Don’t put it in drive yet

gearshift console

Would you even consider getting into your vehicle and starting to drive without having a destination? Even if you just wanted to get out, you have some sort of idea about which direction you are headed. What I am talking about is to not even have a clue. You just get in the car and start driving. If you saw someone you knew at a stop light and they asked you “Hey, where are you headed?” Would you admit, “I have no clue, I just put it in drive to see where the car takes me!” If that sounds crazy, then why would you do the same thing when you wake up in the morning and don’t bother to plan your day? If you already have a plan, that’s one thing, but to just let the day sort of run on auto pilot is really throwing away a day of your life.

I’m not throwing stones here

I have done the exact same thing. Today is one of those days. I didn’t have a plan and now the day is almost over. I threw away today. I’m trying to redeem the day by writing this and admitting that I failed to do what I try and do every morning. This has really worked for me. (except for today)

Rocks, gravel, sand and water

rocks, gravel, sand and water
Image by childrensministry.com

Someone told me this analogy a while back. If someone gave you rocks, gravel, sand and water and tells you to put them all in a large 5 gallon bucket, but you get to choose the order, could you do it?
Ok, let’s give it a try. You add gravel, sand, then fill it with water, now for the rocks. Whoops, the rocks won’t fit. Ok, let’s try it again. This time you add the sand, water, gravel and now for the large rocks. Dang, only 2 will fit. You now find out that the rocks were what needed to be included in the bucket the most. Those were the most important material.

Life is like that. We have rocks, which are the big things that need to be done during a day; the hard talk, the project that must be done, the time to think of a new creative concept. Many times we fill up our day with gravel, sand and water not allowing any room for the rocks, those important things that we needed to get done that day.

Give this a try

Tomorrow morning, before you put your day in drive, sit down for a minimum of 5 minutes and try to list the two or three big rocks that need to get put in your bucket. Sometimes I only come up with one, but if I do this, I find that the gravel, sand and water doesn’t seem to get in the way. I feel as if my day is more complete and I end up with a greater sense of satisfaction when my head hits the pillow.

I told this analogy to someone at the coffee shop a few weeks ago. As I sat there with my notebook a few days later they came up to me and asked what I was doing. “Gathering my rocks for the day.” I said. They smiled knowing what I meant and walked away. Today would not be a wasted day.

Welcome to the Covid 19 Zone

Have you ever been under pressure to get a project started? And then, once almost delivered, have to put it on hold at the very last moment? Better yet, have you ever had a spark of creative genius that kept you up at night? You can’t rest until you act on it, only to have outside forces tell you to wait. Welcome to the Covid 19 Zone.

The Twilight Zone
Image by Merlin Collaboration

This is not a dream

Nope, this is not a dream. It’s more like a nightmare. For the first 30 days of this pandemic, I awoke each morning thinking that the previous days events were simply a dream. It took me 5 minutes to shake the sleep from my mind, only to realize that this is reality. Covid 19 was going to disrupt my plans for the foreseeable future. I can’t fast forward life and relocate to a new city, state or even country. That isn’t going to make this go away. All of us are in The Covid 19 Zone. As the phrase goes “We are all in this together”. By the way, that phrase at first sounds warm and fuzzy as if we are all pulling together for a common goal. The reality of it is that we are all mired in a deep pool of poo. It stinks and nobody gets a free pass.

An idea for an industry that is on hold

My genius idea that I have is now officially on hold. The industry that my idea is for is Theme Parks. The Covid 19 Zone has thrown spike strips into the path of my idea to stop me dead in my tracks.

Spike strips

Spike strips are great to stop a moving vehicle. Covid 19 is a great way to prevent people on the entire planet from assembling together. That is most of the time. Scores of industries are being hamstrung by something that most of us didn’t see coming. We have been told that we were overdue for a pandemic as the last one occurred over 100 years ago, the Spanish flu of 1918. This type of thing NEVER comes at a convenient time. It just shows up like a dreaded house guest that doesn’t know when they are wearing out their welcome!

5 things to do if you are chomping at the bit

If you find yourself in a similar position like me, waiting to give birth to that new idea and feel as though you are a horse chomping at the bit, here are some ideas to help while you wait.

