I don’t know about you, and there is no judgement here, personally I don’t worry about Covid-19 much at all. I wash my hands, use hand sanitizer, don’t touch my face, and limit my contact with others as much as I can. But let’s be honest, whether you are Pro-Quarantine, Pro-Mask, Neutral, believe it’s too much, and want it all normal again – what’s the right thing? I am not talking about the mask debate, glove debate, or anything else. I am just saying, what is now polite?

I deal with customers, and at the beginning of March, my work facility became a “hand shake free zone”. I get it. Honestly, there’s times when I have had to shake someone’s hand and it was all i could do not to gag in their face for some reason or another. I am also from the south, and I never want to make anyone feel bad and use manners. NOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS! Do I shake hands? Do I not? Do we just not do that anymore? If someone has a mask, should I put one on? How far away do you stand? I don’t know how to review documents from six feet. I also don’t want to disrespect someone with an actual nervousness by getting to close.

Here in Orange County, where I live the, Mayor enacted a mask order starting tomorrow. So I at least know that I have to wear a mask in the stores. So we are on an equal playing field. But what do we do past that? Shake hands? No?

I want to make sure that everyone I encounter is comfortable. At my job, or anywhere else. If wearing a mask is required, I am a rule follower that way. I hate masks – personally, they freak me out. I feel like I can’t breathe. I take it off a second, then I can breathe. Good to go for ten or so minutes. When I do that, I try to breathe in my shirt.

And can people please stop mask shaming!?!? It’s ridiculous. Let me address a few people here.

1. ANTI-MASKERS– I am an anti-masker. But I will not be a mask shamer. That’s those who choose to make their voices heard through social media by memes, secret photos of people, or completely negative comments about folks wearing masks. (And this is coming from a mask hater). STOP IT. JUST STOP IT. You don’t know what that person has went through, to start off with. If they are more comfortable wearing a mask, how in the world does it affect you? It doesn’t. It isn’t your face. Why are we so obsessed with being mean to other people? Maybe they believe the 180,000 articles and news stories that state that masks help prevent the disease – and really feel like they are protecting you – not just them. And if you think of people walking around – protecting you – it makes me admire those masked folks. And let’s be honest, you could be wearing shorts to short, with orange crocs – and they aren’t making fun of you… I kid. I kid. (sorta)

I can do these masks no problem – I wish SnapChat could make them work in real life!

2. PRO-MASKERS – I get it, this disease is scary. But because you wear a mask – doesn’t make you a better person than someone who doesn’t. Again, the passive aggressive memes, photos, etc. needs to stop. Because just like I said above, you don’t know why someone might not be wearing one. Maybe it’s a medical issue. Maybe they are claustrophobic. Maybe they believe the 180,000 articles that state that masks do nothing for the Corona Virus – and they need to get back to normal in their life, and a mask doesn’t feel normal. For me, an anti-masker – I literally feel like I can’t breathe. And I will be okay for 10-15 minutes. Then randomly – I can’t breathe well. Next up – almost a panic attack. That being said, Now that it is instated that I am required to wear one in public – I will. I will also not be going out as often, because it makes me uncomfortable. When they lift the mask order – I am sure there will be a lot of people who still wear masks. I will be one who chooses not to, if I don’t have to.

3. EVERYONE – I think our nation has been through it this year. 2020 is one for the books for sure. But what I say is such divide. Politics. On race. Gender. Sexuality. And now, masks? Can’t we all just get along. And of all the things to fight over – well, let’s just not fight.

So, what do you think? What’s the best way to be polite, respectful, and still warm and friendly. And how do you do it with acquaintances? Like a parent of one of my kids friends? I don’t really know them, but I don’t want to be rude.

This is hard. So what do you do? And what are you – anti mask or pro?

I think at some point in my life – I liked cooking.

That point – has passed. Luke and I were talking the other day, and that’s when I had this epiphany. In this pandemic, folks are staying at home more – and obviously – eating at home more. That’s what we were talking about – more cooking.

Anyway, I have seen a lot of my friends pop up with some great looking food, super cool recipes, and somewhat excited over their new found love of cooking. So, there’s a positive thing in this pandemic!

For me, I like to make stuff. I’d rather eat a bowl of cottage cheese, and create. Create what? Anything. Clothes, art, home decor, anything. I love the feeling of gluing, and sewing, and completion. I don’t get that with cooking.

I’m going to start sharing some of my favorite creative people, and some of my inspirations over time. But let me know… What have you been doing? Anything new? Any newfound passions? Have you discovered your inner artist? Creative? Both?

Love fully. Live fully. Shine on.

Sat nam.

