Take My Hand … and I’ll Take Yours

–ALBEIT, VIRTUALLY

I wanted to take a couple of days before writing this story to fully absorb the gravity of our country’s, and the world’s, state of affairs. Especially since the “social distancing” mandate in Illinois.

The media is awash with stories about Covid-19. Some of them helpful, others mere fluff.

I’ve written a couple of these stories for Medium. Not fluff. I’d like to think that, anyway. But that said, I am running out of gas because being house-bound is not fun. There’s only so much erstwhile decluttering we can do, so much organizing, so much hand-washing before we start going a little crazy.

As I haven’t had a job in two years, I’ve been home quite a bit, but with the realization that I could go to the gym, or the mall, or anywhere that would get me off my butt and away from my computer.

Well, my gym has closed as has damn near every place else and I am fighting to maintain. Already, I’m bored. Yet I do try to be positive in that maybe now, I’ll be forced to complete projects that I’ve let fall by the wayside. I am working out daily at home, maintaining a fairly strict writing schedule and going to bed a little bit earlier every night. Perhaps that’s a sign of depression. Whatever. We’re all feeling it.

Our government’s response to this pandemic has been abysmal. In spite of the “Kumbaya” implied messaging, it feels like it’s every man for himself. Like we’re all in a sinking ship and it’s up to us to scramble for the life rafts. Without an assist.

So, I am turning to you, my Biz360° friends to let you know, for whatever it’s worth, that I am here for you. As I know you are for me.

If you, like me, are having a tough time simply getting out of bed in the morning—you know that moment, when reality sets in—you can reach out.

If you’re afraid that you’re going to get sick, reach out and I’ll talk you off the ledge.

I remarked to my husband about the irony of my “passing” my five-year marker after having breast cancer, and now being hit with the reality of having to worry about being infected with Covid-19.

But we’re all worried. Every one of us and I’ve made the decision to (try) not to obsess over it. All we can do is be as careful as we can, most especially when we have to venture out to the supermarket or drugstore. Wear gloves, use a bandana if you don’t have a mask and want one, and wash your hands when you get home. By the way, good old soap and water works. You don’t need hand sanitizer.

If you need a few easy recipes to take you through the week, reach out, I got ‘em!

Inexpensive self-care tips? I have those, too. I suppose that’s the advantage of being a career writer. I’ve written a little bit about a hell of a lot of things.

If you feel alone, you’re not. I’m here. As are the rest of us.

I recently wrote a new story about how our beloved pets can comfort us during this extremely difficult time. I’ll share it with Dennis and hopefully, he’ll share it with you. Because now, more than ever, the unconditional love that we receive from our dogs, cats, birds and other critters, is invaluable. So, love them, and let them love you back.

My husband and I don’t know what we’d do without our three cats, and that’s the truth.

If I’m rambling a bit, please forgive me, but I want to note things as they pop into my head, like this: However you can, work some activity into your day. It will boost your mood and your immune system. It’s easy to sit and wallow, and yes, we all need a bit of that, but a little wallowing goes a long way. So, kick yourself in the butt if you have to and get moving. Too, there are tons of free workout classes and videos available online if you’re unsure where to start.

The other day, I took a walk in a freezing drizzle! I just had to get out of the house, so took my phone, popped my headphones on and away I went. Of course, I was the only one outside, except for a woman walking her dog, but in a crazy way, it felt really good. And when I got home I rewarded myself with a nice glass of wine! See? There’s always an upside!

As I’ve been distracted, like damn near every citizen everywhere, I need to set aside some time to catch up on all of your stories. This is a wonderful community, and I don’t want to lose it. I don’t want to be neglectful.

That’s all I wanted to put out there. Until, of course, something occurs to me at 3.am. But that’s okay. There’s plenty of time to write another story, right?

Thanks for reading, friends. And again, if you need to, take my hand. I have a pretty strong grip. You can reach out here or on LinkedIn or via email.

Above all, stay home and stay well.

Sherry McGuinn
Sherry McGuinnhttps://medium.com/@sherrymcguinn
Sherry McGuinn is a long-time, Chicago area, advertising/marketing writer, blogger and, for the last fifteen years, screenwriter. A big-time dreamer and proud of it, Sherry has had two short films produced, one in L.A., the other in New York. Both won several awards and screened at festivals but she is still "fighting the good fight," in order to become a full-time, working screenwriter. A passionate straight-shooter who never rests on her laurels, Sherry writes about damn near everything because how do you encapsulate…life? Unflinching in her determination to “just tell the truth,” Sherry strives to educate, engage and inspire others to follow their dreams. A lifelong animal lover and advocate, Sherry resides in a Chicago suburb with her husband and their three fabulous felines.
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Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks

Sherry, my two dogs (Gibbs and Duke) are my salvation, and I don’t use that word lightly. As manic as Duke (my new little guy, a Chihuahua, 9 years old, rescued) is — and he IS — I wouldn’t have the same quality of life without them. We walk constantly, as long as the weather permits. But I talk to them. I rub their little bodies (touch is so important!), and I laugh at them and their antics!

And thankfully I live in an area where walking is a joy — near the bay, up and down hills — a private condo community of 265 small cottages, about 40% lived in year-round.

