Music can brighten our mood during the lockdown and COVID-19 stress…Why did we choose to come to India?…

This is where we dined each night with views of the pool and the sea while in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia, in June 2016. We wouldn’t mind returning there someday.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos (absolute favorites) are from June 27, 2016, wrapping up our time in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia. See the link here for more details.

As I begin the day’s post, I first add the “Year Ago Photo,” which often prompts me with ideas for the new post. In most cases, I assure you I have no idea what I will write about when I begin adding features to the post.

It was business as usual, with Tom wearing a sarong as the required dress to enter the temple. He had a hard time managing the steps. He didn’t have the same experience as women who’ve worn long dresses, knowing when to hold up the hem for ease in walking.

In some cases, I find a topic that easily prompts me to begin writing, and at other times I am at a total loss. Since March, being stuck in a hotel room in Mumbai, India, the ideas for topics are far and few between. 

Subsequently, on numerous occasions, I’ve had no choice but to be repetitious, rattling on about the same topics over and over again. On behalf of our regular readers, we apologize for this redundancy. 

Me, at the monkey temple, wearing the required sarong.

The two topics we’re covering today is: 
1. How can music brighten an otherwise less optimistic mood on a particular day?
2. Why did we decide to come to India one year ago today?

Hopefully, in time, we’ll move on to more diverse experiences to share other than those from being stuck in a hotel room, eating the same meals over and over, and walking the same corridors ten times a day.

The flow of the river at low tide. 

And yet, yesterday’s walking presented me with a new perspective when I felt blue about my dear sister Susan’s status of moving into a state of hospice/palliative care as her life’s breath dwindles.

First, I will address my music revelation while walking, which is unusual for me in that low mood. I listen to informational/educational-type podcasts while I walk, figuring I may as well learn something while embarking on the otherwise boring walks. 

These two chaise lounges provided us with shade for part of the day.  Later, we’d move to the shade of the cabana. That’s me at the edge of the infinity pool overlooking the sea.
Over time, I’ve come to appreciate what I’m learning about current topics and many other areas of interest. If you can so much as conceive of a topic, invariably, you’ll be able to find podcasts and videos wrapped around these topics presented by reliable sources. (Only each of us can determine a “reliable” source of education and information).
Yesterday’s educational podcasts weren’t doing it for me. I couldn’t listen intently as usual, instead of allowing my mind to wander back to my state of sorrow and concern.
The villa from the beachside.

As I stopped in the corridor to find any podcast that could help, I stumbled upon a couple of music videos I’d enjoyed in years past and decided to give them a try. In no time at all, back in the room, I found myself watching the clock for my next walk, longing to listen to the music once again. 

By accident, I’d found a sorrow/stress reliever I hadn’t considered in these past many weeks with Susan on my mind. The songs I chose to listen to are irrelevant to others since everyone has their personal preferences. I found those that promoted a pleasant memory seemed to be the most helpful.

The infinity pool and Jacuzzi view from the second level.

In a matter of seconds, my walking pace picked up, and for the first time in days, I had a spring in my step, although my music choices may be considered to have a melancholy tone.

Now, I know, when a somber mood strikes me, I have a “place to go” in my head that reduces the worry and stress, at least for a while.
I’ve never been one to listen to music on my phone. I always felt I needed to learn something, but this simple experience reminded me that my mental state deserved some fluff to get out of my head and relax.

A Kingfisher was sitting atop a palm frond.

We’ve been diligent about watching some binge-worthy shows in the late afternoon and evening, which surely has been a huge source of entertainment and relaxation for both of us. But, the remainder of our days need not be filled with “responsible tasks” while in lockdown. 

As for point #2 above, “Why did we decide to come to India one year ago today?” (for our new readers over the past year), the answer is uncomplicated. In Ireland in 2019, we watched a TV series with Trevor McDonald about The Maharajas Express Luxury Train. We were hooked on the idea. 

Almost every evening while we dined, these four buffaloes walked on the beach. It was terrific these young kids could handle the huge animals which knew them and cooperated.

Within days of watching the episode, we had booked our journey beginning February 2, 2020, and ended almost five months ago n February 8, 2020. From there, we booked a 55-day private tour which abruptly ended early on or about March 15, 2020, when we began our self-imposed lockdown before we ever arrived back in Mumbai. Cases of the virus were rapidly increasing worldwide and also in India.

Once we arrived in Mumbai, after staying in four hotels in self-imposed lockdown, India’s national lockdown began on March 24, 2020, the day we checked in to this hotel. As of today, we’ve been in a state of lockdown for 104 days. Initially, we planned to stay in India for a total of 64 days. Humm…

Dragon fruit, a popular local item. 

Never at any point in our lives have we stopped learning, continually striving to enhance our knowledge, personal growth, and endurance. Now, it is no exception. Anything we can do to inch one step closer to our personal potential is a step in the right direction. Fortunately, regardless of our age, that goal can never be achieved. We’re all a “work in progress,” present company included.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, June 27, 2019:

One year ago, we booked The Maharajas Express Luxury Train in India, which prompted us to come to India. For more photos, please click here.