Tag Archives: mental shift

Teleworking week 3: view from home

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While teleworking, I discovered that routine is queen. Yet, I remember that it is a constitutional monarchy. Dancing and crying and hugging and feeling sad are not under her rule. I can do any or all of that, if I feel like. No permission from the queen-routine required.

At the first walk-around-the-block since this started: « Mom, I have an impression I am walking with a toddler…». I was beyond myself from the sun and air and river view. Never in my life the view of a swimming water rat excited me to levels I never knew. I promise, my child, I’ll grow swiftly back into your mom.

As we cannot go and greet the spring, the way we used to, we turn to art. Thank you Conny Famm for your “State of soul”.

My shopping patterns changed. I cancelled orders. That’s a first for me. Instead, I redirected the money to a local initiative of chefs cooking for hospitals’ staff in the region – Des repas pour les anges gardiens. And in my home country through Diaconia http://www.diaconia.md.

The fight for internal resources – the one and only laptop in the house – ended with a gentlemen agreement.

I “went” to a ballet performance. « LAC » by Jean-Christophe Maillot at Monte Carlo Opera, courtesy of Monaco plus.

I seriously upgraded my emoji use skills. From novice to intermediate. I am still very far from the emoji-master in my house. I’ve got something to aspire to.

We welcomed a new precious member into our family and thank him for reminding us of the gift of life. We wish him a happy and long life! And we promise to be more conscious of what we do to mother Earth and how we treat each other.

Teleworking week 2: view from home, part 2

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I clearly distinguish now by voice the neighbours’ kids: baby, toddler 1, toddler 2, just kid, teenager 1, teenager 2.

My average weekly walking distance is a joke. I turned off the counting. Walking with the phone in the pocket does not help.

I am glad I can cook and bake. These skills are priceless. Thank you, grandmother. I know you are smiling with satisfaction now.

I am disappointed that there was no funny incident during my kid’s virtual classes this week. You know, like the ones facebook is flooded with. With the exception of a background noise of some plates reaching the floor and the teacher’s voice: “ Attention, la vaisselle!” I hope it was not too expensive.

I immersed myself in hand washing, stream-washing style. Excellent for shoulders. Some of my wash-by-hand cloths are having a pool party. At least someone does.

And, my succulent is a text book example of resilience: and it shall bloom no matter what.

Teleworking week 2: view from home, part 1

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The closest pharmacy to my place is on the ground floor of my apartments bloc. The other day, as I was waiting outside for my turn to enter, a seniour citizen in his late 70s “approached” me:

– You are not wearing a mask…. Why?, he asked, a bandana in his hand.

– I do not need to. It serves those who are sneezing, coughing…, I answered summoning all my empathy.

– You know, he replied, I am terrified. I watch the TV and see all that….

– I have no TV for ten years now.

– You may be right, he said,…about the TV.

– Would you like to go inside the pharmacy? I can wait, I offered.

He gladly took my offer. I could hear their conversation. The pharmacist assumed he had hearing problems so he was yelling his answers. The gentleman was clearly scared. He did not buy anything. He needed human interaction and hypeless communication.

There is no right or wrong way to react to all around in these new circumstances. It’s one thing to watch a SF movie and another to be here and now. This is one of the reasons I never liked SF movies and apocalyptic views.

Back to the story of this gentleman. He is one of the millions, indoors, with a TV only as a company, probably, his loneliness brought at another level… . Psychologists already noticed it. Too many bad news and little information on recovery is dangerous for the human psyche. Psychologists around the world keep encouraging to try to look for positives and share them when you talk to others. It is demonstrated by research that a stressed mind diminishes the immune response.

Some countries and regions have installed services for people to call and talk to someone. Some of us are doing it at personal level – through baskets of solidarity or food ordered and delivered to those who need it. I see it in my country, enabled by charities joining forces with the business, like Diaconia and Kaufland.

Again, on a personal level one can read a book by skype/phone or start a virtual book club. Or put together a list of online entertainment: free opera streaming, concerts, movies, virtual museums visits etc. Little gestures which bring a human voice and touch to a lonely human heart … .

I loved Daniel Kaufmann’s article of this week “Caremongering – random acts of kindness” https://www-brookings-edu.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2020/03/19/caremongering-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-random-acts-of-kindness-and-online-enrichment/amp/

Here is to caremongering – random acts of kindness today and everyday.

teleworking week 1: view from home

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By the end of the week I recognise by voice the neighbors’ kids – a family of five. Thought about bribing them with an ipad each.

