|This was our holiday home in Campanario, Madeira, Portugal, high on a hill, as are most homes here. We took this photo as we walked down the steep road in front of the house.
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Today’s photos are from June 5, 2014, while living in Madeira, Portugal. See the link here for the story and more photos.
This is not easy. We are not brave during this challenging experience. We are not adventurous during this harrowing experience. We are not much different than any of you would be during this challenging experience. We are doing the best we can.
What keeps us from falling into a pit of depression or anxiety? Only one thing… The fears of falling into a pit of depression or anxiety. We choose an alternative as the most accessible means of getting through this trying time… Living in the moment… Avoiding complaints, possessing a strong sense of gratefulness… Having hope for the future.
|This rose was growing in front of the house on a narrow stone planter box.
How could we possibly enjoy living in the moment when that moment consists of being stuck in an average-sized hotel room 24 hours a day, every day with no respite?
Oddly, we do. The “moment” is the reality that we are safe. The “moment” is finding ways to occupy ourselves to avoid dull periods of “over-thinking” and worrying.
|A neighborhood walk resulted in seeing many gorgeous flowers, including this pink rose in full bloom.
The “moment” is maintaining a positive attitude coupled with maximum tolerance with one another, avoiding disharmony at all costs. Being “right” during these times is pointless. We are never going to look back at this period and say, “Oh, I am so glad I was “right” about this or that.
We’ll look back with an added sense of confidence in ourselves and as a couple for the grace and dignity we’ve shared during such trying times. We also learned this when Tom was my caregiver after open-heart surgery, doing everything for me for many months. Neither of us complained, not me for my discomfort, not him for the constant requirements facing him.
|Four goats lived on the hill next door appearing to be a mom, dad, and two babies. Every morning we’d step outside and do a loud “baa,” to which she responded in a louder “baa” as she looked our way.
We knew my return to health was most certainly influenced by my state of mind and our state of mind as a couple. Now, we make every effort to maintain a positive and supportive foundation with one another.
Some may say, “If you feel it, express it!” But for us, we’ve found that avoiding spewing negative thoughts and feelings to one another (and, in our minds) regularly only leads to emotional upheaval in the best of times, let alone now during times of Covid-19.
|Even imperfection has a certain beauty.
If one thinks about it, complaining/whinging doesn’t provide any genuine benefit. Keeping our negative feelings and thoughts in check helps us avoid dwelling in a negative mental state.
Gratefulness has been a significant factor in helping us move through this period and will aid us well into the future. We continually discuss how fortunate we are to be safe; have air-con; good WiFi; have good, although repetitive food prepared for us twice a day; can stream shows we like to divert our attention; can afford to live here long term, and we have each other. What more could we ask for besides the eventual freedom from this small space?
|I practically had to get on my knees and shoot upward when this flower was drooping toward the ground.
And, this is where hope comes in. We accept and do not dismiss that having hopes for the future may be impossible and unrealistic for those suffering from a terminal illness with no possibility of a remission or cure. We exclude those horrific situations from this conversation. Short of that, there’s always hope for the rest of us.
But is hope something that magically occurs upon us? I don’t believe it is. Hope is a choice we make to bring us relief while we struggle through any situation. Hope is described as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.” We can choose that, can’t we?
|Although we were quite a distance from the ocean, watching the boats from afar was fun.
From this foundation, we didn’t necessarily discuss or plan. It is magically helping us get through this and other harrowing experiences. We are not brave. We are not adventurous. We are not unique in our efforts to maintain balance during this unusual time in history. We are practical, logical, and determined. That’s it.
We’ve found a way to find comfort by living in the moment while avoiding complaining, having excess negative thoughts, feeling grateful, and, above all, having hope.
May all of you feel hopeful for the future.
Photo from one year ago today, June 5, 2019:
|One year ago today, we booked this holiday home in Wales. The simple design was pleasing to the eye, along with its affordability. For more, please click here.