Random 5 for May 3 – Release valve, immigrants, Mom, threes, sunshine

Sasha the spare cat!

It finally blew – Long time readers may have detected a creeping melancholy in my recent posts. I had to pick up some things at the grocery store so I went very early (before it got too germy). I haven’t been to this particular store since the lock down. There were taped areas to get into queues (although at 7 a.m. there were no queues yet). Aisles were one way. It was frustrating because I wasn’t sure where the product was that I wanted so I had to go up and down most aisles. Once I got it I remembered something else but it would require walking almost the entire perimeter of the store. I just about got to my car when I started crying. Big uncontrollable sobs. I sobbed and didn’t care. It wasn’t about any one thing. It was a buildup of melancholy that no deep breathing exercises will fix. The pressure release valve had to vent after weeks of stress layering on. Damn that felt good.

A new perspective – After my pity party, I started to think about people who really have it tough. No job, no income and no sign of unemployment money. I thought about my grandparents who left their homeland never to see it or their parents again in order to find a new life for their kids. We treat immigrants so poorly yet all of us (or most) have ancestors who came here from another country. We should celebrate them and admire their strength. If we can be anything, be kind.

Mom to the rescue – I had a bad day this week. My electric toothbrush stopped working, my car radio went out and a long awaited shipment wasn’t right. In normal times this wouldn’t be a big deal but now, everything is a bigger deal. Instead of being overwhelmed (all this happened within hours) I remembered my Mom’s saying that bad things come in threes. That meant the bad was done for the day and I was joyous. Don’t tell me it doesn’t make sense because it worked for me.

Her theory – My mom thought everything came in threes. Deaths were foremost. All deaths came in threes so when someone died we always held our breath until the third one kicked the bucket. Good things came in threes. My mother even had three kids! Personally I thought three lottery wins would work for me. I have three cats plus a spare.

Throw open the windows – Yesterday was the first truly great day where you could open your windows (and allow pollen to enter) without gale force winds coming through. It was glorious. Sadly I had already planned an outdoor work day for things that were already a month behind. It was the kind of day that made life all worthwhile.

So how was your week?

 

83 thoughts on “Random 5 for May 3 – Release valve, immigrants, Mom, threes, sunshine

  1. Hi Kate, First, a huge hug! I get it. Sometimes, it is the build up and then it stares you in the face. You described it very well. Thank you!

    A huge, yes, on the immigrants and our families. Again, well said.

    I forgot about “the threes.” And yes, life worthwhile.

    Kate, you always remind me how we are more alike than different, as individuals, as families, as nations. I appreciate your candor. You wrote well, everything I am feeling.xx

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  2. I share your mom’s superstition about bad things coming in threes. I notice it especially in divorces (or split-ups) and new cars. Glad to hear your melancholy went away. It is really true that even small things hit you harder during these hard times.

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  3. It is hard to stay up all the time. I think it builds and builds and you must either let off steam or break down and cry, or risk stress taking its toll on your health. I identified with the “three things” as my mom said that too – whether it was things going wrong in the house, or the death of an aging movie star would happen shortly, she would make that proclamation. We had that glorious weather too! It was 80 on Saturday, 75 yesterday and I got a sunburn on my face as I came home and the neighbor wandered over to say “hi” – 3/4s of an hour later in full sun I put the car in the garage and the first telltale pink signs arrived later in the day. I’m glad we enjoyed it – it is 20 degrees colder today, a chance of frost the next few days and snow flurries Friday!

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    • We are having the weather swing but not quite that low. My face felt burny after I cleaned the pond but it didn’t color. I wasn’t in full sun for more than a few hours and I have heavy sunscreen on. I use a retinol on my face so it tends to be more sensitive.

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      • It is very chilly today – back in a Winter coat to walk and cold in the house. I was surprised I got burned. I wonder how it would look these days with a hat with a built-in sun visor like I often wear if I’m going to be out for a while (though I prefer mornings), and glasses and a face mask? At least no more sunburns. I used to cover up my highlights when I had a full day outdoors working in the yard as I heard they faded. Now I don’t spend as much time outdoors since the Polar Vortex killed off 75% of my perennials and my roses are not what they used to be.

