Choosing Joy with the Help of Music, Wildlife, and Cakes during the Pandemic
Before the pandemic hit, I was having a great year in 2020. I wrote a song for the first time. In January, I passed my Aikido brown belt test. Then, in March, everything shut down and it seemed like my whole life had fallen apart. However, a few days into the lockdown, I noticed that Dan Navarro, whom I grew up loving when he performed in the musical duo Lowen and Navarro, was sharing daily live streams. The consistency of hearing his familiar music every day for months really helped to give me stability through the pandemic.
In addition to Dan’s music, I made sure to keep in contact with my mom, and she has also helped me to get through things. I have always loved spending time in and photographing nature and although I cannot have close contact with other people right now, I can have a connection with all of the plants and animals that live around me, which has also been a great solace.
I have been taking care to make holidays special for my kids, celebrating in ways that we never have before and really never had time for with our more busy schedules. My children were born on the same day but 5 years apart, so for their double birthday this year we baked a 5 layer vegan carrot ice cream cake and for Christmas we made gingerbread houses from scratch that even had stained glass windows made of hard candy.
I decided that I needed to choose to be happy and to choose to feel joy within myself, despite what was going on in the world around me. I heard that Dan was going to be offering songwriting workshops, so I signed up for them and ended up writing several songs including a birthday song for my kids, and a cheery one about wanting to live in a gingerbread house. I also signed up for music theory and ear training classes online. So in a way, the pandemic is giving me time to slow down and focus on things that I have always wanted to learn, like how to read music. Finally, my kids and I are taking Aikido classes online and we keep going in whatever ways work right now. I try to think positively and I am grateful that I and my family and friends are healthy.
~ Maria Borges
Maria lives in Northern California, recently graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology, and enjoys practicing Aikido, non-violent communication, photographing wildlife, eating plant based food, and spending time with her two kids and two cats!
In an attempt to keep us connected as we continue to find our way through these often stressful times, some in our extended community have been sharing their experiences, lessons learned and hope as they’ve dealt with Covid, lockdown, boredom, lack of inspiration, etc. We are all looking for ways to make lemonade out of the many lemons! This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at email@example.com or Marlynn Block at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.