The  Best And Worst Thing About Quarantine With A Little Help From My Friends

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The  Best And Worst Thing About Quarantine With A Little Help From My Friends

“The best way out is always through.”  Robert Frost

BEST: I’m doing qi gong, yoga and meditation and a beach walk every day. It is helping my anxiety and I sleep great. WORST:  I cancelled two trips and I’m not traveling.  JZ

BEST is cleaning my desk, watching great tv and finally finishing a series. WORST is not being able to hug & kiss my kids, missing my friends and working out in a gym! EH

BEST is being with my dog 24/7. WORST is cooking three meals a day for my husband. SR

 BEST is that I don’t have to get dressed up and put on makeup to go to work. WORST is not going out to eat, to the movies, a play or concert with friends and not having home cooked Sunday dinners with my kids.  Oh and not having my housekeeper!  JL

BEST is pretty easy.  My immediate family and girlfriend are here all day.  WORST is my fears for people who are facing huge problems  and also some personal health fears.  Just thinking about the worst list makes me sense my blood pressure increasing.  LA

BEST is catching up with friends and relatives virtually. Also more time for reading, Spring cleaning and watching Netflix. WORST is not going to movies, the Grove, shopping, church, and hugging friends. EM

BEST:  As an extrovert, I was delightfully surprised to find that I no longer suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), because there’s not much to Miss Out on.  Instead, I can be fully present and do one thing at a time. WORST: My husband has “underlying health conditions” that make true isolation necessary for him, which means I have to be extremely careful, too.  So my time outside is limited. LM

BEST is getting a lot of sleep, having the time to try new recipes and beauty products and catching up on movies.WORST is being alone, stuck at home and not seeing, hugging or kissing friends and family. It is worrying about losing jobs, money and the future. NC

BEST is remembering what I am thankful for.  WORST is thinking that I will never travel again.TN

BEST is eating good food and watching good movies and TV shows.WORST is not seeing my friends and getting fat. DB

BEST is the confirmation that I definitely married the person in the world I would most like to be quarantined with. WORST is the constant low-level non-specific anxiety.  LO

BEST  is that I am finally getting rid of shit in my house.WORST is that I can’t spend time with my mom.This Sunday is her 95th Birthday. SF

BEST  is spending all this time with my boyfriend, just the two of us.WORST  (aside from missing personal grooming – Brazilian wax, fillers etc) is not getting together with friends for a meal. CL

BEST is getting to sleep later in the morning  and reading the whole NY Times. I’m even doing the Friday and Saturday crossword puzzles.  Also, having the time to reconnect with people in my life that I haven’t seen or heard from in a long time.WORST is that I miss seeing the people in my life. Zoom just doesn’t cut it after a while. HM

BEST is slowing down and having time to do a new project.WORST is isolation. MU

 BEST is that life is way simpler and more meaningful. Time is slower and faster and I am more aware of how precious life is and that what really matters most doesn’t need a new pair of shoes, dress or anything else to make it special.WORST is not being able to touch, hug and kiss family and friends. My daughter is pregnant and I worry about her. DG

 BEST Being with my family all the time.WORST Being with my family all the time MA

BEST is learning to cook.WORST is having the Corona Virus. AA

Thanks for the help.

Stay Safe,

JAZ

Anxiety And The Dog

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Anxiety And The Dog

“When you hear hoofbeats coming down the street, think horse – not zebra.”J.C.Peters

My dog Banksy and I both have anxiety. I can’t decide if that makes him the best dog or the worst dog for me. We live in Venice with a lot of scooters, bikes and dogs running free on the beach. He is fine as long as I carry him. I don’t think that he is well equipped with coping mechanisms.

Banksy is very excited to go in the car because it means he is not being left to fend for himself alone. Every time he gets in the car he has a panic attack. The heavy breathing, panting and crying begins. He is in the car a lot. If i open the window and he can look out, it is better. Is he claustrophobic as well?

