— Life —


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The other night I watched the classic 1959, film, The Diary of Anne Frank, the true story of seven people who went into hiding for two and a half years, hoping to save themselves from the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. They lived in a tiny space, on top of one another, and were forced to be silent for nine hours a day. The film had a number of takeaways applicable to the current Corona Virus crisis, but for me, the most important one is the need to get ourselves into a survivorship mentality. I’ve found myself there more times than I’d like to count.

While we can’t change the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we can change how we look at, and deal with, them.

Like the Frank family, life as we know it has ended for a while, and as a result, we may experience fear and depression. In addition to being diligent about social distancing and washing our hands, we must consciously work to preserve our mental and emotional health. We need to be smart, stay calm and resist the temptation to fixate on the cacophony of talking heads on the news all day. They will only feed our fears and anxiety, and anxiety traps us in our thoughts. It is an endless do loop. 

Above all, do not panic. Calmly think through every problem you’re faced with and how best to solve it. 

Don’t lump all of your problems together and let them overwhelm you. If I had panicked in the Guatemalan jungle, I never would have gotten away from the soldiers with automatic weapons who abducted me. Was I afraid? You bet, but by then, I had faced other life-threatening moments like when I jumped out of a second story bathroom window because my first husband was zonked on cocaine and alcohol and would have killed me. In the jungle I drew strength from knowing I’d survived other unspeakable things. 

In either instance, if I had let fear rule my actions, I would have faced a brutal death. My ability to keep a cool head saved my life.

There’s time to be afraid after a crisis is over, so for now… Don’t focus on your fears. That gets us nowhere. Instead solve one problem at a time whether it’s finding food and supplies, getting regular medications refilled, helping a loved one or keeping children entertained. Above all, don’t let your imagination runaway with you.

You can do this.

What if we use this time to strengthen our bodies? If you have an exercise bike or a treadmill… Use it. Every day. They can help us cope with fear and depression and boost our immune system.

Perhaps you’re like me and the treadmill bores you, but you also know if you don’t exercise, you will lose muscle tone and it will be difficult to get that level of fitness back again. This week I’ve been listening to podcasts that are as far removed from today’s headlines as possible. One of my favorites is The Wild with Chris Morgan, produced by KUOW in Puget Sound, the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Public Radio. Like The Diary of Anne Frank, it is so timely. Chris Morgan explores how nature survives and thrives alongside—and often in spite of—humans. I was hooked by the very first episode.

If you like yoga for strength building, relaxing or body, mind and spirit, but your local studio has been cancelled, take a look at Gaia. They have streaming videos, for every level, conducted by the best yoga teachers like Rodney Yee

Listen to meditation audios like ones from Belleruth Naperstek.

Maintain your sense of community by “having lunch together” with friends and family via FaceTime or Zoom.

If you’re a person of faith, I imagine you’ve already been in prayer, and if you’re not? I can’t think of a better time to say, “Hi, God. You don’t hear from me very often, but I need your help,” and then tell Him your concerns. Sometimes just talking with God can be calming.

While the corona virus has scared all of us, we need to get through this time with as little self-induced trauma as possible. I’m interested, what are you doing to stay in the survivorship mentality?

Love, Brenda


  • Tammy Carrington March 21, 2020 at 5:31 am

    This is so beautifully written and such great advice!! Love you!!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

      Thank you, Tammy. I’m happy you have someone in your life to help you through times like these. Love, Brenda

  • Irene March 21, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Brenda, thank you for your post, perfect for these times!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 21, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment, Irene! Take care of yourself. xoxox, Brenda

  • Donna Nance March 21, 2020 at 9:04 am

    This a wonderful post and I will send it on to folks. The Urban Farmer and I have daily Scripture study and prayer is a way of life. Fortunately this is spring so we can get out and walk in the neighborhood, and work in the backyard. If people are not adhering to self-isolation from others, this thing may drag on for a while. We can survive this…folks have survived worse. Brenda, I appreciate you so much! xoxo

    • 1010ParkPlace March 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

      Hi Donna! And I appreciate you as well. Continue to do all the right things and stay well. xoxox, Brenda

  • Colleen Fuller March 21, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Brenda, your words are inspiring. I read this Oswald Chambers quote today, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on difficulties”. Perhaps after these difficult days have passed we will live with more peace and love.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 21, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Thank you, Colleen. I pray this crisis can bring us together as a nation. Be well. xoxox, Brenda

    • Beckye March 21, 2020 at 4:05 pm

      Amen! Thanks for sharing!

  • Doreen McGettigan March 21, 2020 at 9:43 am

    This is so perfect! You have such a beautiful gift. Thank you.
    I haven’t been afraid yet, not even when I was told I may have been in contact ..twice. I have 2 days left and thank God no symptoms.
    My grocery delivery is fine, we even were able to get toilet paper.
    I’m sad for my high school and college senior grandkids. What they’ve missed can’t be made up.
    I’m sad for all the non profits who had to reschedule fundraisers and the weddings that had to be rescheduled, awful.
    But this won’t last as long as Anne Frank and her family’s isolation did, we will be fine.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 21, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Thank you, Doreen. Oh my! I’m going to assume you haven’t gotten the virus, but please be careful. I’m suspect of grocery stores as well as grocery and food delivery. We never know who’s handled the cartons or the sacks before they get to us, but we have no choice now. It’s a vulnerable feeling. Regardless of our age our lives have been upended. You remind me that you are one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met. You’ve always put yourself out there to help others. God bless you, friend. Stay well. Love, Brenda

