Monday, August 24, 2020

Why We Need to Bloom Where We're Planted

There's a reason why I chose this theme and it's not because I'm a passionate gardener.  It's the same reason that I chose to publish more lightweight suffrage posts after the pandemic hit our country.  I did so because I felt we needed happy posts versus more negativity in our lives.  It turns out I was right.

I'm an historian--not a psychologist.    I've been doing research on a concept called Psychological Resilience.  I wasn't even going to write about this but changed my mind after some discussions with friends.  When I began to talk to friends about the concept of resilience, it seemed to help them.  So here I am talking to you about it.

So far many of us have been strong and productive during the pandemic.  But I do perceive cracks are beginning to surface.  Many of my friends are telling me they are having problems sleeping at night.  They can't turn their brain off.  Some experience during the day.   

Sometimes being off kilter manifests in other ways.  Two weeks ago I spent more time ripping out seams from stupid mistakes than I did sewing.  I noticed this has also recently happened with my blogging friends.

So l what is this resilience thing?

Psychological resilience  defined briefly on wikipedia:  

Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly.  Resilience exists when the person uses "mental processes and behaviors in promoting personal assets and protecting self from the potential negative effects of stressors".

Doesn't that sound like something we all need right now?

Most of us are creative or gravitate to visual images so here is the image that I thought of  while reading scholarship on this concept:

Imagine your emotional well being like this scale.  The right side is heavier-- that's the stress side.  Every person on this planet is facing enormous and realistic anxieties--the pandemic, economics, health, and family.   

It's the other side we can work on.  The theory suggests that we need to pile more weight on the positive (left) side of our scale.  Those things include positive factors and the things we can control.   The more we pile on the  positive left side, the more likely we are to cope and function better.

Imagine your well being as a garden and the soil is what grounds you.  Gardeners know that the soil  is as important as the seed itself.  One of the first tenets of resilience is the ability to calm oneself.  I imagine that as soil.  Without good soil, plants--or creativity and coping in our case--are endangered.

How do YOU clear your head?  I asked some of my friends because anything we share may be of assistance to the rest of us.  Most of the ideas aren't really even hobbies but activities  they aren't likely to mess up or become frustrated by.

Linda gardens and reads fiction.  Beth watches sewing youtube videos and researches the history of sewing. 

For Joanne and Nancy, life is more limited due to their age and health.  Nancy and her husband tackle intricate jigsaw puzzles together.  "It helps to focus on something when I can't stand the news anymore," Nancy told me.  

Joanne sends mail to family members; when she heard that Bugs Bunny was about to turn 80 years old, she copied her favorite carrot recipes and Bugs Bunny coloring pages and sent them to the family.  

Lori told me she escapes with charcuterie.  "Chacucu wha?"  Charcuterie is apparently prepared meats, vegies, etc. that are served in an artistic format on a platter.  

Lori was hoping to learn how to make salami or prosciutto roses yesterday.  I like this kind of calming technique because you get to eat the results!  😋

I'm more mundane.  I clear my head by weeding my garden.   I started using this technique a few decades ago when the kids were teenagers and driving me crazy 😁.  Nana Betty advised, "Go weed your beds.  You can't control all the kids' choices but by God, you can get those dang weeds!"  It helped then and continues to be useful to me. 
As I told you when I first talked about the bloom theme, I'll be filling the blog with all kinds of stories and anecdotes I've collected.  A lot of them fill me with inspiration or make me laugh.  Inspiration and humor are important aspects of resilience.  I'll be sharing photos of my antique quilts and textiles and even my own creative process while quilting.  

I welcome you to share your stories, coping techniques, or the projects you work on with the rest of us. As always, you can email me at  
So let's build up our garden and get blooming!  Have a great day and stay safe!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I can't imagine trying to get through this without a creative outlet. Fabric is my gig, it doesn't talk back, doesn't tell me how I should or shouldn't act (or post), and let's me cut it. Mr. Seam Ripper can be a bit opinionated, but I know how to quiet him - haha.

  2. Thank you for your insightful post. I didn't know it had a name but I did know we all need something to draw our focus and see/do something positive. Much food for thought and I look forward to your upcoming posts.

  3. I like the visual image! I have suffered all of the above during this crisis. We are fortunate that, being retired with grown children, we don't have to fret about how to educate the kids or keep them occupied. We don't have to worry about losing a job and how we will pay for groceries without income. I do worry about others who have those concerns and try to direct my pleasure (creating with fabric) to benefit others.

  4. What a great post, Michele, and with good information! I think of myself as pretty positive most of the time and resilient, too - but I have found myself sort of abnormally irritated by every little thing lately, and that's unusual! That sewing session where everything goes wrong? That was me last week! I am fortunate to have a husband who makes me laugh, a fabric hobby I can usually lose myself in, and I also love to read which is such a great escape. I keep telling myself that we'll get through this!

  5. I don't think anything will clear my head, but I can divert attention. And in the midst of so much negative, we tend to think being happy or positive for a moment is trivial. It's not is it? it's balance. Thanks Mickie... you are very thoughtful and wise