Banksy also has a lot of fears of things that don’t really present any harm to him. At the moment he is afraid to walk on the wood floors in the house. He must have slipped and now the light reflection looks to him like we are on thin ice. If he has to walk he does it very slowly and carefully. I have to walk first to show him that its safe. Today we came home and the plumber was in the house. He wouldn’t walk in and ran down the stairs as if to say “Save yourself.” I realize now that all the barking he does when someone comes over is really just him falling into psychological chaos.

I have different fears but just as strong. Writing is a way to accept and work through the turbulences of life. Mindfulness helps – being in the here and now keeps my thoughts from looping down a bottomless pit to nowhere. Deep breathing, Qi Gong and sunset on the beach help a lot.

The funny thing about Banksy is that he can’t ask me what’s wrong but he knows when I’m in trouble and will shower me with affection to let me know things will be OK. If I begin to panic, I just look down and there is a wagging tail ready to distract me from my anxiety trigger. He also knows that I will pick him up if he is scared. The bond between someone and their dog is unique. We may be two completely different species, but we have a mutual understanding that we will take care of each other.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Things That I Have Stopped Thinking About Since I Started Traveling

Things That  I Have Stopped Thinking About Since I Started Traveling

“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.’  Lillian Smith

How I look when I travel   I’m a little vain. I’m the kind that doesn’t like to go out without makeup or the right kind of casual attire. (Which jeans should I wear today?) But when I travel, I don’t think about my appearance, which lifts an incredible burden off my shoulders. I wear what’s comfortable, easy to travel in, and just go. I notice from my photos wearing the same clothes in every country, that I have a travel wardrobe. It works.

Personal Drama   Someone is inevitably mad at me because I say whatever comes into my head. There is usually drama in my life. Real relationships and friendships stand the test of travel because going away puts life into perspective. There are people who I miss and keep in contact with while exploring the world. Traveling does have a way of quickly separating strong, healthy bonds from dysfunctional, dramatic ones. Some of the people I have left behind should probably have been left behind a while ago.

Possessions    When I travel, my possessions boil down to essentials. As I packed up my house that I have lived in for a long time, I reminded myself of how little I need around the world.

Anxiety   Traveling keeps you in the present moment. I rarely have anxiety when I travel because whatever I am worrying about is usually not happening at that moment.  It helps me in my not traveling life as well. Not as much as I would like, but I’m working on it.

My weight   I’m genetically a thin person. I’m basically a healthy eater with a closet junk food mentality. I’ve learned that I can eat what I want in moderation . I don’t get on a scale very often any more. I don’t worry that I’m not perfectly ripped and toned. i don’t work out like a maniac. I’m a foodie . I enjoy trying food and restaurants here and abroad. I don’t eat meat or gluten except when I do. My focus has become on everything else around me and not on how I come across. It’s a big thing when you realize the world is not about you.

Social media   The robotic and frequent opening of email and Facebook stops when I am traveling. A lot of places I go to don’t have service and whatever is going on at home seems very far away from what I am doing. Other than posting on instagram and sending out my quotes, I tend to read a lot more instead.

What people think about me   I used to care a lot about what people thought of me and my family. It’s human nature to care what people think.  At the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with the choices you make. Now I only care about where I’m going next.

Having regrets   Everyone has their own path in life, and their own way of achieving it.
When I am traveling, I don’t worry or compare — I know that this is exactly the path I was meant to be on.

Fly safe,

JAZ

The House In Los Angeles

`The House in Los Angeles

“Walking on a path of uncertainties, Shuffling on the probabilities of uncertainties, Waging on the possibilities of uncertainties,Waiting for the occurrences of uncertainties, Solving the mysteries of wandering uncertainties, We move, lead and live’’Pushpa Rana

I’ve learned as I get older that no matter how much I want to hold on to the past – things change. If we stay where we are, when something new is trying to get in, we will get stuck or that is what I tell myself anyway.

The house was the last remnant that a family existed. To my ex husband, it was an inanimate object. But to me it was as much a part of the family memories as the people who lived in it.