We will get through this, although for many, it’ll be seriously tough. One step, one day, one week at a time, right?

Helen Heinmiller
Helen Heinmiller

Hi Sherry, Thank you for your offer to help everyone. This is more important than ever. Like you, I am trying to keep a schedule but find having my husband and daughter home with me disruptive to my creative flow. Everything is off. I have also held off writing an article trying to absorb what is happening and discern what is the most important thing I can offer to everyone right now. I join you in being here for each other. There will be wondrous gems of hope that will come out of this. Humanity is far greater than what we are shown on TV set.

JoAnna Bennett
JoAnna Bennett

Thank you Sherry! Two dogs (a Great Dane and a Chihuahua mix), four chickens and a tarantula over here. Aside from making sure they are fed, they are a blessing during this time period. My children – as usual – make it the most bearable. The give me a reason to wake up and a reason to keep my cool. I’m so blessed to get this time to talk to my daughter – who is usually in school all day. I’ve gotten to know her on a level that I missed dearly. She is an awesome kid and I adore the person she is becoming. It’s also been amazing to watch her and my son bond. They have more time together and instead of fighting, they actually have been learning to work together.

Last night we splashed in puddles, made cookies, danced on the table and watched a movie. Bedtime was a little late, but our hearts were full. <3

Thank you for your reminder. ;) We're in this together!

Dr. Jefferson A. Stewart
Dr. Jefferson A. Stewart

Be well and weller yet..

Laura Staley
Laura Staley

Oh, thank you for this encouragement, your offers of being talked off the ledge, and all you’ve honestly shared in this essay, Sherry. I, too, have had many moments of anxiousness as I caught a common cold at the same point the whole CoVid19 broke-when schools closed in Ohio where my daughter lives and a whole lot of other cancellations came pouring through the news feeds (even being on a “news fast” I’m not under a rock-plus, I have friends who keep me updated.) I notice I feel a bit more vulnerable even now that I’m almost all well from that runny nose, no fever, wet cough cold. I even went running again this morning which felt amazing. I notice I flow from these moments of “freeze” when I look in the freezer and see that there’s not a ton of food there and worry about having enough food during a probable “Stay at Home” order from the NC governor, to awash with tearful gratitude for my restored health-running hot water, my dog, the house I move through, all the trees I can see, etc., to why can’t I get certain tasks complete for the launch of my book…and then dancing with crazy hair to music I love. Honestly, I’m utterly grateful to know I’m doing my version of all you’ve described in your essay—I’m not alone. You are feeling that being on the edge of the ledge at moments as I am too. Most of my inner younger selves are the ones really freaking out which I realize as I meditate, gain my center, and allow my more grounded adult self to love them-hold them-and assure all of them that today, in this moment of typing to Sherry, we are all okay, safe, loved, not alone at all.

Thank you. Many hugs to you, my friend!!!

Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davis

Sherry, this was awesome. Thank you! Sadly, I’m on medication right now that precludes me from my glass of wine (horrors!), which I expect is for the best given that one would lead to two, would lead to… I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of how nervous I am to go to the grocery store. Is almond milk really worth it? Thank you for reminding me that we’re all in this soup together!

Paula Goodman
Paula Goodman

Thank you Sherry,
Reaching out is what we have to do. We should have been doing it all along. It’s not hard living here alone and cooped up. It’s just hard keeping the torment of mental disturbances from getting the best of you
I for one ..after fighting so hard to hold the mental reigns again have been at home for some time. I have fought depression, ptsd and anxiety. I won too. I know the days ahead are going to be challenging…and to so many regardless of having previous diagnosis or not. For some the virus isn’t what they are fearing, but the knowledge that mentally, they can be triggered into losing a bitter fight. For this is a fight. It takes a lot of work to come to complete remission… but there is always a chance or trigger for anyone at any time.
There are many too who are going to be mentally challenged because of physical confinement. This is a battle that goes against our social Nature. Oh not to mention the fear abused people are living with already….
I pray… I’m so grateful for social media at this time but I already see its starting to pull me in. I need to take more breaks… but I’m alone… no pets. My loves are are at different addresses…
we will prevail! I am determined! As are many! This community here is a fortitude of support! Thank you for being here!
And..
Thank you for reaching out!
Likewise. I’m here to serve!
Paula

Lynn Forrester-Pitocco
Lynn Forrester-Pitocco

Sherry, please know that this is the same for you, and all on Bizcataylst360, that if you need anything, please reach out. God Bless

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler

Sherry It has been a week for deep thought and looking within. I know for now the days of Sunday lunch with friends and family are put on pause.
In a way it helps that I grew up on a farm because we didn’t see a lot of people so the solitude is welcome for me. I talk to my wife more and it is like finding a lost friend. We laugh together, cook and clean together. We take long drives down back roads and just go where the road takes us.
We watch old movies and remember a better time. I spend a lot of time with my dogs and cats , quiet times and walks with Buddy. In truth I am very happy with this time. But the sadness is always near at hand in a world gone upside down.
Thank you for sharing your story. Your kindness is felt.

John Dunia
John Dunia

Thanks for sharing, Sherry. All your lovely thoughts are keeping us well informed and entertained!

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