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  4. That kind of emotion is long overdue for many people. Sometimes it’s best to let it out and hope you feel better. Very tough time. And when things don’t go right it just compounds those feelings. Stay well.

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  5. There is something about having a good cry that makes one feel so much better. Recently my mom tested positive for corona and the future for her felt rather bleak given her advanced age and bad health. For a few days all I could do was cry but I just let the tears flow, it felt good to have that release. And then I decided to change my attitude and have belief in her ability to heal and be healthy and lo and behold she finally has recovered. But I don’t think it takes knowing someone with corona to get stressed out and to need to relieve it. Everything is different for everyone ~ some worse than others… a good cry goes a long way to relieving stress. Otherwise it all just gets bottled up and turns into fear and pain and anger…

    Good post

    Peta

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    • I really wish I could cry more. Too many years of suppressing it makes it hard for me. It is a great release. So glad that you mom recovered. Seems like a crap shoot if you catch it. Many recover, even some older ones. Yet we’ve had young folks die with no underlying other disease. Truly scary.

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  6. I know that cry felt good, and I completely understand after going to the grocery store. That is where I feel the changes the most. My mom drilled the 3’s into my head too. It’s so weird how that just pops in at the right time.
    Honestly, yesterday was perfection, pollen, and all.

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  7. Sometimes, you just have to let it out. Remember, depression is anger turned inwards. All the best to you. Thanks for some great memories of the things your mother said, I could her mine so many years ago saying the same.

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  8. A good cry and then thoughts about those who have it worse makes sense. Sometimes it’s the little irritants that drive you crazy. And then you get over it.

    This week I attended my first Zoom funeral. It was for a neighbor, two doors down. A lovely lady. I went to Sicily with her a few years ago. Since then, she came down with Alzheimer’s, which was big shock. She died from COVID, though. My little town has had close to 300 cases. You’d never know it just looking around. Our local newspaper publishes the statistics, though.

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    • That is a lot. We had 83 in our small county but all around us there are big numbers. Part of our state eased restrictions but not our area. Around here all funerals are deferred or private. When the restrictions are removed there will be wall to wall funeral memorials.

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  9. I feel you with the crying. This whole thing is crazy. The stress is thick and deep. I actually had a panic attack one day when I saw that my state was letting violent sex offenders out of jail due to the virus, and putting hair stylists in jail who are trying to feed their families by doing some haircuts in their home. I haven’t seen my mom since I gave her a surprise 80th birthday party on February 8th. She is on lockdown in her senior facility.

    I’m glad you were able to release some of that stress with tears. I’m waiting for that to happen for me instead of getting anxiety. Stay well.

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    • It’s a great release but it doesn’t do away with the anxiety. The anxiety will hang around long after this is over. It’s a great thing that you have a surprise parts for you mother. That is a special memory.

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  10. I have told RC Cat “Don’t you even think of pulling a Mollie – you eat and stay well”
    While our life hasn’t really changed all that much – we’ve been working from home for years, it’s still a stress. One of the business partners who has frail died after weeks in ICU with this virus, his kids never really engaged into the business although they got a check and husband is trying to keep things there steady. The banks have closed close locations. All the phone lines to companies have long irritating phone trees/messages to wade through – and so many people are out of place (It’s easier to get business clients/offices in Italy or China than here). His frustrations keep dripping over into my world.
    Yep, best go outside when possible. Life is such chaos
    I’ve almost got the hang of calling in for groceries/curbside and planning a couple of weeks out – we are so luck to have a grocery store that had disaster plans already to go and good supply lines.
    I’m avoiding going in places, ’cause I just don’t want to see it – the reality of how life may never be the same.
    We were pretty much a “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going” family. Fortunately chaos isn’t a problem normally for me ( later afterwards maybe when done), but the cat.
    Endorphins from crying are good. It helps stabilize – even when feeling like the rat that is tuck between two buttons to push and both seem to be giving a shock instead of only one doing that.
    Maybe it’s because this city is so big, the region so diverse and I grew up around so many immigrants – including those from tribes, that I don’t get the “poor treatment of immigrants”. Today with one of the food drives, people also got a $500.00 Walmart gift card (paid by FEMA, Red Cross, the City’s COVID relief fund and somebody else) Documented or undocumented, no questions asked. Regions vary so much.
    We were always taught if an adult talked to you you said “yes, Ma’m/sir and No Ma’m/sir” and were polite not matter what color they were or what language they spoke – ’cause they were an adult and you were a kid. And if needed you tried to help them with language – just as you would hope they would if you were in their country. There was always some new kid in school speaking Dutch or German – (Spanish/TX MX was just normal and not noticed as different) But then again, most immigrants came in legally then. When times are hard and supplies limited, people get tense, nervous and pushy about getting their share. People are just people.
    It’ll be interesting to see how things work out. People just need to use commonsense, think, and treat others as they wish to be treated…although if you open their car trunk to put in food and see they already have several boxes of donated food already……

