Its Been Awhile…

Do you ever sit with that nagging feeling that you need to get something done, like a chore or task that waits patiently for you to “get around to it”? Writing a blog post has been one of those things for me lately. I enjoy writing. It is a guilty pleasure to connect with my thoughts, share ideas that bring you, Dear Reader, inspiration or something to ponder.

Its been awhile since there is a break in the pressure to do something fun. Today is my day to “get around to it”! 2021 is drawing to a close. I want that feeling, brief as it may be, that I crossed this off my “to do” list.

A question for you; What is on your to do list? Year end is a time to look back, recalibrate, find a thing or two that will bring you relief when you say “That’s Done!”

Living in a pandemic has rearranged our priorities on every boundary of our life. We are moving into the 3rd year of life with Covid19. (2019 – 2022). Pandemic is typically a 3-5 year process. We are on track to have another year of being cautious, living in threat as a lifestyle.

That being said, we still need to make our lives work. Counseling can give you that opportunity to talk about issues, look at ways to make life work better, bring more satisfaction to your relationships and get a break from the feeling of loneliness. Counseling helps access a hidden part of yourself that will nag until you find courage to face it and manage it. Call today for an appointment, moving that nagging feeling, sense or emotion onto the “dealing with it” list.

My hope for you: Be courageous, tackle your list of hopes and dreams, make good things happen.

If you want help, coaching or support – call Gail @ Journey Counseling. 701-356-5544


This piece of music is complex. I’ve tried to play segments and it is a thrill when a few cords sound like Bach intended and Xaver demonstrates…from memory…he doesn’t have the music in front of him! A good marriage is also complex with harmony and dissonance that make it interesting. A great instrument at the hands of a master can be a joyful thing to witness.

I can only keep practicing and trying to play the first movement of the piece someday….

Let’s commit to keep working at our relationships with all the dissonance and harmony and enjoy the challenge of getting it right!

Does your marriage need an advocate?

…to advocate is to add a voice of support.

With all the pressure on our relationships in these long days of fear, boredom and upset, where are we going to get the energy it takes to be a better partner? Our emotions are dulled by bad news, complicated decisions and disappointments of the pandemic experience. We find it necessary to be mostly engaged in just surviving the virus. I’ve found myself distracted, befuttled and worn out. So, how are we going to do the essential behaviors that will keep our relationship strong?

Let’s think about some basic questions.

  1. Can you be grateful that your partner is in your life?
  2. Are you willing to express appreciation for having a companion on this tedious journey?
  3. Can you motivate yourself to be kinder and have good manners?
  4. What have you shared with your partner today that makes them feel special?
  5. Do you need to make new agreements that clarify what is needed to get through this time?

These questions are the items we have been working on with couples at Journey Counseling who are trying to find a better way through this terrible disaster. In several different exercises we work on expressing gratitute, finding a way to be kinder with our feedback and request help and changes that will make life better than if we had to do this alone.

When you read about people’s experience who have recovered from Covid you will learn that they come away from the experience with a new appreication for life, for their partner, for the ordinary things we tend to take for granted. Rita Wilson, married to Tom Hanks recently was interviewed about her experience of recovering from Covid. She said “…not having the distractions of busyness allowed for the most important things to be foremost: family and creativity.”

So, I’m wondering if you need an advocate for your marriage today? Do you need help to bring better things to the forefront of our experience together? Do you need some help making the relationship experience more creative, kinder and less conflicted? I can be that advocate for you and your partner and help you craft a stronger bond. When we get married the traditional vows reminds us…

….to have and to hold

….for better for worse

…for richer, for poorer

…in sickness and in health

We didn’t know we were going to be tested by trying to survive a pandemic together but that is where we find ourselves today. Think about the value of having a companion to share this difficult time with you. Be an advocate for standing together, facing adversity as a team. We made promises…now is the time to work at keeping them by supporting each other. If you are struggling, I can help. Call for an appointment today.

What if I get COVID?

Recovery Kit – COVID project

Prep before…do this now – better to be ready and not need it than be caught off guard.

Gather supplies – Use a large laundry basket or box or suitcase (similar to a bug out bag)

Choose a room for “sick bay” (is it quiet? is it isolated as much as possible from other family members?)

Think creatively if other areas of the home can be repurposed – a craft room or bonus room.

Clean the room – best you can.  Clean carpets, vacuum, dust, get rid of clutter for easy sanitizing

Assign a bathroom that could be designated for the sick person (not used by other family members)

If that is not an option – have extra cleaning supplies handy for easy clean up after each use

Designate a “resource person” who can help the partner or help the family with extra chores – car pooling, picking up supplies, doing yard work, snow removal – etc.   Nice to know someone is on “stand by” if you need help.   You can in turn be available to be a “resource person” if others need your help – designate someone in your circle who can help you and someone you could help if they get sick. Make these agreements now when everyone is healthy.  Adjust as needed.

Clean the air filter in your furnace often – if weather permits consider opening a window.  Consider stocking up now.

Set up eating area with paper plates, paper towels, disposable cups and silverware, tray for bringing meals.

Garbage can and can liners/ Laundry basket for dirty clothing to wash separate from the family

Will the patient need computer, printer, TV, chargers, or desk?

Spray bottle for bleach solution for sanitizing

Comfort Kit

Have lots of fluids on hand.  Tea,7UP, fruit juices, Tang, bottled water

 Help the “patient” get lots of rest – comfort is important

Fresh bedding – have an extra set of sheets, pillows and blankets, hand towels, wash rags, bath towels gathered and set aside.

Have chicken soup on hand.  What other foods do you want when you are sick?  My Grandmother always made me lemon jello and a bowl of buttered noodles. 

Hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, tissues and toilet paper.

Vaporizer – get it out now and clean it and have the vapor solution /distilled water


Over the Counter medications for flu/sore throat/cough drops

Now that I’m sick…?

Prescriptions – can you always have a 2-week supply of medication on hand? 

Phone numbers to doctor, employer, family, neighbors, resource person, teacher, school, local public health for contact tracing.

Adjust this plan to include needs of children, elders, think about how life in your home will need to change if Mom or Dad get sick and can’t care for the family.   Can you have simple meals on hand?

If you are single, who will help you when you are sick?

If you are a pet owner, how will you take care of your pet when you are sick?

Can you keep extra pet food and pet supplies on hand?

Can you limit interaction with your pet and the sick person?

If you are taking care of an elder, how will you adapt your routine to accommodate their needs?

Check the CDC website for latest recommendations on protocols and ideas for reducing the spread of the virus.   

If you are a business owner, do you have someone designated to stand in for you while you recover?

If you are a therapist, do you have someone who can deal with your appointments and have access to confidential items that need to be handled appropriately? 

Do you need an extra set of keys to give a helper – to walk the dog, bring in groceries, secure your office?

Brought to you by Gail Nelson at Journey Counseling

Not intended to be medical advice.

This list is a helpful idea that came from friends who have come down with COVID-19 suddenly.

When I shared this idea with them, they agreed it would have been useful information to have before the chaos of being sick.

If you are stressed out from all the pandemic disaster management,

call 701-356-5544 for an appointment today.