I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. A lot about myself. A lot about other people. I have learned things that I am capable of, and things other humans are capable of. But the best thing I have learned? Most people – aren’t bad. They might do bad things. But they aren’t bad.

I’ve lost a few friends over the years. And it broke my heart. In so many deep ways. I felt scammed. Taken advantage of. And used. But, once I took myself out of the equation, I can see it differently. In all of the situations – I know my stance. And one thing that I will say about myself, if I am wrong – I own it. Did I do some things wrong? Maybe. But to be honest, I don’t know how I could have done it differently. Did I apologize? Sure did. Over and over.

And my apology was left on deaf ears. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. And, I guess I hurt people sometimes, too. But you know what? I never meant to. And if I say – “I’m sorry”, I mean it. But what I can tell you is this – I valued these people’s friendship enough – To apologize. Because, hurt was never my intention.

Then there was another situation. I found out that a friend was talking bad about me behind my back. Guess what I don’t do? That. If I have something to say, I say it – to the person. Or I don’t say anything. That’s the way I roll. And to be honest, at first? I was seething. But after some processing time – I realized I have talked behind people’s backs before. It was in college. And why? Because one girl was talking about this girl – and I didn’t have the confidence, the fortitude, to stand up for her. And guess what? She called me out. And that day – I learned a hard lesson. Stand up for people or excuse yourself if you don’t agree. Otherwise – be ready to own your own words from your mouth.

At the end of the day, we all make bad choices out of fear. That’s my utter belief. And now, in these crazy times, I feel like it’s easy to get stuck in fear and negativity. So, I am no longer going to focus on fear. I won’t focus on negativity. When it musters up in my soul, and I feel a little ‘soul sad’ – I am going to choose something different that feels a little better. Maybe I am feeling sad over a lost friendship, but I can look in camera roll – and see how loved I am. It’s all about choices.

Today, I mentally closed those doors. I can smile, and know that it was a great time of my life. And if they ever reach out – I can start like it was tomorrow. I refuse to forget years of great times. If there is anything that I know to be true – Life is short. I refuse to waste time focusing on things that aren’t positive.

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

Brene Brown

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

So, Frank and I were talking this morning at work. And of course, we are talking about the virus because everyone is. Anyway – He told me that one his daughters saw some remove their mask, lick their finger, to then thumb through their money.

So, I ask this question to bring some smiles, some venting, and maybe some clarity on something if folks don’t know. What is the most “Covidiot” thing you have seen? Mine was probably this past Saturday. It was the first time I had been in the grocery since all this. But, I needed to pick some things up. I get stressed in crowds – and especially now. It skeezes me out. Well, anyway – I am going down the chip aisle. And literally – 8 people follow us down the same aisle. Feeling your breath on my back is not the definition of 6 feet.

The other? A woman in the same store, advising her children, we don’t need to wear a mask. “I’ll breathe whatever air I want. People need to protect me! ” Ummmm. Not exactly how that works, but okay. So tell me something you have seen – that just had you shaking your head.

Love fully. Live fully. Shine on.

Sat nam.

Did you ever think, that maybe, all of this stuff going on – is a gift?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying the fact that there are people that are ill, dying, losing their livelihoods, jobs, and a million other things.  But for a moment.  A small moment.  Let’s just focus on you.

As an essential employee, here at my job, let me tell you what I have noticed.  Where my daily “routine” hasn’t been as interrupted as others.  I am noticing, that I am free from a few things.  The expectations of other people, and society as a whole, has somewhat lifted.  Sure – there is the homeschool situation.  But, my kids teachers and school district has done an amazing job, so that part – well, they are still doing it.  I am just landlord of the school… LOL!

I am noticing also, that I am free from a lot of the endless chatter that goes on in my mind.  You know what I am talking about.  Get this done.  Get that done.  Make quality time.  Do the laundry.  Read a book.  Make a skirt.  Mop.  Exercise.  Pray.  Do yoga.  Write a book.  Write a blog.  Make a doctor’s appointment. Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah. Blah.  Guess what?  I wrote down a psycho long list of all the crap that goes on in my head.  And I keep adding to it.  We have got the quality time down.  Killing that one.  Laundry? Never ends.  I’m listening to a book – because my readers gave some awesome titles.  I did mop the whole house.  And here is what I realized.  A lot of my “endless chatter” was busywork and procrastination.  If I was honest, It seemed like it was sooo much it was overwhelming.  When really – each task, took either seconds up to half an hour.  Nothing crazy.

Now.  Let’s get deep for a second.  We got the time, that’s for sure. 