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    • I had the same upbringing you did. Some people do take advantage of the system and they may be actual citizens but we can’t suspect everyone of doing that. The best is to hope that karma will take care of things. I’m grateful we are both retired so we don’t have to navigate the new business world. I know how hard it’s been just to get a vet appointment. Half the staff is fearful and staying home and with just cause. I don’t personally know anyone who has died of the virus but I know people whose parents/friends have. I hate grocery shopping. So far I still go in and get the stuff all suited up like a space invader. There have been good stories here too of people helping out. And yes, those that take advantage too free stuff. That’s why I like cats better. Thanks for leaving a very thoughtful comment.

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      • Space invader. Always visioned that after a rocket ride. But that is a bit how it feels.
        Have no doubt this is a very bad disease – and they still don’t know what kind of damage the survivors will have to live with.
        The funeral limitations are the hardest – and families not being able to say goodbye.
        Like you, we count ourselves lucky.
        And Molly got to see 2 of her dog friends on dog walk – one, a tiny white poodle belonging to a grandfather who we hadn’t seen and worried as he is rather frail. Molly’s much happier and with luck, the worst is behind us and we can adjust to what has to be normal…..but they better get that Starbucks back open soon…and maybe some flowering plants in the garden section…

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        • Starbucks has been open drive through only until last Wednesday. Now they have a table outside for mobile pick ups. They put the drink on the table and you pick it up. It sure beats waiting a half hour in the drive-through. This week they are expanding their hours which will help too. They were opening at 7 which is late for some folks. I can’t even imagine having a loved one die in a hospital without being able to see them. The concept of dying alone is harder on the survivors than on the patient as I expect at the end you are kind of out of it.

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          • Oh, for a drive thru even with a line…the folded green umbrellas on their patio look so forlorn and lonely.
            It seems to me that Congress and all of us might consider funding some sort of combat pay for those doctors, nurses, staff, even janitors who have t=been at the front taking care of the sick. Nurses and docs are trying to not let patients – and that takes a toll that is not being recognized. Bless all of them and keep them mentally strong – for their own families and lives. They all need decompression vacations at luxury resorts.

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  11. Intellectually, after looking at facts and statistics, the various rules and regs make sense. However, it deeply affects our heart, mind and soul. I wanted to share some seedlings with a friend so I drove to her house, put them in her mailbox, texted her they were there, she texted back a thank you. Sterile. Life has become sterile. I’m way, way behind on hugs.

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  12. Hi, Kate — I am so sorry to hear about your week. It is completely understandable. More than understandable, actually.
    My mom has also frequented said that ‘bad things come in threes’. Both of our moms cannot be wrong, so your unleaky streak is finished. Full stop.

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  13. Most people in the US have lost perspective by being conditioned to expect things now whenever desired (instant shipping, instant gratification) and the shutdown has exasperated our world view. It’s ok to vent when you need to as you deal with the frustration at the new normal. I’ve learned (sadly through experience) there is no such thing as a quick trip to the store anymore with limited stock and lengthy queues. But I actually like the idea of one way traffic in the isles. It sure beats running into unmasked bozos taking up space in the isle looking around when what they really wanted was mostly to get out of the house. Hang in there! Spring seems to have arrived and the extra Vitamin D will do wonders for the psyche.