I was very scared to be in this house alone when he first left but I had to be brave for my daughter who was still here. I have a lot of safety issues and anxiety about being alone and having to face those on top of the loss was very hard. But I had this heavy thing hanging on top of me that I was the only adult in the house responsible for my daughter who was still home and my son in college.

My fear did often evolve into anxiety or panic. But gradually as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months and years, we encountered many of the little things that malfunction in a home, car accidents, emotional and health problems, illness, death, holidays, graduations and we survived, even conquered them. And with each incident my self-confidence grew and my fear subsided.

He could not afford to give me the house so I have lived with its impending loss for a while.–the loss of familiar, beautiful well-loved surroundings, the neighborhood, the routine, and the security of owning a house.

Driving up and down the street now, I know I will never see another Mandeville Christmas light competition. There are financial and age restraints so I will not live the way I live now which makes the emotional situation much worse. I will miss the pale cast of light in the morning which illuminates my house as the day goes on. I will miss seeing every shade of green from my windows  – olive, jade, leaf, kiwi, lime, a silver-green and a bright pistachio. i will miss the wide open spaces and high ceilings and walls that have my big art on them.
I imagine that the physically moving out of the house alone will be the hardest thing I will ever do.

I will be mourning the loss of living somewhere that I loved. I will be mourning the intact family life, roots, values, security and inheritance that I couldn’t give my kids. I expected to have grandchildren, showers, holidays and birthday parties in this house. I will miss the children who became adults here. I will be mourning the loss of me, the person I was when I lived in this house. I once wanted to grow old here with the boy I met when I was 16.

Worse I will be mourning the loss of my memories. I have always had a bad memory and pieces will fade because the person who also remembers and the house won’t be here to trigger them.

When you have to get through something big, you must remember that you have tools – friendship, conscience, honesty and strength. You need to look at the mess and know that you will never completely get over it. It turns out that writing helps me reflect on my life and the changes I am making. Maybe as much as I wanted my roots to be in a house, my roots turn out to be in my travels, my stories and where I am going next. Maybe my roots turn out to be in the uncertainties of not knowing.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Do You Have What It Takes To Travel Solo?

Do You Have What It Takes To Travel Solo?

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

I found a travel blog entitled Do you have what it takes to travel solo? It went on to ask the following questions.

“• Is watching a movie by yourself pathetic?

• Are you the kind of person who needs a buddy to go grocery shopping or jogging?

• Do you get uncomfortable while walking or driving through an unknown neighborhood?

• If your plans don’t fall into place, does it ruin your mood or your entire day?

• Did you fail basic arithmetic?

• Are you painfully shy?

• Do you always need to seek advice before making decisions?

• When it comes to self-defense and survival skills, are you at a total loss?

• Are you often aloof, and dependent on others for directions?

If you said yes to any of these above questions, you might want to think twice about heading out on an adventure by yourself.”

I said yes to most of them and here I am traveling alone and liking it. The reason I am able to travel alone is because I asked myself different questions. Here are my questions.

Are you able to face your fears to have an incredible adventure?

Can you get out of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable?

Are you willing to be lonely sometimes?

Are you able to accept that  you might feel scared or anxious traveling to places you have never been before?

Having a bad sense of direction, can you get lost and know that you will somehow find your way back and nothing terrible will happen?

Are you willing to take that first step to go where you want to go instead of sitting home thinking about it?

Are you waiting till something comes along that you are not afraid to do alone?

Are you waiting for that perfect travel partner?

Is your passion for travel bigger than your fear of the unknown?

What that other blog said to me was, if you are scared, don’t do it. I now say if you are scared, that is the thing you have to do. I am scared every time I go somewhere alone. What I’ve learned is that it is always amazing.  Things happen that are  both good and not so good.  But when I’m traveling, the unknown always works out. I’ve learned to leave spaces in my plans for the unexpected which always turns into a travel memory.  If you really want to travel solo, start doing it, the rest will come.

Fly safe,

JAZ