A New Default Setting

Last Update: March 26, 2020

I've tried for a week to write this blog.

I've tried to do a lot of things this past week.

What I was able to do was stress, pace the floor, clean everything in sight, organize every drawer and closet.

What I could not do: eat, sleep, read, write, sew, sit still, focus on anything that would distract me from the slow implosion occurring in all our lives. I didn't know if I was coming or going - I was completely without direction.

Thank you Covid-19 - I am now officially ADHD.

As much as I don't like the inconveniences resulting from this pandemic, I'm 1,000X more concerned about how this will affect those not as fortunate as me. My husband and I work in a hospital - our jobs aren't going anywhere. We will be working more - a lot more, not less.

I'm becoming more comfortable with the enhanced isolation procedures at work for example, having my temperature taken and verifying I am an employee before entering the building. No visitors are allowed (with some extreme exceptions). Going to the bathroom and going from one patient room to the next requires planning and meticulous adherence to isolation protocols - it's time-consuming but doable.

Watching the rate of those who test positive for Covid-19 increase exponentially each day makes me thankful - at least for now - our hospital has enough PPE however, we are also using this resource very conservatively.

Crisis and complex situations are nothing new to me. I've been homeless not once but twice. The last 12 years my first husband was alive was one medical emergency after another (feeding tubes, dialysis, blindness, lower leg amputation, pain medication addiction...). I dealt with this while raising two daughters and working full time.

Nothing bothered me - I remained calm and able to deal with anything thrown at me. I would just let it roll off like water on a leaf.

However, for the past 2-3 weeks, I have not felt so invincible.

In the past maybe, I was too young and stupid to fully comprehend and recognize the level of mayhem I - the four of us - were living. Maybe a certain amount of ignorance is needed to survive certain situations with some semblance of bliss.

Today, I'm not so young. And my antidote for ignorance is actually causing me more anxiety.

One solution I'm trialing is to limit myself to one hour of news in the morning and one hour in the evening. Emotionally, I'm less of a wreck at work than at home. There I am forced to think about someone other than myself. And although the Kansas City and surrounding counties have been issued a stay-at-home order there are too many people out and about! The hospital is the only place where I'm observing proper social distancing.

I - actually all of us - would love nothing better than to be able to return to our default settings.

I want to return to my usual state of being - cool, calm, collected. To be the one able to see the silver lining, the bright side and be able to state with confidence that we will survive and things will eventually return to normal.

Life doesn't have a reset button. A default setting doesn't exist.

But life does go on...however, the quality and quantity of life that continues requires that


STAY HOME and I won't feel so stressed out!

STAY HOME so we can stop the spread of this virus in its tracks!

STAY HOME until testing kits are universally available and we can lower the time required to receive ACCURATE test results in hours - not days.


Like your website - they are YOUR PROPERTY! You can do anything (within reason and limits of the law) you want! If you have a home be very fortunate. Not everyone has a home and not everyone has a website! Be grateful and take advantage of these assets!

STAY HOME and paint a room. A new color will make you feel as if you were in a NEW HOME!

STAY HOME and try out a new recipe. You may be surprised to learn a meal prepared in your kitchen is better than a restaurant. (Except for a steak and seafood restaurant on The Plaza in KCMO!).

STAY HOME and build a new website or make some needed changes to your existing sites!

STAY HOME and read, learn and contribute on this platform and watch your ranking climb closer to the top!

Living life without a default setting requires me to create one of my own and I'm more than happy to share this with anyone!

And yes, it does look exactly like an Edward Hopper painting:

My New Normal

If I can do without it, I will postpone the trip to the grocery store.

If I can't do without it (and if possible), I'll order online.

I will check on family and neighbors who are not able to provide for themselves.

I will keep a safe distance from everyone I come in contact with.

I will go to work and follow all isolation protocols and wash my hands a gazillion times while at work and at home.

Beyond this - I will STAY HOME! And as much as possible, I would ask that everyone else do the same.

Home is Where the Heart Is...There's No Place Like Home...

I feel better - thank you for listening.

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Recent messages
Stanleycmng Premium
Susan, 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Applause to you and your husband as healthcare workers. Everyday is a risk at work and we all need to appreciate it. It does create a new normal for us, definitely for you. Yes, we should appreciate home more.
SAWalden Premium
Hi Stanley! Thank you so much for your kind words. It's getting be that everyday is a risk for all of us in this crazy new world we now live in.

Stay safe!
Mick18 Premium
I thank you for your work in the hospital. Same here, it's best to limit watching the news. When I start watching, I get obsessed with it. So no more.

We rarely leave the house, only if utterly necessary. There's just too many people around here not following the stay at home order.
SAWalden Premium
Hi Mickey - thank you so much for your comment!

Stay safe!
EHozubin Premium
Susan - You've done an awful lot to help many people in the past, you have to take care of yourself first or you won't be able to take care of them. You have to find something that will allow you to calm down, reading, or something that will.You've had a rough life and know that your more comfortable now & you are afraid that it will leave you. We are all going to get through this. Those clowns that are running all over town will eventually get the picture when they realize they will lose everything unless they start conforming. But please take care of yourself First! No television.
SAWalden Premium
Thank you so very much for your kind words and support!
I will certainly take your advice - and I am feeling much better today.
I was able to sew and work on a quilt, started a new post for my website and listened to music instead of the news!!!

You take care of yourself as well!

DaveSw Premium
Hi, Susan...

Your experiences, feelings, and advice resonate with many members I think, and it seems yo me that you are handling this all very well, better than some...

I do believe that adverse situations bring out the best in most people, and the ones where it does not, at the least they may learn how disruptive their attitudes and behaviors can be and how counterproductive they are...

There will be a small segment of people as well that simply does not get it, and the rest of us can choose to ignore them as much as practical and try to minimize the damage they may be doing...

Great post, a lot of good advice, and stay safe and continue to make the best of these trying times...I just met you here and I like you already haha!

Dave : )
SAWalden Premium
Thank you Dave for the kind words! I so appreciate your comments. 🤗

I agree that bad situations can and do bring out the best in many of us - that includes those of us here at WA!
We're all in this together 😍

AlexEvans Premium
Hi Susan,

Your post resonates so much truth, thank you for sharing your thoughts as hard as it has been for you to write them down.

It is taking time for people to transition into this, all of us will be challenged on some level as we make that adjustment. My heart goes out to people who are on the frontlines or working in essential services as they work to keep that essence of normality and to take care of people who are affected.

The very humanness of our condition is being rocked to the core by this one.

We are in this together and together we will get through it, take care and look after yourself and your loved ones.

The message is simple; stay home and help to break the chain.

Well, said.

SAWalden Premium
Thank you for your kind words Alex.
This is truly like nothing anyone has ever seen.

If we all work together - and it appears everyday we are more in unison, we will break this chain.

We are bigger than it is!