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  14. I understand how all of this weirdness can get to a person. It really is a miracle that we all aren’t sobbing in the grocery parking lot. Something that used to be so normal is now so odd. Adjusting to our new realities is difficult, doubly so when your kitty cat is unwell.

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  15. You have had alot of stressful events to cope with lately. Add the pent up frustrations and restrictions coping with the danged virus and “something’s gotta give.” And yes, so many have it worse but mass sobbing can offer some relief to us all. Secretly? I have had secret sobbing sessions too.

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  16. A really good cry is so cathartic. I hope you and Mollie are doing better. I am weathering this quarantine ok, I think. Just find myself very lonely. But, then again, I thank Al Gore (ha ha ha) for the internet and look forward to Zoom sessions with friends.

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  17. I am glad you let it blow, Kate.It does usually feel like a fresh breeze after a good cry. I had my melt down early on precipitated by the concern over the lack of TP and other items I expected us to never see for a long time. But I think it really was about all the snowbirds here and the spring breakers making things too peopley and spreading the virus. I wanted to scream at the governor and tell him to stop all the crazy in Florida! I still feel a low level of anxiety but nothing like when we dealt with SSNS issue. My Mom was a big believer in the bad things come in threes and I would have to say it seems to be true. The weather has been beautiful here for several days and it continues to make this whole virus thing and the anxieties that come with it bearable. Hugs to you and scritches to the Sassy Cats.

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    • Sun can cure a lot of things. Today is cloudy and expected to go to 75. I wish the sun would peek out just a little. I can’t get rid of the low level anxiety. I have to learn how to cope with it and let off steam when it builds.

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  18. My week was okay this week, but I had a few bad days a week ago…..nothing serious, just a series of small things that added up to one big bad mood! I recovered after a good nights sleep. Good that you were able to cry and let it out…..I haven’t cried in years…

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  19. Just this morning, I was envisioning writing a post called “My Cryer is Broken”. I’m aware that I need a good cry to help relieve the pressure. I use to cry at the tiniest thing, but always got told by parents that “crying doesn’t solve anything”. Somehow, somewhere, my cryer broke. At best, thinking about something terribly sad might bring a few tears to my eyes, but only enough to wet my lashes. I envy that you got the good, cleansing sob!

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  20. Although we’ve had our windows open off and on for a few weeks, yesterday was a picture perfect spring day. It was beautiful. This morning, I had a good cry myself after receiving an email from another blogger friend who lost her mother to Covid.

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  21. I know, right, those directional arrows really add time to a grocery shop. Mister who doesn’t go into the stores, would always say when I come out complaining that he thinks they’re a good idea and should remain after this is over. Then one day he encountered them. He agrees with us frustrated ones now. I think they are great during this situation, but I do hope they disappear someday.
    I’m glad to hear you had your melt down and that it helped a bit, I know mine did.

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    • The one way aisles are a good idea but can easily add a lot of time to your trip which already is at least twice as long with the “suiting up” with gloves, face mask, putting credit card in pocket so I don’t contaminate my purse, waiting in queue, etc. I just picked up a specialty cat food for Mollie and I went early. There were only two other people in the store. Relatively quick and easy. It was glorious even with the mask and gloves.

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  22. I had a very military-ish Air Force Officer Dad who was one of those “suck it up soldier!” kind of guys. We just weren’t allowed to be too emotional but after I was out on my own I became an expert at being emotional on occasion. Let it all hang out. Strangely this whole virus thing has not really upset me too much – as the other thing I became when I got older was a “go with the flow” kind of girl. My husband is fighting all of the changes tooth and nail – why this – why that. I say you can’t change ANY of this – you really just need to do what you must to protect yourself period. The grocery store arrows on the floor threw me at first but I think I traversed the store in record time this morning because I know after practice every week just how to do it efficiently. It’s a weird time in our lives. I told hubby last night that I had hoped in my lifetime never to see a disaster of any kind but this is definitely one in SO many ways! I’m glad you feel better – we just HAVE to!

    Hugs, Pam

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    • You are so right. I am lucky in many ways. My issues are more in the inconvenience category than life threatening. Still I mourn loss. Our obit page has grown exponentially and some people are stating that their loved one died of covid19. Makes it real to admit it.

