Tuesday, March 24, 2020

New normal ~ going on a bear hunt

People in my neighborhood have been taking their children on bear hunts.  The idea came from a children's book (below).  I found the author of the book acting and singing his way through the story on YouTube.  What fun!  I have found several different YouTube videos of it, or you can get a copy of the book.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt ~ by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, 1989, children's, 10/10
"We're going on a bear hunt.  We're going to catch a big one.  Will you come too?"  For years, readers have been swishy swashing and splash sploshing through this award-winning favorite, as a brave family romps through sweeping land-scapes.  The version shown here features pop-ups, flaps to lift, tabs to pull, and sound effects.
Now I want you to imagine going on a "bear hunt" where what we are hunting for is all the encouraging things people are posting for how we can use our "stay at home" time.  That's OUR bear hunt for today.  One "bear" I found:  Parkway United Church of Christ posted this poem on their website today.  Thanks, Parkway UCC.
Don’t Quit

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Contributed by Ellie Svenson

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
I had to memorize this poem when I was a child in school, so reading it put a smile on my face and put my memories in overdrive.  Here's another "bear" I found on my hunt for encouragement, a book whose title is perfect for our time:

Finding a New Normal: Living Your Best Life with Chronic Illness ~ by Suzan L. Jackson, 2020, health
Based on Sue’s almost 20 years living with chronic illnesses in her own family, writing her blog, writing articles on chronic illness, and leading multiple support groups, she provides support and practical advice you can use.  Whether you are in the early days of living with chronic illness or have been at it for years (or decades), there are always challenges in living a life framed by limitations and restrictions, where isolation is a common issue.

This guide provides inspiration, advice on emotional coping, and guidance on living your best life with chronic illness from someone who’s been there.  Though it seems impossible at first, your life will eventually settle into a new normal, and while that life may be different than the one you had planned, it can still be a vibrant, fulfilling life based on strong relationships, a healthy emotional state, and finding joy in every day.  The emphasis in this book is on LIVING your life, not just enduring it.
We are all "coping with isolation, anxiety, grief, living a separate life, and looking for small joys each day," Sue Jackson wrote on her blog, telling us her book is now out in paperback, as well as in an ebook.  Don't you love it that she emphasizes LIVING, not just enduring?  Some of her chapter titles sound perfect for our "new normal" in the time of coronavirus:
  • One Day at a Time
  • Finding Joy in Every Day
  • A Plan B Day
  • The Restorative Power of Nature
  • What Makes You Forget?
  • Reading Expands Your World
  • The Importance of Play
  • The Wide World of Online Learning
Thanks, Sue.  We can use these suggestions NOW, to alleviate boredom and frustration when we'd rather be out and about.

Okay, let's keep "bear" hunting.  I have one more inspiration for now.

Rather than sitting around in a funk, we'd be better off doing some exercises.  Donna Rae Jones is working on a way to help us do just that.  I'll let you know when she'll be leading us live in the mindful movements of yoga.  She's sent me a connection so I can practice getting connected tomorrow.  In the meantime, check out her website.

Our new normal is checking on each other:  yesterday and today, I've checked-in by phoning, emailing, texting, and Facebook with Donna, Donna Rae Jones, Dora, Mary, Sandy, Susan, Tiny, Rosie, Gail, some of my family members, and maybe others that don't come to mind right now.  Have you checked on your neighbors?  Your friends?  Your elderly family members?

And last, but not least, the little black "bear" at my house.  Clawdia is doing her daily hibernation thing near me, as you can see in this photo.


Helen's Book Blog said...

I love the idea of putting bears in windows. I have also heard that people are putting rainbows in their window.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

A bear hunt keeps children occupied. Does the rainbow in a window represent something about staying home or being self-quarantined?

Marg said...

It's such a fun idea isn't it! It is taking hold in Australia too.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Such a wonderful idea!

Sue Jackson said...

Thanks for the shout-out for me and my book (and blog), Bonnie! Much appreciated :)

I've been hearing about the neighborhood bear hunts from all over the world - what a great idea for kids and families!!

Your "looking for bears" is similar to my recent #SilverLinings posts on social media, encouraging people to look for the good coming out of our crazy situation. Similar to you, one of my silver linings is keeping in touch with family members! I have never heard from so many distant family members in one week - amazing! Also, seeing our neighbors outside (from a distance!). Our neighborhood is usually deserted - everyone (except us) uses lawn services and no one is ever outside. But all of a sudden, all of our neighbors are out on the nice days! We are chatting with (from 6 ft away) people we haven;t seen in years and even meeting newer neighbors for the first time. Maybe all this will bring people together.

Thanks for the uplifting blog post!


Book By Book

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks for sharing that, Sue. Your comment is uplifting in itself, making me smile right now.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Bear hunts have made it to Woman's Day online, with pictures and even videos of people out "bear hunting" with their children. More photos are in the comments. Here's the link:

Kathryn T said...

Here in New Zealand there are bears in the windows for children out walking with their parents during these times. I am bearless because I've given all mine away! Good to hear about Sue's book, I have it on my Kindle and need to get on with it.