Yes, the Netflix logo – for a reason

I was feeling bummed

Somebody opened my mailbox and took the mail I wanted to have picked up by the mailman.  He/she stole checks I intended for the DMV and the tax collector.  The thief took the check numbers and made electronic (EFT) purchases by typing in my account number online.  Suddenly the money was missing from my checking account.  I’m hoping my bank can get the money back.

Take back control

I had already been feeling irritable and Covid Cranky.  Now I was angry.  What to do?  I confess, I had a little chocolate.  And then some ice cream.  I knew I had to gain control over what I could control (besides eating ice cream). I needed to get moving.

Take action and cheer up

I walked along the San Francisco Bay near my home, picked the last of the roses and veggies in my garden, took used books to Goodwill, made zucchini bread, talked to friends on the phone, then downloaded some e-books from the library. 

Netflix to the rescue

Best of all, I found wonderful movies and shows on Netflix.  If you’re feeling down, I recommend the following:

Fisherman’s Friend – A true feel-good story about 10 fishermen in Cornwall who were discovered by a recording executive who appreciated their singing of sea shanties. And it’s a love story.  Enjoy the Cornish scenery as well as the songs (which, thanks to the executive, became best-sellers).

Move – Feel inspired by the dancers who are changing the art of movement around the world.  This is a five-part documentary of the struggles and ultimate successes of brilliant dancers and choreographers.  Part one focuses on taking the street dance arts of popping and jooking to the next level.  The performances are startling and sensational.

The Queen’s Gambit – If you want a fun, thrilling, cerebral, binge-worthy show, don’t miss this mini-series.  This is the story of orphan chess prodigy, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), during her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player while struggling with emotional issues and drug and alcohol dependency.  I was hooked from the start. 

My Octopus Teacher – This gorgeous nature documentary has been trending on must-see lists world-wide for a good reason.  The filmmaker tells a joyful tale of what he learned from an octopus he befriended in the kelp forests of South Africa.  It sounds unlikely until you see it.

Tales by Light – Here’s another must-see show if you have an interest in science, nature, photography, travel, and adventure.  The series of documentaries feature the stories and work of 18 hugely talented and courageous photographers.  You’re in for a treat.

Feeling Better

Maybe it’s the inspiration or maybe it’s the distraction. I’m just grateful to have easy access to entertainment that makes me feel so much better.  And, no, I don’t feel guilty about watching so much TV.  In times like these, these shows help calm us and make us less Covid Cranky.

(Follow-up note – all’s well. My bank was great!)

Covid-19, our modern plague, is tragic; but there is an upside for many of us.

Because I have some financial security from social security income, I ‘m able to step back and see over 30 benefits from the pandemic.  I hope this list helps you feel more positive.

Our Collective Experience

  • Globally we are all in this together.  There’s shared humanity
  • World-wide there’s a greater appreciation for front-line workers, teachers, healthcare providers
  • We have global cooperation to find a vaccine
  • More volunteerism
  • Younger people are feeling inspired to create change
  • Underlying inequities in our society have been exposed – in finances, education and healthcare 
  • We had time to watch and reflect on George Floyd’s death – and react
  • There’s increased focus on how to solve the inequities

Impact on Nature

  • By staying at home, we have created less air pollution.  The earth will have a 7% decrease in carbon dioxide this year
  • Nature has begun to heal
  • Plants are healthier 
  • Animals are more abundant
  • The birds are happy

Our Culture

  • As a society, slowing down has made us kinder
  • We’ve had a chance to refocus on what really matters
  • We learned that when working from home many of us are more productive
  • Zoom works well for meetings and gatherings of all kinds and for small group learning
  • We’ve seen an upsurge in new music.  There’s the Rolling Stones’ “Living in a Ghost Town,” plus 5000 songs on the Spotify virus playlist
  • We have greater appreciation for “normal,” such as haircuts, eating out, travel

The Personal Impact

  • Feeling humility in the face of fragility
  • Becoming more patient.  With the uncertainty, I’m learning to take things day by day
  • Feeling more relaxed.  Reduced traffic makes driving less stressful 
  • There’s less pressure – no longer over-scheduling every day
  • Appreciating the quiet and listening to the birds
  • Time to be one on one with friends via zoom, phone calls or walks
  • Getting to better know my neighbors and their children
  • Time to paint, practice the guitar, bicycle, hike, clean the house, cook, garden, and read
  • Finding new TV shows
  • Watching “Conversations with Authors” from Book Passage
  • Thanks to Zoom, taking online classes – yoga, Pilates, sketching, guitar, and gardening
  • Finding new local hikes and bike rides.  Exploring local neighborhoods
  • Making new hiking and biking friends
  • Saving money – no gym dues and reduced restaurant expenses

A Huge Change, But Not All Bad

It’s true our world will never be the same.  So, when you feel discouraged, please refer to this list.  I hope it helps. 

Note: I’m eager to hear your thoughts. What would you add to the list?