The Boob-Bee and Some More Serious Subjects (March 23rd, 2020 to June 29th, 2020)
Updated: May 5
Last week, Azlan, Ted and I took the Glamper out for a short test run in Phipps Park. She’s been inactive since we paused our travels in December, so we stayed close to home just in case any major issues arose. Fortunately, the Glamper did fabulously and the only problem was the stairs getting stuck and loudly grinding going in and out. While at Phipps Park, we were out walking around, enjoying the muggy heat, exploring the grassy and gravel paths. We walked around a pond, past some tents set up on wood flooring, and through batches of giant blood sucking mosquitoes. Our pace quickened to keep ahead of the skeeters and shortly after I felt a little tickle on the center of my chest, right between the girls. It was almost like sweat dribbling down, not unusual considering the heat and humidity. Lucky for me, I looked before I wiped the so-called sweat. As I peeked down I saw a winged yellow and black striped little guy...and as you may have guessed, I Totally freaked out. I grabbed my sports bra and very invitingly leaned forward and held it at max elastic stretch capacity yelling “GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT!” While jumping from one foot to another. My startled husband was quick and brushed the boob-bee out, sending him flying. My adorable son started laughing. Ted started laughing. I said “That wasn’t funny!” And then proceeded to laugh with them as we came up with “boob-bee”. Hopefully the guy enjoying his beer about 20 feet away enjoyed the show too!
Now a little update on some highlights of what we’ve been up to during the Rona period. At the end of March a friend of ours and her 2 dogs moved in with us for a month and a half. Azlan was freaked out with the dogs at first (he has a deep rooted fear of dogs), but after a while he was building dog houses and dishing out tummy rubs. Zoom schooling was how we and most of America finished out the 2019-2020 school year. Thank goodness his teacher is absolutely amazing and was able to get the kindergarten kids to mute and unmute themselves to participate in class. By the end of May, he was almost doing all the school work by himself (we still needed to supervise so he didn't go into the black hole of YouTube videos for hours on end). Azlan learned to ride his bike without training wheels while at the same time giving Ted and I (mostly Ted) a run for our money. His eye only needs to be patched one hour a day now and overall he's been a pretty happy kids spending most of his time with his mom and dad. Ted has registered for a course at the Chapman's School of Seamanship, had our driveway paved, gotten the process started on getting our roof replaced, had the boat and Glamper serviced and has spent a lot of time playing with Azlan. As a family we have built puzzles, created obstacle courses, ridden bikes, gone boating, walked, cuddled and watched TV, and much more. That boat that Ted pushed so hard for has been our savior during Rona. I fought him when he wanted to buy the boat, arguing that it was irresponsible to spend money on such a big want (especially with neither of us working). He pressed back using our Glamper trip as an example of the memories we would build on the boat and the joy it would bring us all as a family, not to mention that we were responsible with our finances and we could make the payments work). I gave in. Every single day since, I am so glad we bought the boat to put on our little dock.
In early April, I tore my calf muscle and hurt my left forearm. Back in 2016 while we were in Korea, I was working out twice a day and hitting over 20K steps daily...I was not stretching enough. Same issue here. So, I cried for a day, and then started doing arm workouts seated in a chair so I could still stay active and not lose all the momentum I had built since moving to Palm City in December. At some point, I want to teach Zumba chair classes in retirement homes, so it was good practice. I also kept up with Zumba by pulling songs, working on my playlist, memorizing the music without being able to actually do the steps. Eventually, I was finally able to teach my very first In Studio Zumba Class at a phenomenal place: ZT's Fitness Studio. The positive vibes and good energy this place has is super hard to find, I am so grateful to be a part of it now. I've had a dream of becoming a Zumba Instructor since 2012 when I walked into a Zumba class in Germany for the first time. I've been certified twice and finally I put in the focus and drive to get there. It was WAY harder than I thought it would be!