  • Make a game plan or outline from start to finish of what your project looks like once it is completed.
  • Spend the time now to research the talent and assets that will be needed to pull it off.
  • Is this a solo project or will you need to collaborate with others? If you will need to collaborate with others, choose these people and then come up with why this project will benefit both them and you.
  • Spend time looking at similar ideas. What worked for them? What didn’t work for them? How is yours different?
  • Realize that you may not be the only one with this idea and that The Covid 19 Zone may be giving you an opportunity to put your project through a well needed training to work out all the kinks so that it is ready when we get to the other side.
Horse mouth and bridle

This too shall pass

One way or the other, this too shall pass, hopefully sooner than later. The big question is when. If this virus slowly fizzles due to the world shutting down until the virus can’t find any new hosts that is one way. I’m hoping and praying for a vaccine that will eradicate this unwelcome guest as was done for polio and small pox.

Until then, don’t give up on your idea, just use the time wisely and work on it so that when it’s your time to shine, you have done your homework and are first in line.

When will Disney World reopen?

Disneyland and Cinderella's castle

I can’t wait for Disney World to reopen. Once it does, it will feel as some normalcy will have returned to our nation, not ignoring what has gone on these past 3 months or even the past several weeks. I know that there are angry people everywhere, some rightfully so. Even when visiting the happiest place on earth people get cranky, but it does seem that we all get along or try to get along when visiting Disney World. I am so excited, that I have created a countdown clock below for when the parks reopen. Enjoy!

Disney Countdown Clock

Why is everyone chomping at the bit for the Disney parks to reopen?

When are Disney parks going to reopen?

Cinderella's castle with Disney characters standing in front. Taken at Disneyland Resort.
(Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

This seems to be a headline no matter what news source you open. The Disney parks are not like your local pub or restaurant that you are eagerly awaiting to open. For all of these people chomping at the bit for the Disney parks to reopen, it has to be something more. I mean, why does it really matter when Disney parks will reopen? When it comes to Disney theme parks, you either love them or you hate them. Personally, I was just reintroduced to them about ten years ago. We don’t live close to any of the parks so it had to be something that we planned and saved money to do. The last time that I had been there was probably 10 or more years ago and before that, I was 14. For me, the resurging interest is all of the memories that flooded back. Those memories from my visit when I was 14, visiting with my parents, but was it only memories that drew me back? No, for me, it is more.

The real reason we can’t wait for Disneyland to reopen

I think the real reason why I can’t wait for Disney parks to reopen along with many others is for the following reason. Disney does such a great job at making your visit feel as if the world is standing still. They have made sure to create barriers to keep the view of the outside world hidden. This helps to keep distance between the visitor and the real world. For those of us that go to the parks to find that experience, we know that our troubles will be waiting for us once we return home. Yet for a few days, we at least can ignore them.

We are all feeling stressed

Let’s face it, we are all feeling a good amount of stress during this Pandemic. Many people are concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones. We also know that there are so many businesses that are struggling. Many of these businesses will be unable to go back to business as normal. Disney itself is losing $30 million per DAY. For those of us that love Disney, we aren’t sure what the future holds for our escape from reality. We want some normalcy in our lives and until Disney opens its parks, the world just won’t seem normal to many of us.

The happiest place on earth

Riding in a boat through Disney's ride titled It's a Small World

It’s no reason that Disney parks are called the happiest place on earth. I think that many of us that frequent the parks want to return to a familiar place. We know exactly what to expect when we return, we want that familiar smell when we walk into the Polynesian Resort. We don’t want them to change the song during our ride through ‘It’s a Small World’ or ‘The Tiki Room’. Many would ask, “Why do you go back to the same attractions each time you go to the park?”. My answer is, “Disney and the Imagineers have done such a fantastic job at creating each attraction, I see something new each time I go.” I hate to compare it to home, but in a way, it’s like returning home. There are familiar sites and sounds and almost always smiling faces to welcome you back. Disney, we miss you. Hurry back!

Shelter in place, redeem the time

As I look out my window on this beautiful spring day, I see people walking and jogging. They are trying to sluff off the tension that is building up from needing to “shelter in place” during this Covid19 pandemic.  shelter in place and walk that pet The fresh air and the sunshine beckon us outside. Being cooped up inside the house with stale air can’t be that good for any of us, both physically and mentally. People seem to be keeping their distance from one another to keep from catching any bad germs. That is, except those that live in the same household as far as I can tell.

