Anxiety and the Coronavirus

It’s a super gorgeous Spring day here. The birds are singing again, the goldfish in our pond are awake and flashing their brilliant orange. You would never imagine that the world is battling a pandemic caused by coronavirus. and that we are self-isolating.

Here in Nova Scotia, we had the first case just a few short weeks ago and now there are 262 confirmed cases. The entire province’s population is 1,000,000, so our numbers are low. But like the rest of Canada, we are in self-isolation at home.

Cat in Self-Isolation.   “Why are all the people so stressed out?”

Two weeks ago I felt anxious all the time. The 24/7 news cycle of horror, and the unprecedented global nature of the virus felt overwhelming. I thought I was turning into Neo in the Matrix movie when Morpheus horrifies him with the news that life on earth is now a computer simulation because the actual world has been obliterated.

Evening in the dining tent, Cameron Lake, 1994. ©Flora Doehler

But by far my worst anxiety was about the safety of our grown son and daughter in Berlin and in Montreal. It made sense to Larry and me that they both come home to be with us to ride out the pandemic.

Well, we weren’t on the same page, to say the least. Yet, as other parents know : once a parent, always a parent. Our love for them is unconditional and it’s in our DNA to keep our children (no matter the age) safe and cared for. As it turns out, they were wiser than we were. Both are fine, working from home and adapting quite well (dare I say ‘better than their mother’?) to the extreme behavioral adaptations we’ve all had to make to lessen the spread of the virus.

So this last week, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to change the fear I feel by changing my outlook. In no particular order, this has included:

  1. trusting that our kids are doing what is needed to stay safe
  2. limiting my news consumption
  3. listening to calming, meditative music on SoundCloud
  4. treating this time as a pause and a chance to assess life
  5. preparing healthy meals for Larry and me
  6. making creative plans for the future
  7. planning an even bigger vegetable garden this year
  8. coming back to the many activities around the house that I’ve postponed
  9. spending time in my studio painting
  10. working on practicing yoga and meditation
  11. appreciating the past, present and future times with my life partner Larry

I’ll bet you have some great tips that are helping you get through the mental worry part. I’d like to hear them.

I’m sure that books will be written about coping strategies, but also about positive spin-offs to this new era. I am hoping that countries will learn that we can all cooperate on finding  medicine and a vaccine for the virus. After that we can solve the climate crisis together. I truly hope that will be next.

Who ever thought that a virus would happen this year that would bring worldwide unemployment and close down everything like a Sunday in Canada in the 60’s?

May you and your loved ones be safe, stay home and go easy on yourself.

Little paintings in the studio and the last tulips for sale in Digby.
Disconnecting from the news.

Give Me One Reason to Stay Here…and I’ll turn right back around

I wrote this post 5 years ago. We’re very happy with our place in the universe – Bear River. – Flora
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Taurus(Flora) and Leo(Larry) horoscope for Sept07

We leave for our new life in Bear River, Nova Scotia in a month. Our horoscopes for this month are quite prescient and speak to those changes. What follows is from Planet Waves written by Eric Francis. 

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) (Larry)
Conventional wisdom you might be reading in other horoscopes holds that Saturn transiting one’s 2nd house, which begins for you Sept. 2, brings challenges with money. Yet Saturn leaving Leo no doubt comes as a relief on all fronts. As for money, much of how Saturn manifests depends on how we meet those challenges. Saturn transiting any house talks about making reductions and improvements to efficiencythings you’re already good at. But it also talks about focusing your efforts on what matters most, and applying refinements to earn your living from your professional calling rather than some other way. Where Saturn is present, focusing on the architecture and form of the matter in question is helpful, and many have noted that money flows toward structure. Above all, this two-year transit is about deciding what’s most important to you. When you’re involved in what really matters, you will tend to feel good about yourself. If you ever get to a point where you don’t, ask yourself what you’re doing and why.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) (Flora)
You seem pulled in three directions. One feels like stern, cool discipline. Another feels like a creative or erotic risk you would never normally imagine taking. A third is “anywhere but here.” This third option is a good start, because the past, as a long-haul phenomenon, is something you know it’s time to break with. Yet you still seem to be wrestling with the perception that a passionate life is something you can plan and live in a structured way. The structure you need is an inner sense of focus; Saturn now making its way across your 5th solar house — the house of art, risks and passion — is here to remind you that you must be your own master. Planning the future is one thing, and it’s generally difficult. Knowing your priorities and what you are willing to do about them is another. Yet there is one factor on the horizon that you simply cannot plan for; all you can do is respond, and respond with both authority, and remembering your hard-earned sense of adventure.

Toronto House Sold = Bear River, Here We Come!

I want to update you about our journey east as our launch deadline draws near.

The house sold after 7 days and 3 offers. The hot real estate market in Toronto worked in our favor. Also, the garden looked lovely and lush, even though. We worked really, really, really hard to get everything into a polished shape.

We are still in the house and now I feel as if I’m living in a hotel or a B and B. The place is TOTALLY de-cluttered and there aren’t piles of papers everywhere. On the other hand, it’s not really functional and I can’t paint because the studio has turned back into a living room and the art supplies are packed. I thought I might have ‘seller’s remorse’ but it hasn’t hit me yet, 2 weeks later. In fact, I feel a huge sense of relief that this hurdle is over and that we are now free to pursue our long awaited dream of living near the ocean and pursuing our art.

The only time I feel regrets is when I think about living in a far-off province from our son Jesse. It’s been such a gift to live with him this past year.  I know it’s inevitable that we all will continue our journeys in separate directions, but it’s hard for me. It was really tough when Emmy moved out of province, but now with webcams and Skype, we have wonderful visits and Larry and I have adapted, so I know we will again.

Who knew that being a mother and feeling that attachment to your kids would be so strong and so eternal? I know I used to resent it from my own mother, but now I think of her and smile at the irony of this situation and ask for her forgiveness.

Anyway, this new step is so exciting. Larry and I will have the chance to work creatively 24/7, for the first time in our lives. What an extraordinary gift we are about to receive. We will be doing this in one of the most beautiful spots in Canada. We have already met with and connected to some wonderful, funny, creative and generous artists and others in Bear River which is also amazing. And it looks like we’re going to get away with it too!

Stay tuned!

Emmy Leaves for la la land

Today was a day of parting. Our dearest daughter began the drive 5 days south west to work in animation in Los Angeles.
Larry said goodbye to our wonderful girl.

Jesse said goodbye to his dear sister.

Lucky said: “HEY GUYS…what about ME?!?!?!?

And Lucky got his wish…..

And away they went to la la land…………..