearing these shoes now. The salaried class took their lap tops and went home while the worker class continues to work. The salaried class keeps their salaries and benefits despite not working while the worker class needs to work or else lose all. The salaried class is driving around going shopping while the worker class is manning the stores. That was a very funny thing to discuss at Starbucks since the managers were making decisions about what was safe for baristas while sitting at home not facing any risks themselves. So far however, Starbucks has been good to baristas.

Then Corona went to other parts of the world. Then to other parts of the US. Then a little bit here in fly over country. I am a student of Abraham Hicks. Today I listened to a tape which absolutely helped me find a reality separate from Corona reality. I absolutely can focus on things important to me in a positive sense, not in a disease sense. I can decondition my habitual thinking. I can get my mind off the conditions around me and on something else.  I can include less of \”it\” now. I create my own reality out of my thoughts, which I get to choose. How I feel about the choices is my feed back for whether I was in alignment with my Inner Being.

Spring is coming. The trees are barely in bud.

I went for a walk with a friend.

When I am not working out, I am reading the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks. I work on my own writing. I signed up for online Abraham Now series.

Happy Holidays

Christmas has come, and almost gone. Yesterday, I had a smashing good and hilarious time working a shift at Starbucks. The mostly bitchy shift supervisor wasn\’t there. The fun cool one was. So we had a fun cool time.

Now, Christmas day itself. I slept in, not having to be at Starbucks at 4:30 am. Then I spent 2.5 hours multi-tasking: laundry, cook the squash, study my latest neuro science book and make notes for my own book.  Run 15.5 miles in Parkville, along the Missouri river. Today is very warm, in the 60s and I ran pretty energetically. On the way home, I got my usual favorite meal: grilled cheese and diet cherry Coke from Quick Trip. Shower. Green smoothie.

This evening, I will join some long term friends for an AA meeting and pot luck. My contribution, see\’ns how I don\’t cook, is a bag of Starbucks coffee.

I guess I love Starbucks. I see that the partners have been putting jokes on our group-me all day. I mean, we communicate with each other with funny things even when not at work. That never happened when I was a serious corporate person.

A Valley

Here is more of my story. Writing it on this blog might help me figure it out. It relates to Law of Attraction, alignment with my inner being, and finding my way to a new vibration.
Being in a spiritual valley can be a good thing as it causes you to look at what you have been doing and make changes for the future.
Nov 8/9, I ran a 50 mile race. The race it self was an experience of being in the zone. It was so easy to accomplish. And the drive home featured a magnificent sunset which seemed like the Universe winking at me in joy. I mention this because it was the top of a mountain experience. I\’ve since fallen off. 
I took off work the day after the race (Sunday). Monday and Tuesday I had shifts at Starbucks. These turned out to be difficult as my physical resources were largely depleted, and I had a couple of blisters which made time on my feet painful. Also, after a conversation with one of the shift managers, I made my decision to quit working at Starbucks. 
When I talked to the store manager about quitting, she didn\’t want me to quit, especially for my reasons: feeling disrespected and worn out. So, I didn\’t quit, only reduced the number of hours by more than half. But I also had two more weeks of survival mode. Survival mode is how I\’ve survived getting to work at 4:30 am four days a week for the past year. I sort of knew I was in it, but didn\’t consciously ask myself about it. I just did it. Well, survival mode had been feeling worse and worse. Like everyday asking myself, \”How am I going to get through today?\”  As I looked at Thanksgiving week, coming off 4 days of work in a row and going into 3 more days after Thanksgiving, plus going to the monastery for Thanksgiving, I knew I dreaded the whole thing. So I got a cold. Trying to manage the cold and go to work (after Thanksgiving) meant overdosing on cold medicine. Bad mistake. I got a sinus infection.
Now, this week (Dec 2) is the first week of reduced hours, only two shifts of 5.5 hours. I felt free the moment I got out of the last long shift (Tuesday). I felt my focus move from Starbucks to writing and conscious creation. That was yesterday (Wednesday) morning. But, God, my head was still full of gunk, bad gunk. However, the guidance I got from my inner being, since I was meditating instead of going to work, was to look on google for remedies for a sinus infection (since doctors are powerless over virus\’s). I learned about sinus rinsing, and apple cider vinegar. Wild horses could not have stopped me from enacting sinus rinsing. I felt that push of alignment with my inner being. I know, I felt it over an unspiritual thing like a  sinus infection but it really felt like spiritual alignment. I obtained the materials at CVS and have tried it 3 times. Now at least the mucus is fluid and clear.
This morning (Thursday), I finished another chapter of my spiritual writing, four now done. Then I looked at the title page, which I have not looked at for months. I realized that I like the title alot. \”A THOUSAND MEDITATIONS — For Addicts and Other Humans\” I have 3 more chapters to edit and write introductions. That is a bit of work. I feel good about getting it done.
I still think that phase 3 of my life is in a valley, not yet climbing very far up the mountain. I feel much happier with Starbucks off my mind and not a focus. Being sick has caused me to pause. I ask for guidance for each next step. Abraham says,\”I\’ll never get it done.\” This saying means, I am an extension of Source energy, an eternal being, and so there is always more. I want to understand more about being a vibrational being. I have the space in my life to focus on my inner being.
So, I am in a valley but looking forward to climbing another mountain. I don\’t know what the next mountain is, but I know it is there.