I heard the most important thing you can do during this COVID19 shelter-at-home lifestyle is to try your jeans on once a week. A little levity is always needed during times of extra stress and uncertainty, but I’m taking it seriously.

This is now part of my weekly routine.

personal organizer and pink flowers on deskAfter weeks of wearing my stretchy, comfy-pants, I fished for my favorite pair of jeans from the drawer. What would I reel in?

Whoa. Not good.

photo of gray and white tabby kitten sitting on sofa
Photo by Tranmautritam on

I turned an index card into a behavior modification chart (once a teacher always a teacher) and color coded 4 areas that would help me zip and button those suckers, hopefully, before my birthday, which, by the way, is in June, in case you enjoy shopping for birthday cards. 😉

With my will in the right place and my hand out of the cookie jar, I was determined.

Let’s do this!

  1. Cut the cookie intake in half.
  2. No ice-cream (if you only knew how torturous this was for me).
  3. More water.
  4. More steps.

After 2 weeks I still had to suck it in, but #3 try-on-day was coming.

Whoa! Zipped and buttoned!!

I felt lighter! Younger! So proud!

two hanged blue stonewash and blue jeans

I knew I could do it! (Pat, pat on the back.)

An hour later I noticed the pocket was missing its stitching. The denim was darker. The legs a little longer.

WHOA! Wrong jeans! Not these! My most worn, most baggy, most comfy-jeans! I had reeled in the wrong pair of jeans!

Nothing is worse than celebrating a win and later realizing you didn’t win—not even close. Nothing had happened. Nothing.

Nothing . . . yet something inside me woke up . . .

I have more cookies in the jar than I need.

I haven’t been to Hobby Lobby for five weeks and I’m still happy.

Text alerts aren’t as annoying as before.

Virtual hugs are better than I thought.

Chalked sidewalks really do encourage.

Gifts in plastic bags on doorknobs are priceless.IMG_6042

All this something came from nothing.

Winnie the Pooh says, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, Christopher Robin, now might be a good time. Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh have lots to say in this film, as if they knew this time in history was coming—quite amazing. Watch till the end and you’ll sleep well at night.

photo of child laying on bed
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on

I’ll keep my comfy-jeans on today to remind me that something just might come from nothing. Besides, if any more cookies show up at my door, I want to be ready.

Hopefully, when life is closer to what we’ve been used to, we won’t forget all the somethings that came to us during these slower, quieter times. Times when we thought nothing was happening. But something was.

Tuck this title away for when your library or bookstore opens again: The Gift of Nothing, by Patrick McDonnell. It’s a great reminder for when we think we need more in life—nothing may be just what we need.

Before you go, check out this story written and read by teacher, child-specialist, mom, and warm-hearted soul, Carol Van Gorp, who knows how to weave something out of nothing every time. A serious, but fun tale to help children process their emotions during this difficult time. Listen together with your child or grandchild, or pass it along to others with children. After listening they may want to enter a contest to help illustrate the book!

I hope with all my heart you and you’re loved ones are well. I hope you’re comforted in knowing that when you think nothing is happening, there’s always something going on.

Something good.

Be well.


  1. Sharon Cox says:

    Another winner, Karen. Both thought provoking and encouraging-and being able to do that with a deft touch is the mark of a gifted writer. Proud of my Zebra sister, Sharon.


  2. minnieguell says:

    So true. So encouraging. Every time I read your blog I think it’s the best one. And then they get better, even more relevant, more personal, and all with a touch of whimsy and humor. Thank you, Karen.


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