Sewing skills come in handy during a pandemic

April 24, 2020

I learned to sew in High School home economics class, where in I learned how to make very simple items. At the time, I never dreamed that these skills, somewhat more developed as I grew up and needed to alter dance dresses and make pillows to decorate my home, would help me get through the worst pandemic in my lifetime. As of late, I’m learning to make face masks for protection while going out into the public during this difficult period.

My first fore into making face masks didn’t go very well. Although I selected what appeared to be a straight forward pattern, complete with a how to video, I still didn’t get the final result correct. The finished product just didn’t look like the example in the video; it was too small. Taking a step back, I realized that my estimating wasn’t working; I was going to have to really measure and be accurate. Ok, so eyeballing it was the way I’d done things most of my life and this simple face mask just seemed too easy. Then again, during this trying time, my brain wasn’t working at full capacity. I guess when one is stressed the mind is so distracted that it’s harder to focus.

Home made facemask

As it was time for me to venture out for a weekly grocery run, I decided to take the masks with me. I put the five masks in the zip lock bags in my car and went off to the store. Waves of emotion came over me from embarrassment to suggest that someone take a handmade mask from me to pride that I was trying to help people who didn’t have protective gear. It made sense to me to bypass those customers already wearing masks moving on to those customers not wearing one. I asked one lady if she needed one for a family member and she refused, not even very politely. At this point I felt like she thought I had put the virus in the bag instead of a mask. Didn’t she get I was doing a good deed? Oh well, some people don’t understand the concept of helping others. Ok, keeping at it meant overcoming my own fear of rejection. On to the next person who was a lady not wearing a mask. I called out to her, “Excuse me, but would you like a mask? I’m making them” This time, the woman took it and commented that it looked very nice. Her response and acceptance made me sigh with relief both for her and for me that my efforts were ok. By the end of my grocery run I had given away four of the five masks. I took my groceries and my pride home.

I knew that my attempt to make the masks was not perfect but they actually looked pretty good. The first batch was pink, pretty much limiting my offer to women. In any case, the next day I was in the drug store and a woman actually came in looking to buy masks. I overheard her request and the clerk’s negative response, so I chimed in that I had one to give her. She initially thought that I wanted to sell it for money and I just shook my head and walked her to my car, keeping our distance. I reached into my car grabbing the last mask, handed it to her and was relieved to see her smile when she saw it. Ok, yes, it’s external gratification but sometimes it’s ok.

I’m continuing to make the masks with the material that I have and a bit more that my neighbor gave to me for this purpose. I expect that I can make 6-7 more masks which will not save lives nor make a difference in the overall death count of the country but it will keep me somewhat busy here and there. In addition, it might help a few people have some additional protection than they would have and if no more than comply with the current legal requirements for facemasks in public settings. In the end, it did make me feel like I was helping. Now I know how the women who worked in the factories during World War II felt each day as they came home. Everyone should do their part, even if it’s really small.

As always, comments are welcome.


Slow Down for 2020

January 22, 2020

Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? How about slowing down and enjoying the many blessings that we already have in our lives? If we are going so fast, running around doing errands, attending to the insurance and phone problems as well as the doctor appointments, visits with friends that we cram in rather than space out, we just can’t enjoy our time. So for this New Year, I vowed to really slow down. Then the universe began to give me opportunities to do so as well as other people who felt the same to help me attain my new goal.

Sometimes there are pushes to get to new soul developments in our lives. In my case, it was ill health throughout the month of December. First, I had stomach issues that seemed to be related to overdosing on vitamin supplements. I had been told that I needed to take more and more specialized supplements to handle leaky gut and adrenal problems. The underlying symptoms were extreme fatigue, poor digestion, and the feeling that my very expensive organic diet wasn’t being converted to energy. In the end, I had to stop taking all this stuff and just rest, relax and slowdown in order to get better.  Towards the end of the month I came down with a really bad cold and cough which I believe was part of a healing crisis.

During this time, I began to do some journaling and realized that it was a turning point in my life. Perhaps my soul was writing the story of my life and detoxing from the prior extremes that I had gone through for what may well be the first 2/3 of the years that I would have on this plane of existence. Although one never knows the exact time that we get here, I just have this feeling that my time as a life coach had come to an end, even though I will continue to help others in a more probono manner.  Just as I had left the corporate world over 10 years ago, I was now letting my semi-retirement profession go as well. I had done this partially a couple years ago, but felt that I had totally left it now and was detoxing from the residue of helping others get rid of their junk.  The final phase was to literally slow down.

And then I went off to a tango festival on the west coast in concert with a family visit. During this time, I met some awesome people who were light bearers. When I refer to people in this way, I mean that I could feel how spiritually then led their lives and interacting with them was a joy. Truly I was feeling the joy return to my life after being around these people for several days.

This was the fourth year that I’d done this particular dance program but the first one where I’d met so many light bearers. I might meet someone in a workshop and then somehow connect for a meal during which we’d chat; I’d then find out how really interesting they were and that it was their birthday the following week. So, in my good feelings of abundance, I paid for their meal as well as mine. They were happy and I felt great. By being with people of the light, I was more of the light also. Another example was of a guy I met at one of the dance evenings that interacted with me on an outing to a park the next day. We totally had a great time and enjoyed the day together. During this time, we shared stories of our lives and found out how very spiritual we both were.  I thought I was spiritual, but he’d studied for many more years and shared with me about his beliefs of compassion, meditation and allowing the universe to guide him. Although I had my own version of these disciplines, it was wonderful to be with a kindred soul. His energy felt so good to me that I was in a very nice calm place all day. The hours flew by. Once again, the universe delivered me to just the right people in just the right place for me to evolve even more.

So as I celebrated the New Year on the West Coast, I brought in a new spirit of abundance, calmer and with a renewed desire to appreciate all the many blessings I already have… in other words, to slow down and find my joy.


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