Now, this is what else this has taught me.  I have been able to free myself from conversations that bleed me dry.  In every aspect of my relationships – I have gotten a lot more honest.  I have learned to say, “Hey, this sucks.  Here is how I feel about it.  Do you want to help?” Key to this though, is that it isn’t in a hostile way. It’s in a factual – let’s make this better type of way.  I am not entertaining, professionally or personally, soul sucking fear and negativity. But what is awesome? I almost see a societal shift.  While at work, it seems everyone is more patient and caring.  Almost like an “essential” team, leaning on each other, to get through this hard time.  And to show up each day, and see these guys – It does give a huge “WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER” type of feeling. 

Next up – Hyper-Achievement and Low Self-Esteem.  That’s me.  I thrive for success.  In all I do.  Going on a diet?  Let’s compete – I’ll lose the most.  Going to write a book?  Let’s do it.  All in.  I have self esteem issues in so many ways it’s ridiculous.  And here is the thing; I will go all in-for a while anyway.  And then – screeching halt.  I am fully capable of completing every dream I have. I am educated.  I am tech-savvy.  I’m not bashful.  So why haven’t I?  You ready? 

BECAUSE I WANT/WANTED EXTERNAL VALIDATION.

Kristie Greenberg, for some unbeknownst reason to me, wants people to praise her.  Yes, I am ashamed to admit it.  Yes, I hate that.  Yes, I hold on to it. Yes, it’s freaking true. Ugh.

And you know what this pandemic has taught me?  What are you if no one is around to validate you?  What are you – when it’s just you and your kids?  What are you, when you are sitting in your closet floor all alone? I’ve asked myself those questions. 

Well first, I admitted to myself that I am co-dependent. What is co-dependency you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.  The feeling of not being complete without a romantic partner and/or – the feeling of not being complete without the approval of others.   In the past, I was co-dependent in romantic relationships.  I went from one, to the next, to the next, to the next – afraid to be alone. You can ask my parents!  In high school, I was never “single” for more than a month.  I put a lot of value, and my own self worth, in the power of being “with” someone.  I wanted to be part of team.  I wanted to be loved. And the idea of being alone – was paralyzing.  This carried on through adulthood.  (And if you have hopped relationships – and are happy now, I’m not saying leave!  LOL!  I’m just telling you my story – and making you aware of my past patterns. If you have found someone and can recognize that is how you were before, that doesn’t mean leave now to show you can be alone.)  I made peace with that aspect of my co-dependancy – until I realized, I still am co-dependent, just a different way.  We are going to call this my longest running addiction.  That’s right.  Addiction.  That’s what it is.

And here is what I have realized.  When it’s just me, sitting in front of a keyboard, writing down what I feel led to do, the words come out. They come out easy.  No research needed – just the research of my soul.   Just because it isn’t shared, or published, or commented, or liked – doesn’t mean, it didn’t affect the one person it was supposed to.  And maybe, just maybe – the one person it was supposed to affect -is the one who is writing it. 

If my goal, is to be authentic, change the world, and help people,  I have to be willing, to be one of the people that I help. Let me say that again, in case it didn’t resonate the first time.  Kristie has to allow Kristie to help Kristie, so Kristie can help other people.  If Kristie doesn’t live authentically – Kristie isn’t good for anyone else.  Not her kids, friends, family, not any one.  If Kristie doesn’t help Kristie – She loses the possibility to make a lasting impact on others.

 My hope for you is this.  That is this time that is scary – you take some time and reflect on what might be the “good” in this whole thing.  Maybe this will be the transition time for you.  Maybe, your job that is no longer there– is the launch pad you need to make yourself a new future.  Maybe, the homeschooling thing – is time for you to find a new passion, or maybe let a dream die because you realize teaching isn’t your jam.  Maybe this has cost you everything – and you lost your home and income – and everything else.  Maybe, this is so you can gain everything and more. 

So I will end with this.  What made you click this link?  The photo?  The title? What was it? Or was it, just a self therapy session behind a keyboard.  Anyway, whatever the reason, I am clapping for myself today.  Because I am one step closer, to being the woman I want to be tomorrow.

Love Fully.  Live fully.  Shine On.

Sat Nam.

So – I really wanna know. Whatcha doing in this pandemic? To be honest – my life is somewhat the same. I am an essential employee, so I am still going to work – just shorter hours and less busy. On the weekends, I stay home. Which, to be honest, isn’t that out of the ordinary. I mean, my weekends normally consist of the craft store, grocery shopping, a choir concert, hair appointments, etc. But it’s not like I am some social butterfly, running about town.

What I have noticed is this. It’s weird to have to really think before you go to the grocery store. Or, to ask someone to go for you. It is really weird to stay inside. Not going for a walk downtown. Or running to 7-11 to get a Coke Zero with ice. Ohhhh… I miss a Coke Zero with ice. It’s weird, not seeing my best friend when I want to. And it’s also weird, that my hair is turning into a whole mess. These things I have taken for granted wayyyyy too much.

