I have been really busy since the pandemic started. I am always really busy but it’s been shocking just how busy I am even when I’m not leaving home to go anywhere. A lot of it is my fault: I fill my days talking to people and watching TV and being online.
A couple of weeks ago, though, I went for a walk and didn’t turn on music, or call anybody, or listen to an audiobook or a podcast. I just walked and took in what was around me.
One day, my daughter turned off the TV and said, “I’m tired of TV.” And that was that.
That’s right: It’s a hybrid post. What I thought was motion sickness today was really just a migraine set up, so I don’t have it in me to write two separate posts. If you’re just here for the A to Z stuff, it’s at the end, so you can scroll scroll scroll.
Last week was spring break, praise the Lord. I took the entire week off from work: no grading, no emails, no course prep, nothing. It was nice. I spent two days doing some deep reading–in part because I had to limit my screen time, but also because I just wanted to read. The motion sickness/migraine madness meant I unfortunately couldn’t catch up on blogs like I wanted to. However, I did manage to watch Parasite, which broke my brain, and I also started a rewatch of The Bernie Mac Show (both are on Hulu), which is bringing me so much joy. I mean, honestly, there are not enough BMS gifs out there and my heart, it weeps.
My biggest obligation right now is, of course, my job, which will get its own letter. But besides actual teaching, I’m actually a little grateful for the meetings. Go figure.
See, the thing is that meetings and scheduled calls give my day some structure. And sometimes, they force me to get out of bed when I may be more inclined to just…not. In the Before, I always had places to be or people to hang out with and the loss of structure hasn’t been great for me. I often spend my days wondering what exactly I did all day–and that’s even when I do have work. Like, I know I did things, but I often used my calendar to SEE what I did and have a record of that. With nowhere to physically go, I don’t have times to physically be places, so I don’t have activities on my calendar and therefore don’t know what’s happened in my day.
Regular readers of the blog know that I have a medical condition that requires a lot of food restrictions. I can’t eat a lot of things that are considered staples, and the transition has not been easy for me. Most of the foods I depended on for my meals are now off limits–foods like beans and cauliflower, for example.
I also hate to cook.
This has been an interesting combination. For one thing, I had built up a list of go-to recipes. And that worked pretty well until I couldn’t eat most of the foods in my recipes anymore. Because I don’t like cooking, it’s hard for me to imagine different ways of making any of these dishes.
When left to my own devices, I have three things on my plate: meat, vegetables, and rice. I can eat any kind of meat, basically, and a limited amount of vegetables. However, I’m usually just eating salmon, spinach, and rice.
I hinted at this in my knowing my limits, flexibility, and even my Instagram posts for this challenge, so I’m just going to go ahead and admit it in full right here: I am a recovering perfectionist.
I know. It’s shocking.
But, really, it’s why I overcomplicate things most of the time. Because I don’t have to just know how to do things, I have to know how to do them right.
It has been easy to be flexible about this blogging challenge, about my teaching, about the 30-day yoga challenge I undertook, about how often I cook, and about how often I go for a walk. Do you know why? Because I have done blogging challenges before. I’ve had to change my teaching mid-semester before. I’ve tried cooking every day, and I know my exercise habits.
You know what I don’t know how to do? Live through a global pandemic.
I hit a wall in week two of the Safer at Home order.
Then I hit a wall during week three.
See, what happened is that I was actually doing too much, still. Too much talking to people on the phone, too much walking around my neighborhood, too much being okay.
So I had two realizations during those two wall hits: I’d had enough. Of what, I wasn’t entirely sure. But I knew that I was exhausted and I felt like I didn’t have enough time and also that I was overwhelmed.
Yes, this is during self-isolation when I have nowhere to go and nowhere (save a handful of scheduled meetings) to be. I had still figured out a way to make myself busy.
I joined Instagram in *checks first post* 2014 and since then, I have made exactly eight posts.
See, the thing about Instagram is that I don’t get it. I mean, I get it. But I am not really a pictures person. I’m a words person. I love words. I have a lot to say about most things, most times. (Anybody who knows me well or is a regular reader of the blog is like, “MOST????”) Anyway, the point is that a platform based on pictures doesn’t really speak to me, generally speaking.
I mean, honestly, do you know how long it took for me to add pictures of book covers to my book review posts? A long time is how long because I was like, “Who needs pictures? It’s a book! It has words! Look up the book if you want to see the pictures! This is about words!”
Like almost everybody, I have upped my handwashing game. I make sure to wash my hands when I come into my home from outside. I wipe down my door handles and phones and then wash my hands again. I try not to touch my face. I usually fail at not touching my face (though I am more cognizant of the fact that I’m touching my face and therefore try not to use my hands to touch my face).
Like most other people, I also enjoy all of the handwashing guides set to different songs. I’ve seen a lot I like, but my favorite so far may be the “Thong Song” one because that song is a bop that slaps. (Did I use those terms right?)