March 2020 Doodle Calendar – The Changing Seasons

bullet-journal-monthly-spread-march-2020

After peaking at the end of February, Korea flattened the Coronavirus curve in March. There were a few consecutive days of less than 100 confirmed cases, and nowadays the daily number dances around 100. The beginning of the month was all about masks, specifically how to allocate the short supply. Even just two weeks ago, people were lining up outside the pharmacy on their assigned day (depending on their birthdate year) to buy their ration of two masks per week. But supply has increased enough and starting last week the lines have disappeared.

It feels like the topic of masks occupied a good chunk of my brain and time this month. First because of the shortage in Korea, and later because of the terrifying shortage of PPE for healthcare workers in other countries. Consequently I experimented with making different kinds of masks, which you can see in yesterday’s blog post. I also have another simple tutorial for a filter mask if you already have a cotton mask.

(I worked harder on my YouTube channel this month and March I hit 100 subscribers!)

Seeing the outbreak being successfully contained here should have been a relief, and it was. But watching (in horror) as the pandemic spiked in the US and other countries kept me plenty stressed. I had to sign off Instagram because the sudden influx in social media chatter on COVID made me feel like I was reliving the trauma. It also brought out a lot of anger and worry I didn’t know I had in me about the situation. Case in point: I started writing a post around this time titled, “What were you doing while Asia was burning??!?” (It’s still in my drafts. Figured publishing while angry wasn’t smart.)

Taking a break from Instagram did free me up to draw and create more without the niggling thought of how to photograph this, how to share that, what hashtags to use. It’s been really nice to be liberated from the shackles of the endless scroll. I’m not ready to return, so hopefully that means more activity on this space.

Besides that tumultuous emotional wave around the 16th and 17th, March has been a pretty good month. I’ve been collecting feel good stories from the local news related to Coronavirus as subjects for painting and collage. (Dedicated post on them coming shortly.) One story about flower farms prompted me to buy a bouquet of freesias one day.

Meditating on those stories of inspiration and everyday kindness has been an antidote to the desperation and gloom that is apt to take hold if you let it. I also have been trying to take this tweet to heart:


I’ve not been great food-wise, but I did do yoga at home almost every day during March. I tried to get my 10,000 steps in with daily walks. And I went hiking a few times over two weekends as the weather warmed. It was glorious. The only drawback was everyone else thought so too. The trails were a bit too crowded for proper social distancing, so I returned to neighborhood walks.

The view from the mountaintop

This was my most memorable meal of the month, at my aunt’s house. Two of my other aunts were in town for medical treatment, so she asked me over. Seated at this table were three of my aunts, or as I suddenly realized mid-dinner: one cancer patient, one cancer survivor, and one kidney transplant recipient. I hope I can be better about prioritizing health next month.

Finally, spring is officially here. These are the flowers that I associate most with the beginning of spring in my neighborhood: azaleas, forsythia, magnolias and cherry blossoms. One can’t help be more optimistic and hopeful when these colors start to bloom.

At the beginning of the month I also received this postcard from Sarah, a dear blogger friend I met on WordPress, and through whom I learned about Su’s Changing Seasons challenge. Check out Su’s post so see what others have been up to this month!

P.S. I would be remiss if I left out Park Seo-joon from a review of March. (He was the friend in Parasite who introduces the son to the tutoring job.) I finished Itaewon Class on Netflix and am now watching Fight my Way because I was hungry for more. He is a good actor, a cutie patootie, and his dramas have left me motivated and smiling this month. πŸ™‚