And maybe, in a weird way – this is a good thing. I do believe, that myself personally, will be forever changed. And anytime I am annoyed from a crowd – I’ll be grateful I can be in one. And when I dread my kids starting school, or get annoyed over homework – I’ll be grateful, that I am not the teacher. Glory in Heaven for that. I am not teacher material.

But, for real. What have you guys done? I have, and in no particular order – Binge watched Tiger King. Same with My 600-lb Life. I have sewn a ton of face masks. I made two skirts. I am working on making a bathing suit – we will see how that goes. I have went to church in my Living Room, and have had worship service in my bathroom. I have learned that I am a hard core dance queen, and my daughter’s Tik Tok account is proof of that. I have meditated. I have watched movies. I have done yoga. I have done my make-up – just because I want to be pretty at home. LOL!

You know what else I have done? Cried. I have cried because I miss my bestie. I have cried because my hair looks like crap. I have cried over not knowing if I should or should not venture out to the grocery stores. I have worried over finances. I have made lists of things I want to accomplish – then I took a nap. So, I guess my intro is a bunch of malarkey. My life is different, too.

So, whether you are creating, or crying. Laughing or grieving. All are okay and perfectly acceptable. But drop a comment or send me a message, and let me know how you are handling it. And give me some good ideas – because this could be longer rather than shorter.

Oh. And Carole Baskin totally did it.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

(And I won’t tell you to “Wash your Hands”, because you are grown and know to do that, and to say that is almost passive-aggressive, rudeness at this point. LOLOL! )

Sat Nam.

Wouldn’t it be so awesome if somebody told us, “It’s all gonna be okay?”

You are going to be fine. Your job will be okay. Your kids won’t get sick. You are going to get through this homeschooling thing with flying colors. Your finances won’t suffer. The economy will recover. And enjoy this time at home, because it will all work out just fine.

Let me be really clear. I would love to hear that, too. And although, I don’t know that it will all be fine, I feel in my heart it will all be fine.

This crisis, is not a normal crisis. In natural disasters, in death, in other crisis in our lives, it functions as a big wave, right? And in that – everything else is somewhat normal. At least somewhere. Right now, it feels like the whole world isn’t normal. And that’s because it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever be again. This isn’t a sprint guys, its a marathon.

So, we need to start thinking a little long term. Right now, let’s decide that social distancing is a temporary new normal. Once something seems a little more normal, it often seems a little less scary. Limit your news intake. Find a couple sources that you trust, preferably those that are knowledgeable in epidemiology. And see this time, as an opportunity to get to know yourself, and slow down a little. Well, after you learn this whole home school thing. And you single folks? With no kids? Help out those of us who have them! Especially those of us who struggle with fourth grade math! LOLOL! (I’m kidding, sorta.)

But here are a few tips I got for you. Eat well. Eat as healthy as possible. If you are a parent, you don’t have to stay in your kids faces all day, holding their hands, and guiding them. You have every right to ask for alone time. Yes, even if they are two. On the same note, your partner or roommate? You also can have alone time away from them. Go for a walk. Go for a ride. There is nothing wrong with getting yourself together, because if you are about to lose your wits – it isn’t good for anyone.

Make some fun, future plans for when this is over. Because that will happen, too. Is there a vacation you want to go on? A new job? Do you need to work on your resume? How about some work for your home? For me? I am planning future crafty projects.

Now, my current position is considered an essential worker. And I am so grateful for my job. Can I tell you though, it’s weird. It’s weird being here – when the world is home. It’s weird seeing the difference in people. It’s weird, seeing the fear and nervousness. And, as a single mom – I do have some serious nervousness about being good for the kids with this whole school thing. Luckily – my kids have great teachers, and my kids are pretty great, too – so we will stumble through this together.

And I also want you to know, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be disappointed. Just because someone has it worse, doesn’t mean you don’t get to have emotions. You can be sad the kids are home, you can be sad over missed trips, events, parties, vacations, concerts, jobs, friends – you name it. You can be sad.

So, that being said. You might not be admitting any of your fears or worries, because maybe you are being brave for the people in your life. Maybe you aren’t even letting your concerns exit your mouth. But I promise you, it’s better out than in. By admitting your fears isn’t going to cause them to happen. You can’t manifest that, guys. It’s a crisis. But what I have learned, is when you talk about things, they slowly stop haunting you in the middle of the night.

Send me a message. Leave a comment. Write an email. Tell me what worries you. I’ll listen. And it just might make you feel better to get it out. And I promise, I won’t say a word.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

And for goodness sake. Wash your hands.

Sat nam.