I had to put up with three different routines. There is no more mystery about what my household members do when I am at work.

I started getting emails from my kid’s teacher! I am beyond excited. It was a dream which came true after five years in France. All it took it was a pandemic. Maybe we can agree on a different milder trigger?! I also respond diligently to all his emails, to keep the good practice. Hope he did not mark as spam my email address. After all, he is a teacher and marking is what he does.

I saved on make up. My new bottle of perfume is still full. I also wonder if men keep their daily shaving routine while teleworking. I know who to ask.

The number of snaccidents was at great risk of increasing. My improvised office is less than 5 meters away from the kitchen. Thanks to Invisalign the risk was managed. This is not a publicity for Invisalign, I am simply grateful that it rescued me from some sorts of potential sports. And you have to carry a paper with you these days in France, even if you go to the park for jogging or admiring birds, whatever your favourite sport is these days.

I am finally “revenged”. LVMH, the perfumes giant, started producing hand sanitizers. Ha! To all those who condemned me with their “can-you-believe-her” stare when I cleaned my kid’s hands at the playground before she had her snack five years ago. Merci, LVMH!

Children’s lawyer

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When do we stop being our kids’ lawyers? And why?A

My friends know that no matter what I am a kids’ pro bono lawyer on a 24/24, seven days a week duty.

My colleague was upset. At his daycare, her four year son drew a picture of him in future. It was a black painting with couple of squares underneath and a sketch for a human being. „Shall I take this to a psychoanalyst?!”. She looked determined. Relieved she did not say “shrink”!

”Why?” I asked in dismay. „Have you asked him, your son, what he meant to draw?” . „Yes, in the morning”.

„And?”. „He told me the black was for the smoke from a huge fire, and the squares are firefighter trucks and the boy is him in the future, a firefighter!”.

„See, I told her, no need for a psychoanalyst. All you need is to ask him. And I think he is altruistic, concerned about others’ needs, generous and used black/bold to draw attention to danger.”

There was a momentary mental shift in her head, on this occasion at least, I hope.

Children give back what they get or they raise above. Have no expectations of them being our lawyers in due time, if we have not exemplified this role ourselves.

My child is very quick in ordering her father to kiss me. The other day, he asked her to tell me to kiss him.  She made a gesture saying there is nothing I can do 🙂

It’s ok not to be homesick

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Reading “Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather” by  the Chinese writer Gao Xingjian I realised I was never homesick. And it made me sad.
I had a home, that is a place to stay, with a roof and walls. My emotional associations therewith were of an orphan longing to escape. As soon as the opportunity materialised itself, I joyfully departed for good, with a bag of cloths in my hand. Only to return on a couple of unhappy occasions, which became more and more distant and reduced to none over the last years.
There were many whys in my mind. Why a home is rejecting instead of welcoming? Why those who live there are trapped in their own unhappiness? Why a home is not cherished as it should be?…. .
Responses to these and other whys do not matter anymore to me. I learned to build a home in my heart. It stays with me, wherever I go. It welcomes happy thoughts and happy people. It accepts me as I am. It offers shelter when I need it. It asks nothing of me. It gives me plenty. I realise it also saves me from being homesick to the point of physical or mental illness.
I later built my own nest for my family. My life taught me to cherish and protect it and make it a space crowned with love. My partner still prefers to say “I’m coming home to you”.
Home is where love is.  It can be your house. It can be a tree house. It can be your heart. What matters is how it makes you feel. Today and everyday.true home

Recycled Orchestra

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“The World sends us garbage. We send back music” Favio Chavez, Orchestra Director

This is how the teaser for the upcoming documentary “Landfill Harmonic starts.

Simple words. Powerful love message. Anything can be recycled with Love.

” The film introduces the town of Cateura, a slum in Paraguay built atop a landfill where residents have created music from the trash heaped upon them. Scouring the rubbish, the determined music-lovers have built violins, cellos, and other classical instruments, resulting in the “Recycled Orchestra.”

This kind of happy encounters warm your heart and produce a mental shift into better at a time when you most need it.

Think about it: what is worth it and what is not: the orchestra plays in a place ‘where a violin costs more than a house” 🙂