  • Deborah March 21, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Brenda, as always, such sage advice. My parents always told us that when things get tough, the tough get going and that’s how I choose to deal with this situation. Calmly putting one foot in front of the other and doing what our government is telling us to do. Brighter days are ahead for all of us. We ‘ve got this!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 22, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      That’s right! You’ve got this, Deborah! I think our parents gave us the same message, plus I’ve learned… on my own… it’s the only way to deal with life. I’m amazed at the number of young people in the parks and on the streets of NYC and still on the beaches, and when the beaches are closed… They get together on a boat and party!! I was a responsible teenager and young adult. I was never inclined to do what I wanted, so the younger generations disappoint me… or perhaps I should say their parents disappoint me. Take care! xoxox, Brenda

  • Teri March 21, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Lovely post with good reminders. As my mother always reminded us, “This too shall pass”. Thank you.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 22, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Teri, Your mother’s phrase of “This too shall pass” is one of my favorites. Let’s just pray we’re all still here when it does pass. Thank you so much for being a member of this great community who reads my posts and leaves me thoughtful messages that contribute to the conversation and the group! Stay well. xoxox, Brenda

  • Josephine March 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I am meditating, deep breathing and Nordic walking in the park twice a week. Thank you for this post.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 22, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      So smart, Josephine!! You’re taking care of mind and body. Brava! Thanks for adding to the discussion. xoxox, Brenda

  • Diane March 21, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    It helps me to remember my record for getting out of tight spots is 100%. I’m frightened. But I’m determined to replace it with faith.
    Thank you for this wonderful post! Exactly the kind of level-headed ‘don’t panic’ advice I needed!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 22, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Diane. Great to see you here!!! Your comment tells me you already know how to weigh a situation and problem solve with a cool head. I want you in my foxhole in a crisis! God bless you. xoxox, Brenda

  • Beckye March 21, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Perfect timing, and great advice, Brenda! Thank you. I needed to refocus my gaze upwards. 😉 My hubby and I got back to walking a wonderful trail in our area last night even though it is chilly. Yesterday afternoon our whole court started working remotely. Hubby and I went shopping for the first time through all of this last night. Since we’re over 60 we’ll be doing the senior shopping or senior delivery available in the area for a while and hunker down. The virus is in our area now so social distancing is a must. I love your ideas for keeping fit mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And I need to get back to my survivorship mentality. Thanks for the links! You’re always a blessing! I’m sharing this with my 86 year old mom!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 22, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Beckye! It’s not just social distancing. We don’t know the health habits of the people who’ve stocked the grocery shelves or who are delivering our food. Lat week at HEB I saw a woman with three boxes of strawberries open, picking and choosing the ones she wanted. By the time she was done, she’d touched them all. And then there was the woman at the vet on Tuesday who told the woman at the desk, “None of this elbow bump stuff for me! I’m a hugger, and I’m going to hug you!” The woman behind the desk looked horrified but did it anyway!! There are careless, me, me, me, people everywhere who are going to make the rest of us sick! Keep walking, keep talking to God. Blessings and love to you, sweet friend. xoxo, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA March 22, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    MY MOTHER would be HAPPY with all my HAND WSHING as SHE always reminded me to do that after being out and I NEVER DID!
    I have limited my NEWS TOO.
    After seeing OUR PRESIDENT SCREAM at a REPORTER who asked him to say some CALMING WORDS to our country I told myself THATS IT!!!
    I have plenty to do……….but somehow I donot get much done in a day anymore!I call a few people.I think and cook dinner.
    Yesterday I did my whole pile of IRONING!!!
    TODAY I think I’ll READ.
    CAN’t wait to see where you went after jumping out of the second story window!!!!
    NO broken legs I assume………….?

    • 1010ParkPlacce March 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Sweet Friend! We should have already had a wonderful time, together, last week! I’m still heartbroken I didn’t get to spend time with you. Ironing? You iron? I don’t remember the last time I ironed something! What a novel concept! LOL! No broken legs from jumping out the window, but if you read the post, you see I was badly scratched, cut and bleeding, but I’m still here. Sending you and the Italian lots of love! Brenda

  • Taste of France March 23, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Bravo for this. We need to just wait until there’s a treatment or a vaccine, and not clog up the health care system any more than it already is.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2020 at 10:05 am

      TOF, We’re all in the same situation, but it’s scarier for some of us than others, plus too many people aren’t taking this seriously. I feel for those who are scared, but at the same time, I must resist the urge to be unkind to those who continue to go along in their merry way. Take care where you are! xoxox, Brenda

  • bonnie March 23, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    brenda, you are a lifesaver for your reminders and anecdotes. i’ve been meditating every morning, then doing my emails and social media from the bed! i then get up and dress in silly outfits and take photos. back in my sweats for a walk or a ride on the recumbent bike. i don’t know where the day goes. after dinner we binge something or watch mindless tv. this too shall pass – but not as soon as the %&#$% says.

    • 1010 Park Place March 23, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      LOL! Sounds like you’ve got this, Bonnie, and it make me happy to know that! We all need to keep on meditating and exercising and reaching deep down inside if we’re isolated or scared. This time may not be easy, especially if we’re alone, but WE’VE ALL GOT THIS! xoxox, Brenda

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