Thoughts, quirky insights and experiences in my meandering life.

The wheels on the bus go round and round

A water bus

If the wheel of the bus represents our world, we ourselves would be the hub at the center of it, and the structures in our lives would be the spokes. This is a concept that my friend Sandra talked about during her recent visit with me. As usual, I was drinking up her amazing insights and practical approaches to life’s challenges. We had a short visit slipped in before social distancing was strongly mandated. The irony is not lost on me, as I am sure it is not lost on you, that we live in a time where many people are already socially isolated and many programs have been set up to counter act it. In fact, the UK created a Minister for Loneliness not that long ago. A good idea, but something that would have seemed more normal in a Harry Potter book rather than stiff upper lip Britain. But it is real, and this is a real problem.

The U.K. Now Has a “Minister for Loneliness.” Here’s Why It Matters –
From Smithsonian Magazine, January 19th 2018

Now the powers that be have just done a complete turn around. Social distancing is a must to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

What are the spokes in your life, the structures that support your wellbeing and for many, your mental health? Mine were just beginning to grow here in Owen Sound, and this week they were to blossom some more, lectures at the Grey Roots Museum, and last week I went to a book club at the library. So what to do, what do we all do?

What is a blog without pictures?

So how do we maintain or support those structures in this new era when we can not actually get out of the house to go to the gym, get together and knit, go to work, go out for a meal? I think it is important for us to keep connected in other ways. So here I am, writing this blog. One of the things that I really enjoyed about writing the blog during my year away was its call and response nature. Something in what I wrote would strike a cord with someone and they would comment on it. Sometimes as a comment on the blog and sometimes as a private email. It was a great way of staying in touch, and of keeping me in touch with important people in my life, with some of the spokes of my wheel that were not actually on my year away with me but were still important. So I am hoping that it can be that again. We are all isolated (except those providing services out there keeping us fed, secure and healthy, thank you) but we do have each other. So my goal is to stay in touch with as many people as I can during this time. In no small part to keep my motivation up. I have joked to friends recently, during the last dregs of winter, that I had to go and look for my motivation because I couldn’t find it. So part of my communications will be to see what you have been doing, and tell you what I have been doing.

Going back to that concept of motivation, Sandra and I talked a lot about structure. It is so much easier to get moving, to get to work, to the gym, to choir practice if it is a structured part of the day. No structure can equal no motivation. So what is your structure? Mine is not really in place yet, and when it does happen it has to have some physical activity on it. How I loved going to classes at the gym. The teacher told me what to do and I passed that message on to my body which did it to its best ability. And it was getting better at it. I don’t want to loose that. So here goes, time to build structure.

My day

Walk Tucker

Breakfast and write down one or two things that I want to accomplish that day from my to do list.

Do something physical. Yoga, tai chi. Perhaps a swing fit class from Joo Lee. She teaches in Durham, UK and I loved her classes. I have to make myself do this even though I will feel a bit self-conscious doing in my living room by myself.


Do the tasks on my to do list

Walk Tucker

Dinner and relax.

So, my call to action at the end of this blog, contact me. I would love it, and I need it, we need it!


On the edge of lockdown


Appendicitis in the year of Covid


  1. Jen Smeltzer

    Tucker?? Did I miss a blog? A new dog??

    • Maggie

      Yes, Tucker was on my last blog just a few days ago. I got him in January. He is from Kentucky hence Tucker. He is a really affectionate dog. Just as well he is just 17 lbs. He lives a cuddle. Been thinking of you for ages. Time for a catch up. I will call.

  2. Aileen

    Hey Maggie loved your posts on your travels. I make myself make a list, Do not beat myself up if it dosn’t all get done. Being a type A its always a bit to much. lol
    I find dancing in my living room to motown music blasting is really a good pick me up. Oh and I was forced to open a e com shop, so now I have to take pictures and locate the pictures, so I get pulled into the deep rabbit hole of the web. lol I get so distracted. Time fly’s.
    Be well

    • Hi Maggie!
      So nice to keep hearing about your life, even after you have safely “docked” in Owen Sound. You got out of Europe and especially Italy just in time. We are all fine, coping in various ways with living in a Norway in almost total lockdown. Linn and I have always worked from home so we have our routines, Anne-Siri and Henrik are used to working with groups of people so it’s a bigger transition for them. I’ve started posting on my Instagram account almost every day my gratitude for some traditions I took for granted and look forward eagerly to their return after the pandemic is over. Stay well.

      • Maggie

        Yes, I thank my lucky stars that I was in Europe last year, and sad for those with big trips planned for this year. We humans sure travel a lot. I am glad you are all adjusting and i am going to look you up on instagram.
        It is interesting that I find I can do small tasks but am not using this time for bigger projects, such as a photo book of my trip. Will ponder on that. I have the time now and I won’t get it back again…

    • Maggie

      Congratulations on tackling an e-commerce shop. Your customers will love it. You have such a great eye. I still wear clothes from Posh that I have had for years. Special pieces.
      I did my first online fitness class yesterday and it was great. I didn’t feel self concious at all, although Tucker thought it was pretty strange. Now if I had just not fallen on my coccyx a few days ago it would be better!

  3. Sandra

    Hi Maggie. You are so good at putting thoughts on paper. This is a hard time for a lot of us and I can’t believe how easy it is to slip into a very lazy lifestyle.
    Our building has shut down all social activities and the pool and gym are closed. Better Living has cancelled classes and the charity where I tutor is closed too.
    My life is much like yours – walk Jiggs, eat breakfast, walk Jiggs, eat lunch, do some exercising and maybe work on my income taxes, walk Jiggs again and then have dinner and maybe a glass of wine or two – not too exciting.
    Today I started walking a dog in the building too. His owners just got back from Florida and have to self isolate so I offered to walk Pete twice a day. He is a 15 year old Jack Russell, blind and deaf. Quite different from my 5 month old puppy.
    This will be over one day soon and hopefully our lives will go back to normal or as close to normal as possible.
    Have to go now and walk Jiggs again. Have a good night and keep dancing and do a little singing too.

    • Maggie

      In my wildest dreams I never thought of this scenario happening! I bet your hands are full with Jiggs – you are training him from ground zero, whereas Tucker came pretty much house trained and some manners. They need to be improved though, and the class was delayed twice, by weather and work on the teaching room, and now it is on hold until…… My friends Caroline and Arlene just got a puppy yesterday, and know of a relative who things it would be a good time to get a dog. I think they might be right and I am glad I have Tucker.
      At least for us walking outside is not an option, it is a must, so we are getting a bit of exercise.
      Take care Sandra, and stay well
      p.s. I finally opened my Moorecroft boxes the other day. In my Stickley cabinet now. Lovely memories of that week with you on the boat.

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