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March 2020

Coronavirus: You Are Loved @mkik808 #danceparty #youareloved


It's understandable to get depressed and be emotional these days - my God, I would be worried for someone if they WEREN'T flipping out.  Between the news and the panic as well as the indifference to a certain segment of the human community, I have been beside myself for days. There will be better days ahead but right now we're staying at home. I'm now on Day 18.

But yesterday I logged on to Mark Kanemura's Instagram feed  (I'd been hearing about it for days) - he throws an amazing dance party starting at 2pm PT / 5pm ET and the positivity and joy that emanate from him is infectious (in the not lethal way, of course!) :) 

I needed this emotional injection of positivity, energy, and joy, more than I can say. This man is provided the best source of healing for the grieving I am going through (click here for a great article about the grief we're all going through). 

It's 30 minutes of aerobic fun but frankly I was having a late afternoon nap when I logged on and didn't even get up at all. It threw me back to the mid 90s gay bar/club scene here in NYC - the same fun energy that kept me going back to Splash, Paladium, Limelight and more is present here.... 

Log on. Enjoy it. Move with Mark. Or just listen. I can't promise your life will be changed, but mine was. And I thank you, Mark for this. 

And remember: You Are Loved. 

Coronavirus: How's It Goin'?

PurellHow's it going? 

These days that simple question takes on a deeper meaning - because it's really about: how's your physical health? and how's your mental health? 

So, long story short - two weeks ago I was with someone who had been with someone who tested positive. OK so that IS a few degrees away but the person I was with had a cold and I thought it not unreasonable that I could have picked something up. I didn't and after 14 days I am still feeling 100% fine physically (although I have been sneezing a LOT - I suppose it could be allergies - they flare up so infrequently that I sometimes forget year to year that I even have them). 

Like many of us, I am feeling the pinch mentally. I swing wildly from one emotion to the other. You know. The same way you're feeling. 

It's not that I'm feeling it when it comes to working from home - I've done that most of the 16 years I've lived in my NYC apartment - but from my imagination dreaming up super scary outcomes to this. 

I try to stay present but my mind keeps drifting towards possible futures. 

As you are probably also feeling, containing those emotions is a lot of work. 

Thankfully I had planned on taking this week off, and although our travel plans got called off and my partner, a medical professional, had his vacation time revoked, I decided to keep mine. I had waffled about this but my boss was insistent and perhaps that was a good call. 

So I'm at home but unable to sit still. I made a list of a dozen projects but I am struggling to muster up the energy to do much on any of them... and then I kick myself for not making better use of this time 'off'. 

Sound familiar? 

I'm doing my best to breathe, be grateful, and laugh. And there are some crazy/funny memes out there. So, in the spirit of mental health, here's one of my favorites: Girl With the Purell Earring. I hate that I didn't think of that!! :) 

What are YOU doing to take care of you  - and most importantly, how's it goin'?  

Coronavirus: Things That Go Bump In the Night

89883088_10158043396345351_8295240195578527744_nOk, like many of you, I am working from home, scrambling to simultaneously keep my work life going (and be there on the front lines of cancelling / rescheduling firm events) and my personal life (like, thinking ahead to everything that needs to be done in a different way now and having the patience to let go of the things that aren't going to happen right now - the gym, a party, the bar, etc). 

I am, at different times scared, sad, angry, and, at other times, I find myself finding the joy in everyday kindnesses.  

But, mostly, I'm just scared.

The fear ranges from the usual ("we're all going to die") to the extreme ("what if when we leave our apartments, we discover that we've been taken over by another country?"). 

The best thing I can advise any of you who are feeling the same push from their emotions as I am, is to simply breathe. Trite, I am well aware, but it does help. Stretch. Probably it wouldn't hurt you to maybe dance either by yourself, with your family, or through one of the online dance parties that have sprung up - I know there's one based out of LA and I imagine that there are others. We are spending time watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show since the boyfriend has never seen it (the things you learn about your loved ones in a crisis! lol) 

I just want to say that our ability as humans to cope with a pandemic is a true testament to what makes us pretty awesome. We figure it out. Somehow. Online concerts from people's living rooms? Fantastic! Free Opera? Sure! and you want to join me in viewing of the classic CINDERELLA on You Tube tonight March 20 at 8pm ET in conjunction with Playbill? Why not! 

There's a lot right now that we have no control over. But there is a lot that we do. Stay home as much as you can and stay away from other people when you go out is the most obvious, of course. 

But more importantly - for those who, right now at least, only hear things that go bump in the night, a wish: find things each day to be grateful for. Make a list if you have to. Tape it to the wall. I also recommend finding ways of making others feel better. For example, I'm composing hand written letters to send out over the weekend. I always find it nice to get a letter in snail mail and know that others feel the same way. 

Meanwhile, my plan for getting through this today is to breathe through my fear, focus on doing one thing at a time, and watch Mary Tyler Moore. You know, she can turn the world on with her smile and that is certainly helping us! 

Coronavirus: Working from Home

CheeseheadblogIt's been a week since I started working from home - it doesn't feel that odd to me since I spent many years working from home as a freelance event producer. But to be in a corporate job and working from the same table I produced hundreds of fundraisers from is a little strange. 

I've already learned a few things from being at home - 

  1. If you can't remember the last time you showered, it's time for you go take one. 
  2. Ditto, if you can't remember how long you've been wearing the same t shirt.

The best advice that I can give you if you've never worked from home before is this - it's tempting to treat this as a vacation and get lazy, but that's not going to help you personally or professionally - so, get up at the same time every morning, shower and dress for the day even if the 'dress for the day' is a t shirt and jeans. No one said you had to dress UP, just get dressed. 

The wonderful people I work with are, like all of us, stressed and scared, so today on a team call I wore a cheesehead hat. It was a bit of a gamble, because I was after all at work, but people thought it was funny (as I hoped they would) and someone mentioned that it was good to laugh. 

The other thing that I am forgetting is that I'm not on house arrest and that it's not like there's been a nuclear war - I CAN go outside and take a walk or rent/ride a bike. After a week, it might be time to do so. 



Monday, March 9th, 2020 #birthday #happybirthday

BirthdaygummiBLOGGood morning! Today is March 9th and I'm taking the day off my job to celebrate my birthday - no big plans, really, and it looks like it's going to be a gorgeous day! 

Being in the corporate events world, we are dealing with internal cancellations, contingency plans for  mitigating financial loss as well as providing steady support for stakeholders. Keeping a calm head while under crisis is kind of what we do. Mostly this involves a good sense of humor and distilling problems into small bite sized action items. 

In between dealing with that, I've continued to repaint the place. It's not always 100% where I want it to be, but it's already a million times better than it was. That's kind of like life, I guess. But the entire place is done except for the long hallway where I hang all of our art. It's been a deep orange for nearly a decade and I need a change but haven't yet figured out what's next. It's a process, I suppose. And let me tell you, we always say we live in a tiny place, but it's not until one has to paint the whole thing does one really understand how much space one really has. 

Speaking of process, I'm learning how to create art in Procreate on an ipad - So far, my biggest learning curve is to just get used to how it works ("why is the pen only erasing SOME of the lines?", for example). I think I'll get the hang of it especially if I take it slow. Again, it's distilling problems into small bite sized action items, like 'how do I turn this on, again?" ;) 

As with every birthday in the modern age, I love the Facebook and LinkedIn birthday cascade; it's really the primary reason I love the platforms as much as I do. So, thanks to those of you reading this have reached out; it's appreciated. 

Now, I'm off to enjoy the day, I hope you're able to do the same!