During all this, my friend that was living with us introduced me to the 75 Hard Mental Toughness Program by Andy Frisella. I honestly didn't think that I could go without alcohol for 75 days considering I hadn't been sober for more than 10 days at a time since I was a teenager. The program seemed extreme but considering the lack of self control and self disciple I had, I thought why not? Why couldn't I? Can I do it? So, on April 20th I started drinking a gallon of water, doing two 45 min workouts (one had to be outside and they were never back to back), kept counting my macros as my diet plan, reading 10 pages of a non fiction book, and taking a progress picture every single day. I've read 3 amazing books and am on my 4th now:
On day 40 I failed by not taking a picture....a flipping picture! You are supposed to start over immediately but I didn't, I just kept going. The mental changes I have experienced have been priceless. Coming out of the alcohol fog (which took more than 30 days) and facing my own demons head on has been a huge awakening for me. I have realized that for years...like more than 20...I used drugs and alcohol as an escape so I wouldn't have to deal with difficult and uncomfortable thoughts and subjects. I used to tell myself it was ok to have bottles of wine every night because I worked hard during the day, I deserved it. In reality, all I was doing was staying stuck and ignoring problems. While I might not agree with everything Mr. Frisella says, he makes some excellent points between his bouts of cussing. He is harsh, but real. If you need a kick in the butt, check out the program. Today is my 70th day sans a drop of alcohol. DAY 70!!! If you know me personally, you know that if you had cut my veins a while ago, wine would have poured out. I stopped listening to the excuses my bitch voice made, it was NOT easy....it still is NOT easy. I will be restarting the 75 Hard sometime in July, not because I want to torture myself, but because I want to do the work to improve and grow myself...and as Mrs. Doyle states in Untamed: "We can do hard things"
We also went to Tampa for 5 days. I have mixed feelings about our trip. Part of me was anxious, scared and apprehensive. The other part was excited, nervous and hopeful. It was not the most reserved decision to travel during a pandemic but we were only a few hours from home, things were open, we wore masks in stores, we washed our hands and sanitized. I'm not sure why I feel the need to explain but there you go. The Silver Dollar RV Resort was pretty cool. It's a Golf Course and Shooting Range with a few RV hook up sites. Ted, Azlan and I had a good time walking around, going to the pool and seeing some of our friends. We were able to have lunch with Azlan's preschool teacher from Hawaii at Tijuana Flats (epic food) and visit the beach at Honey Moon Island State Park. The beach was an interesting experience. After an hour long wait to get into the park, we found a small area to socially distance ourselves - between the ocean in front of us and the sand dunes behind us, it was a bit tight. We didn't stay too long as we had no shade and were getting cooked alive in the Florida sun! Fortunately we were able to visit with a few friends but no big parties like last year.
So, here we are, in the midst of a pandemic with riots erupting across the country, in the 6th month of year 2020. Our world is full of technology, abundance and indulgence. Many people are unhappy, lost and depressed. Things that are valued are money, power, prestige, popularity. Folks look at each other with suspicious and guarded eyes. Disrespect and disregard for fellow humans is a common daily occurrence. America, the United States of America, is clearly divided. People being treated less than worthy because of a pigment color in their skin, still. The media instills fear and hatred in the masses feeding the titillated viewers stories of violence and murder. More storms and disease spread across the planet as pollution and waste become more prominent. These general observations paint a very unpleasant scenario. Unfortunately, that is the negative part of our reality today.
Let's check the positive side (there is always one, we just have to look harder sometimes). Our world has more shared information at anyone's finger tips than ever before, available in just a few moments. We can communicate quickly via phones, video calls, texts, emails, letters, social media. The world is full of beautiful places and magnificent landscapes teeming with natural wonders. Kindness is still in practice. There are organizations out there that work very hard to help people and the environment. Love and joy exist and thrive. Value is found in creativity, love, personal growth, happiness. People can unite, people can learn, people can improve. Hope is alive.
What I see right now is a great opportunity for improvement. To make real lasting change for the better. For real justice and equality for ALL. However for this to happen, we need to be able to communicate with kindness, respect, an open mind, and we need to LISTEN. We need to pay attention to what we are being told and by whom and why. We need to ask questions! We need to search for the truth - the real truth - not the "truth" people are giving us completely slanted one way or another to their own benefit. We need to do our own research.
We need to be honest with ourselves and recognize if we are part of the problem. If we are, we need to the work to change ourselves, educate ourselves and define what changes we want to see in ourselves and in our world. We must be accountable for our actions and words. We can change, we can make change happen!
I kept hearing and reading the term 'white privilege'. The phrase triggered anger in me until I read about it and what it actually means. Here are some articles I have read that helped me understand a little better.
I've watched the 13th on Netflix recently, that was helpful to understand how our prison system grew. There are many more recommendations for documentaries, books and podcasts that are on my list which I am sharing below with links in hopes that this will help someone else too. I am also inexperienced (to say the least) when it comes to politics - but I'm going to learn. No more ignoring it because it makes me uncomfortable. I spent decades avoiding uncomfortable topics and situations, but not anymore.
Imagine if "red" and "blue" stopped fighting, stopped calling each other names, stopped yelling and disrespecting one another. Imagine if we could all have conversations, understand the other side of the story, learn from facts instead of opinions? Unite under "purple", under a common ground? What is our common ground you ask? How about humanity? How about we unite with the purpose of fixing problems in our country instead of trying to divide it further? How about we unite, listen to each other, speak with respect, make a long ass list of what needs to be fixed and start working on each item one by one? How about we start with ourselves, our own minds and hearts, and take steps to integrate ourselves into society with the goal of uniting America again? Building a better America?
From our hearts to yours,
Lots of love,
Daisa, Ted and Azlan
Mind you, I have not yet read, watched or listened to most of these - I am learning as I go and the more I learn, the better I can do. I don't know what information I will encounter as I broaden my knowledge and I don't know if I will agree with the messages provided by all these people. But if I don't explore - how will I ever learn, how will I ever be able to fight for a better future for my child to thrive in? "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou
Hulu: If Beale St Could Talk
Cinemax: The Hate U Give
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast (I started listening to this one)
Good Black News (@goodblacknews)
Antiracism Center (@Antiracismctr)
Black Women’s Blueprint (@blackwomensbp) They have more on FB than IG
Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter)
Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org)
The Conscious Kid (@theconciouskid)
United We Dream (@UnitedWeDream)
"Nothing will work unless you do." - Maya Angelou