Dennis had to ‘Shelter in Place’

Even though I hate this isolation, I think in many ways it will end up being good in the long run. It does give us time to be introspective, that is if we allow ourselves to take the time to look within ourselves.  This may be akin to having to sit in the corner.
 Dennis the Menace sheltering in place and sitting in the cornerDo you remember WHY you had to sit in the corner? I think I was spanked more than put in the corner. It was usually a parent telling us, “Go sit in the corner and think about what you did.” I don’t know that it is anything we “did”, but it does give us time to think while being in this proverbial “corner”.

What is nice to see, is people walking and talking to one another. I don’t see as many people looking at their cell phones. Everyone has all day and night to view a screen of some sort. When we are made to shelter in place, why continue to look at a video screen when we can be outdoors?

A few ideas to keep us busy

If you live in an area where the city lights don’t overpower the stars, now would be a great time to buy a telescope. Sit under the spring equinox and look at the stars. There is only so much one can take watching movies on TV. shelter in place and watch the stars
This week marks the Lyrid meteor shower. Here is a link to astronomical events for the next month or two.

if you are a student, you can get Rosetta Stone free for 3 months and learn a new language. If you aren’t a student, you can try 3 days free to see if this is something that you might want to do.

Make a daily shelter in place checklist

What I have found helpful when I get up in the morning is to NOT pick up my phone, tablet, or turn on the TV. I write down with paper and pen what I want to do for the day. I don’t overload my list, I just put 2 or 3 things that I want to get done by the end of the day. When I do this I find that shelter in place checklist on a clipboardI actually do these things. If not, I just sort of let the day evaporate into thin air. I hate throwing away a perfectly good day. To me, every day is a gift. When I just waste it, to me it’s like taking this gift that I have been given and throwing it in the garbage. It’s as if I am telling the giver of life, “Here, take this day back. I don’t want it.” I will admit that I haven’t always succeeded at this as evidenced in my previous post!

Hopefully, we will all come out of this sheltering in place with some very valuable lessons. Hopefully, insights that will continue past the end date of this pandemic. I just hope that we become kinder to one another and embrace every day, no matter where we find shelter.

Not a spoonful of sugar!

Do we need a spoonful of sugar?

My last blog post said that I was going to get all kinds of projects done. I was so positive and had all sorts of ideas on what to do during this pandemic. I have to admit that I have pretty much failed to do anything. I’ve done a couple of small projects, but nothing monumental. I see all of the things that a lot of you are doing and I am impressed. For me, it is as if I have put my life on hold. I wake up in the morning like a child child looking out windowwho is wishing for snow. I run to the window to see if there is snow on the ground; well I don’t actually run to the window to look for snow. I simply look at the subject lines of emails in my inbox without opening them up to see if  a vaccine is ready to be administered to the general public so that we can all go back to our pre-pandemic lives.

Shelter in Place

I have been doing this every day since the ‘Shelter in Place’ order came out in our state. Our governor has extended non-essential businesses to remain closed until May 8th and for the ‘Shelter in Place’ order to remain until June 10th. That is over 2 months away! No amount of running to the window is going to change this unless they come up with a vaccine before that time. You see, it’s as if I do not want to swallow this ‘Shelter in Place’ medicine. I feel like a child who is refusing to take that spoonful of medicine. Right now, there is no amount of sugar that is going to make the medicine go down.
Mary Poppins giving spoon of medicine to children

I’m not one who is good at accepting things nor adapting to something that I just don’t want to do. I will admit that it is not an emotionally healthy attitude and it is past time to take my medicine. I know that it is good for me, but I don’t have to like it as I know that you do not as well.

Time for Projects

Now onto ‘Projects’. As I work remotely anyway, I don’t have all of this extra time that many people speak of. I still work 8 hours per day. It’s just the nights and weekends where I have fewer choices on what I can do and this is where projects are supposed to fit in right? Why am I putting off starting any of these projects? It’s as if because I know that I have extra time after hours, I choose not to start them. If I had more choices, then I would probably start them. Does that make any sense? It’s sort of the human condition; we want what we can’t have and don’t want what we do have. I do have this extra time on the weekends, but I DON”T want to start a project because that would be saying yes to the medicine.