31 Comments

  1. Lovely photos and I am sorry it has been such a stressful month. Here in the UK we are at the point you were several weeks ago. Cases increasing exponentially and no PPE, even for medical professionals. Stay safe my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello! I didn’t mean to make it sound like my month has been all stressful–for the most part it was fairly nice. I think it was a different kind of stress because I I felt more helpless as I watched the virus unfold in other countries. And there was nothing I could do about it. It really breaks my heart that medical professionals don’t have the proper equipment to fight this war. Worry does not help the situation, so all I can say is stay safe, and wish you light!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am glad to hear your month was not all stressful. Yes, feeling helpless is awful. 3 sacks of gloves and facemasks were taken from my lab to our local hospital as it was all we could usefully do.
        Stay safe.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m so happy to hear that the curve is flattening for you. Wise call to get off Instagram and to not hit publish on that post just yet. πŸ™‚ Getting out for walks has been lovely and so needed. I love all your flower photos. Thank you for those. Things will get better. Just remember that. πŸ™‚ This too shall pass. We’re all in this together, but, you know, separately. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the “social quarantine” from Instagram has been nice, and I need to think about how I can reintegrate eventually. I hope you’re in a place where you can get some fresh air safely–it really has made a difference. Thank you for your kind comments–sending well wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know EXACTLY what you mean about “What were you doing while Asia was burning???” I felt the same way until I realized that it’s human nature to not worry about what’s happening OVER THERE until it is HERE.

    So, it’s been 3 months of reading the news daily when before I hardly looked at because I’m a big believer in protecting myself from negativity, especially when you can’t trust news sources and there’s nothing I can do about it.

    So! I’m over it, so so over it. Not to be insensitive but I don’t see the benefit of adding to the anguish. At this point, I’m feeling grateful that I’m not stuck somewhere (my friend’s husband is stuck in Cambodia and is trying to get back to Australia), am healthy, and have meaningful work to engage in at home.

    Thanks for the beautiful photos, they uplift the spirit! xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There were a lot of layers to that “Asia burning” post, but the main point was feeling frustrated because other countries had weeks, months to prepare against the virus while Asia dealt with it first. But rationally, I know that a lot of Asian countries learned their lesson with SARS (and for Korea, MERS), whereas the West never had that experience. Asia was better prepared both institutionally and with personal habits to cope. And nobody knew what this was or how it would evolve. The most constructive thing I can do now is concentrate my thoughts and energy forward, and not in the past. And always stay grateful. Stay well, Lani! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve got the right attitude. But, if I may vent a little more? to another expat who understands? It’s also been really weird to watch the West embrace masks (photos of friends wearing them, sewing them, etc). And of course, having debates over their uses which we have already discussed πŸ˜‰

        But yeahhhhh, esp since there were so many gatherings, inclu here in ASIA!!! What were you thinking, people! Our biggest spreader event was a boxing match, well into the COVID scare. C’mon folks!

        But you’re right, no more finger-wagging. It’s time to move on. xo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s interesting you’ve seen more people embracing masks. I think because I’ve been on Twitter more lately, I was feeling much more pessimistic about people adopting masks.

        It’s definitely a process. I had to indulge in a little frustration and finger wagging before I could move on. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That quote is great, right? I mentioned it to my mom and she asked for it to share as well. πŸ˜› Thank you for the congrats! YouTube is a fickle friend, but I keep plugging along. I think your channel and your spoken essays would be great during this time!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. β€œMeditating on those stories of inspiration and everyday kindness has been an antidote to the desperation and gloom that is apt to take hold if you let it.” I this this is a lovely sentence! =)
    So you are into λ°•μ„œμ€€ now. lol.
    The webtoon I recommended μ’‹μ•„ν•˜λ©΄ μšΈλ¦¬λŠ” was also made into a Netflix drama. Its English title is Love Alarm. And the webtoon itself was translated into English and is available at Kindle. Isn’t it amazing? =)

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    1. Hehe thank you! I’m trying to practice writing more, so it’s nice to know some sentences resonate with you. I love λ°•μ„œμ€€. γ…Žγ…Ž 녀석 덕뢄에 3월이 μ¦κ±°μ› μ–΄μš”. γ…Žγ…Žγ…Ž I SAW Love Alarm on Netflix — I’ll be sure to check out both the webtoon and drama. Thank you for the recommendation. That’s great it’s in English too! πŸ˜€ Stay well!

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  5. It’s lovely to read your post, though my emotions are mixed. I’m sad you’ve had such a stressful time, and glad that your curve has flattened. I totally understand the tension between creating for the joy of it, and “getting it right” for social media. I’m glad you are creating for pleasure.
    I am slightly envious of your shared meal, and am longing for the time when our rahui is lifted and I can cook for my son and for friends again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Su for your kind words. Overall my March was pleasant I would say, except for those few days where things just came tumbling out. I think watching from the sidelines, feeling helpless, as the pandemic exploded where my loved ones were was a different kind of stress, maybe more stressful than going through it myself.