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      • Same here on the obits section – even of our dinky little hometown paper. The Washington Post is staggering in the number of obits in the Sunday paper. Inconvenience is at least something we can LIVE with! (kicking and screaming a little is allowed 🙂 ).

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  23. I am glad you found an opportunity to have a good cry – it feels good to do that sometimes. I had a similar experience one morning last week. I woke up feeling blue and as I thought of all the restrictions and how life “should” be going it just got to me. I did feel a sense of release, yet had to still force myself to get going with my day. I took my dog on a long walk as the weather was perfect and I found peace in the clear blue skies and the cool wind. Once I returned home I made some “hello neighbor” brownies and shared them with the families on each side. It made me happy to see how happy they were at this unexpected surprise. As the saying goes – we will get through this together. My mom also taught me about the things happening in threes and I always count them too. It really does seem to happen that way doesn’t it? Hang in there this too shall pass.

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    • Wish I was your neighbor! I could use some “hello neighbor” brownies. I am cooking a nice dinner tonight and that helps. Gives me purpose. I’m not doing “real work” but some clean up and put away after yesterday’s pond day.

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  24. Sometimes there is nothing “better” than letting the dam break and having a “good cry.” Maybe it releases toxins?

    (Sometimes when my mood takes a dive, I dive deeper . . . allowing myself to feel the absolute utter misery of whatever is going on . . . wallowing in the depths of despair . . . until my natural buoyancy returns and I re-surface . . . ready to face the world again.)

    Glad you got to open up the house. Same here. The weather has been fabulous ~ a real mood booster. Lunch outside twice. Reading outside 3x. Plus walks and bike rides. The lower humidity = perfect, which makes me HAPPY.

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  25. I have never understood not being kind to immigrants. It you believe in the melting pot, or the salad, or whatever first grade teachers call American diversity these days, why wouldn’t you celebrate the next wave? If you learned about how settlers attempted to wipe out the American Natives, wouldn’t you want to make up for that and treat them better? Same thing for the enslaved.

    My pressure valve is barely hanging on. I expect when the dog goes to the vet next week I shall do much sobbing as I worry over him.

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    • Hope your pup is ok and the issue is fixable. I can cry much more easily over pets. I doesn’t even have to be my pet. I don’t get the immigrant thing either. I often wonder is my grandparents got that. My grandfather was recruited to work in the cement mills locally and the job was better paying than anything he could get in his home country. He worked hard and all his kids did well. He’d be proud of his grandkids (that would be me and all my cousins) and the following generation. Locally the veterinarians are having issue getting vet techs. I suggested recruiting in high schools and immigrant communities where people are excited to learn and get a steady job.

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  26. Yeah, we are all grieving the loss of our former lives (and innocence – as this crisis is bringing the worst out of some people – somethings I’d rather not know). I’m glad you found some release, Kate. My mom believed in the rule of 3s as well, and I catch myself counting when bad things happen.

    My mom also wouldn’t allow pity parties because she said there was always someone who had it worse than me. Which is undoubtably true and supposed to make me feel better, but totally invalidates my feelings. Am I never “allowed” to feel bad then? No matter what happens to me (and a lot has happened), it could be said that someone somewhere in the world has it worse. I don’t buy that argument any more. I think it is healthier to acknowledge feelings and losses and allow yourself to feel them. As you did, Kate.

    Hugs,

    Deb

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    • You need a pity party sometimes but you should have an end time in mind. If it’s something hurtful, it could be a full 24 hours. If it’s minor, less time. If it’s the loss of a loved one…well…that one may take a while. You said it best. It’s the loss of innocence and I don’t want to know what the worst of people are doing. We have stopped watching the national news because it was so upsetting.

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  27. I think we are all more stressed than we let on. I met a friend by accident and had a socially distanced conversation. She used to be a teacher so can project her voice. It is strange there is no such thing as a few words in private any more. I came home with a sore throat and realised it was because I have not been talking much.

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  28. I’m glad you got to release some of the grieving at all the loses we are all struggling with, and you have all the Molly adventures on top of the usual. Good for you for letting it out, and I’m glad you’re feeling better.

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