For those of you that are totally enjoying this time of isolation and the ability to get to all of those things that you have been putting off done, I applaud you. I tip my hat and Little girl making a face when being given spoonful of medicine hope to attain some of your traits, but for now, I see my mother coming down the hall with that big silver spoon, twice the size of my little mouth and there is some sort of chalky medicine that isn’t suitable for an adult much less a child.
Here I go, I’m holding my nose and closing my eyes. It smells yucky!!

Find the bad apple, don’t throw out the whole bunch

There is no reason to legislate against a few bad apples

As Americans, we are known to be people of action.  We are creators, inventors, writers and adventurers. It was that sense of adventure that caused us to travel to the moon. When we formed that first settlement in Virginia, we weren’t happy to just stay in Virginia. We wanted to see what was beyond. Thus, we headed west to see what was beyond the Appalachian mountains.

When it came to mobilizing America  during the WW2 war effort, we turned factories into military arsenal production assembly lines in order to defend our country. Even with the pandemic that we are facing, private industries are churning out face masks, ventilators and other devices to combat this new enemy.  America has always been willing to get behind a cause worth fighting.

a bad apple in a bunch of good apples
One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch

Americans are people of action

What America is NOT good at is doing nothing. We are not good at staying at home hiding from this evil virus. We are doing everything in our power to come up with a vaccine as well as a treatment for those that are unfortunate enough to catch this virus. Isolation is just not in our DNA. Unfortunately, there are those that ruin it for all of us. It’s sort of like the one kid in school that misbehaves during class and then the entire class doesn’t get to go out for recess. As we all know, you can’t legislate against stupidity.

We have been told that we need to sanitize, wash our hands for 20 seconds, practice social distancing and that those that have any type of cough need to wear a mask to keep their germs to themselves. That is a call to action. We can do that as Americans, but if 99% of us are doing that and only a percentage or two are refusing to do so, should we then legislate that the majority of America can no longer be open for business while practicing these necessary habits?

Let’s hold those that ruin it for the rest of us accountable

Why not hold those that ignore these necessary practices accountable, but allow the rest of America to try and have some sense of normalcy? Don’t shut down the entire country due to a few idiots. Go find the idiots who are not abiding by these standards, name them, shame them and fine them, but for the rest of us, let our people go! We can be responsible. We can meet the challenge. Don’t treat us as if we are all back in grade school.

This is just my opinion, but if we can’t come up with some sort of compromise at the end of April, I don’t think things will go well for any of us. Let’s not cause a few bad apples to ruin it for us all.

I’M BOYCOTTING ALL FORMS OF NEWS UNTIL THIS IS OVER

No news
courtesy of seekingalpha

You heard me right. I can’t handle any more negative news.
Even only checking news in the morning is way too much. This pandemic isn’t going to change overnight. The “authorities” say it’s going to take weeks, maybe even months for this to ease it’s grip on our nation. If that is the case, I’m going to live my life as I have recently learned to do along with the rest of you I’m sure. No going out except for essentials and exercise. Social distancing when we do go out. Ok, I get it.

I have taken up new hobbies. I will practice my cello, maybe learn a new language and work on my new Imagineers project. I refuse to expose myself to all of the bad news. Knowing about every single statistic isn’t going to really change anything for me. If they do find a vaccine or there is a news flash, don’t you think someone will tell me? Hey, I don’t live under a rock. I have friends and family. Those of you that are glued to your phone, computer, Ipad or newspaper, you can tell me to go get the new vaccine. At least I will be in a good mood when I get my vaccine instead of near the point of slitting my wrists due to depression from all of these apocalyptic reports.

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

New Project to Highlight Disney Imagineers

the sorcerer's apprentice mickey mouse
Disney Imagineering

Have you had a chance to watch ‘The Imagineering Story‘ on Disney + directed and produced by Leslie Iwerks?
I don’t know about you, but I love how Leslie has tapped into the mind and heart of the Disney Imagineers.
At Unlimited Ideas, we are taking the stories of the Disney creatives and building something that while you are in the parks, will bring you the details of what they have created in the past, present and future.
Stay tuned!

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