I almost ate my words…

Be Great I wrote a few days ago. Be great. We were already aware of the total chaos that was beginning to roll out. The devastating blow to hit industry was already made. We were already seeing the impact on our global community. Our immediate circle, you know the 6 degrees of separation, had already had a scare. But, I knew I had to stay optimistic. That life would be even worse if I fell apart. Be Great I thought.

But, then it was Thursday. Cold and rainy. We were clearing out walk in coolers of food, at one of our restaurants. So much of which had to be thrown out. Packing up bags of food for ourselves and employees. The news was on. The plans for “assistance” were rolling out. Small businesses are being offered low interest loans? Really? All income has come to a complete halt. We will be up to our hair follicles in mortgage payments, food and drink inventory that had been ordered and delivered, utilities, credit card payments. What a pickle. Not to mention, the worry we feel for our staff. Then we are supposed to have to pay back a loan? Trust me when I say I was feeling anything but great.

I went into a catatonic state. I found myself teary at odd moments. So many emotions and stress. I began to panic. What if’s began to dominate my thoughts. What if. 

But, at the end of the day I had to come home to the one kid in the bubble with us, and keep calm for her.(Not because she was showing panic, but because it is my job as a parental to be honest but calm.) I had to talk to my kid and my mom and help keep them as buoyant as possible. It was my responsibility to check in with some friends to make sure they were ok. And, to stand quietly next to my man to give him the space needed to work through all of this, the best way he could. To not add to his anxiety. You see…I love my people. I love them completely. 

A few nights ago I got in to bed and turned on Netflix looking for something new to watch. Something to take my mind off the tribulations of the world. I almost fell out of bed when I saw in “trending now” was the movie “ PANDEMIC”?!?!?! WHAT? Aren’t we living the real pandemic? Why would people want to watch something like that NOW? Immediately, I knew there was NO way I would watch this, even under the best of circumstances. I know I am not the target market for that movie on a good day, as I hate scary movies. I lived as a single mom for years with my laundry in a basement I was not fond of, and now live in a large home that can have some pretty creepy shadows….so, yeah, I have always avoided scary movies. 

The next morning, in the shower, where, by the way, I do my best thinking, I  started to wonder what character I would play in a scary movie. Would I be the empty headed girl who was just in to flirting? Would I be the girl who walked towards the danger, even with the movie viewers yelling at the screen to “TURN BACK!”? Or, would I be the girl who just got the heck out of harms way and stayed level headed and kept everyone else calm? 

I would like to think I would be the latter. Keeping calm. 

Trust me. I am nervous. I am fearful. I am teary. I do not know how to dig out of this. I am worried not about being sheltered in place, but, of me, or my loved ones getting sick, and of the financial chaos we have found ourselves in. 

Even as I work out and dance to live classes, I hear an old song and I start to cry. Some part of it are happy tears. Tears of memories long forgotten. Tears of joy as I recalled so many good memories made through dance and fitness. But, some part are tears of sadness. Would the world ever be the same? Can I protect my loved ones? When will this end so we can dance together and hug and cry on each other instead of for each other?

I am making peace with the difference between understanding that it is ok, and that we are all feeling anxiety vs allowing myself to melt down and freak out. I am making peace with tears at random moments, allowing them to happen, but then wiping them away and refocusing. 

So, now….trying to fill my head with tasks. Not really projects yet. As of Friday, we were still going in to the office to clear up stuff, not knowing how long all of this will last. And now, I do find myself with a WHOLE LOT of random food items from the cleaning out of our walk in cooler,  such as feta and avocados! I am learning that one CAN freeze feta. Who knew? And I am spending some time mashing avocados and freezing them as well as cutting up tofu and freezing it, and wrapping up tortillas to freeze.

But, even through all of this….at random moments I tear up. I had a hard talk with my man on what would happen if something happened to either of us. We have had this talk before, but this, in light of everything else, had to be said aloud again. This is one of those moments when I  wished I had a puppy to snuggle with. A fuzzy love. 

I say all of this as a way to work through all of my feelings. I say all of this, as I know I can not be the only one. I say all of this to be together in solidarity through words and technology. To announce that it is ok and quite normal these days to feel emotional. 

I am now making my plans on how to fill my days. And am trying to plan what my tomorrow will look like. 

So, yesterday was really day 1 of my sheltering. And today I planned my menus based on urgency with shelf unstable food. Yesterday at 5pm we began our TRUE shelter in place, except for food runs. I was thinking to buy some paint to work on upstairs doors. Sadly, it did not happen…might still see if there is a hardware store that can help me.

To take my mind off of all of this, I will post here my upcoming dinner menus, and maybe also on Insta. I am also scheduling each day to deep clean one room. Baseboards, windows, mop, dust, shake out/wash curtains….

Please share with me your recipes and any other ways you are tricking your mind to overcome the bouts of darkness and to return your brain to positivity. 

So, here we go….

Two nights ago was chickpea/cauliflower taco night with fresh cabbage topping.  I have made this before it is scrumptious, and even my meat eaters enjoy. It is inexpensive and very easy to make.  I even snuck in some mashed tofu and no one was the wiser, until I told them. I posted the recipe on my Insta story.

Tonight I am trying vegetarian spring rolls with cabbage and mushrooms and maybe even a bit of tofu. Wish me luck. We are also going to try and replicate the cauliflower/broccoli dish from one of our restaurants! 

My Gen Z wants to try tofu dumplings. Trust me….I am ALL in on that!  She has also been doing a bit of baking to keep her and her dad satisfied on treats.

Here are some of the other meals on deck for the next few days:

*potatoes grande (stuffed potatoes with corn, black beans, a little cheese, onions)

*pork shank from one of our restaurants for my meat eaters (will figure something out for myself…a beyond burger?)

*spaghetti squash with beyond meat and red sauce

*lentil barbecue sliders with cole slaw

*chickpea curry over rice

Also, one of my favorite non dairy desserts is whipping a frozen banana and peanut butter together! OMG…so freaking good.

Talk to me people. 

Share your recipes.

Your favorite YOUTUBE workout sites.

Your favorite NETFLIX/AMAZON shows.

Your projects around the house.

Are you Tik Tok famous now? Share how we can find you. 

Are you taking photographs? Creating music?

Share the live concerts you are looking forward to.

So, I guess I am not eating my words after all. I am doubling down on working towards Being Great. I am however, painfully aware that it is ok to Be Great but to still feel all kinds of emotions. I suspect I will hit these highs and lows many times over before this all ends. Might be tough at times to remember to be great. These are strange and unusual times but together lifting one another up and laughing together is going to make us all great!

Mad love all! 

“Tough times never last. But, tough people do.”

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