      The day WILL come when you can share a meal with your son and friends! Sending you love and light ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I really liked your creative journal page. A great way to build memories for the future. Staying busy and positive is really the only way to stay sane as the world goes crazy around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally get your IG break and am so happy that it gave you time to create!! The line between creating and then wanting to share (and worry about stats and so on) is a difficult one to walk sometimes, and can even stop you from doing what you love because you’re so busy presenting it to an audience. That’s why I set myself a limit of posting only every 4th day or so, sometimes less, sometimes more but never daily except for Inktober because it just messes with my head too much.
    The only setback is that I want to see your artwork!!! (Sorry, not helping I know πŸ˜‚)
    So I’m super happy that you do share some of it here at least! 😊 And congratulations to those 100 subscribers – that’s awesome!! I’ve got a channel too but never really got into it but will have a look for yours. πŸ˜‰ Love your journal page and am glad to hear that there were lovely moments where you didn’t feel that stress that’s causing us all a hard time at the mo. That shared meal looks heavenly! Stay creative and safe! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! It really is a tightrope dance of creating for myself and creating for others. I think I just need to learn how to balance the two. And thank you for sharing that tip about limiting IG posts, that’s a great idea! Hope you’re having a creative and restful weekend! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I long for the day when I can go out again to my favourite little Korean cafe. Kimchi soup. Divine.
    Believe me, I was worried about you. I’ve been banging on about this since January and was horrified when that cluster was identified in Korea. You should see my draft folder, with several posts relating to the virus. In February I was completely overwhelmed at times over my eye op (first thought was it was a good thing I was getting this done now and not in a months time), bushfires and the virus spread. Some thought my concern related to me being high risk, but my standard refrain was “my health is your health”. I think your mask making is a great idea. It is a good way of being proactive. The freesias are gorgeous and so cheery. Take care. April is going to be tough for us all I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tracy! First I hope you’re feeling better? And I feel bad, I don’t want people to feel think I was accusing individuals of not preparing for Coronavirus. It’s just, as I watched how hospitals were overwhelmed and how healthcare workers didn’t have PPE, and how the situation was covered in the media… it just felt like the institutions let us down. And feeling helpless as I watched on the sidelines only compounded that frustration. I do remember you mentioning Covid in your posts and I appreciate your thoughts and well wishes a lot! Sending some warm wishes right back at you as we head into the epoch of April. Stay well ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t think you were being accusatory at all. I was sympathising. Some countries have learnt very hard lesson unfortunately. I do hope researchers and corporations across the world have learnt that together we can create a vaccine much faster, and then when it is developed and tested, it is made freely to all. It is such a different mindset for those who put more emphasis on individual freedoms and the power of the free market to provide the best solution.
        Yes, April does have the feel of an epoch about it. πŸ™‚ Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the new duo-chrome look of your March Calendar!

    Your description of dinner at your aunts and with your aunts was so funny, and at the same time, a cautionary tale – our wellness & health certainly warrants serious consideration, and yet, at the same time, it never hurts to have a good dose of humour to go along with it!

    I love Itaewon Class & Fight My Way as well – so inspiring!

    Wishing you an April filled with as much hope & joy as you have brought to us in this community, and to those around you! Easter hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh I like your description of what I had been simply calling “two color palette!” πŸ˜„

      Haha as for my observation at dinner: it was just a realization that occurred to me while eating. I’ve often heard people in Korea talk about cancer as inevitable in this day and age. Which is just another topic for another day. But, ironically thanks to Covid, I’ve recently been trying a lot harder to cook more, eat healthier and be more active. Which is all I can do, so I’m going to do it! And your yummy creations are a good motivating force so thank you!

      I’m so happy to hear you’ve seen both dramas! Haha. It seems a little silly to admit, but they both really inspired me (more than I alluded to) last month when I really needed it. Itaewon had some really good lines that I still recall now and My Way was just hilarious. And both had that underlying message of aiming for your dreams that could have been corny, but I found to be really motivating!β™‘

      Like

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