I could not for the life of me figure out what to write about for this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, though I got some very good suggestions from friends (bucket list, books, pop culture, things you would want on a deserted island). I didn’t want to rehash topics I have done before, but I also couldn’t think of new topics either–or enough things to fill the topic suggestions. Everything just seemed so overwhelming, and I realized that all I wanted to do was NOT and just sit on the couch and watch TV or something and then *boom* my topic was so obvious: comfort watches and reads for these here pandemic times. This topic also seemed like a good fit because last year I did devote one of my blog posts to book recommendations, so this seems like the perfect time to do a blend of books and visual media as well as a deep dive into why I would recommend the things I do.
One of the other struggles I had with the suggested topics was that I couldn’t come up with anything for A. When I was doing some light journaling to figure out what I might write about for comfort watches/reads that would start with A–because SERIOUSLY WHAT ON EARTH STARTS WITH A–my brain literally went “Anne of Green Gables, duh,” and honestly, if it could pull the perfection that is Anne of Green Gables out of the ether, then the rest of the challenge is going to have to be easy breezy, right?
I like to think so.
“Akilah,” you may be thinking, “when you say Anne of Green Gables, are you talking about the fantastic book by L. M. Montgomery or the fantastic movie starring Megan Follows?”
There I was, up at 1 a.m. doing who knows what (scrolling a social media site, most likely) when my phone lit up with a notification. It was one of my co-workers sharing that the communications person from our school had just sent out information about available vaccines.
Okay, I’m going to get into the ashy eye story in a minute, but also I just want you to know that I got a COVID test after flying across the country, and it is negative. So…whew.
But, yes, I have an ashy eye.
So I discovered this ashy eye issue the day I was packing/prepping to fly across the country. My eye had been bothering me since Thursday. It kept watering for no reason, which honestly happens to me quite a bit, but I thought it was just allergies. You know, a fire was raging, and debris was flying through the air, so it seemed logical. But that night I couldn’t sleep with my eye mask on because it felt like something was stabbing me in the eye.
Then, on Friday, my eye was still bothering me. It was still with the leaking and all, but I could smell smoke in my house, so, again, I just banked on allergies. Also, my daughter told me I looked like I had gotten punched in the eye because my eye was swollen. “Yes,” I told her. “It’s the allergies.”
If you’ve been following the news, you know the wildfires are very intense there, and the air quality is terrible. The one closest to me–the Bobcat Fire–caused smoke bad enough that several friends of mine in a neighboring city were put under an evacuation warning last Wednesday night, and my job closed the campus last Thursday. Because I am an idiot (no, really this time), even after getting the alert that my job (which is down the street from my house) was closed because of extremely poor air quality, I still attempted to go to the pool. I wound up lasting all of ten minutes before I started coughing because, you know, the smoke was so bad. Oh, and Thursday night, my city was also put under an evacuation warning, though it was for the northern part of the city closer to the mountains.
On Thursday night, I finally packed my evacuation bag.
On Friday morning, I could smell the smoke in my apartment, so immediately ordered an air purifier on Amazon to be delivered the next day (they were sold out locally).
By Friday afternoon, I had booked a plane ticket for Sunday to Tennessee with plans to stay there for two weeks and then to drive to Florida and stay for two to three more weeks. My return flight is currently booked for five weeks from now.
And only because I somehow got updated to the new block editor and almost LOST MY MIND with how confusing it is. Anyway, I am somehow way way back in the dashboard editor, so I am safe. For now. I didn’t finish the post I was working on (yet), but I wanted to get this posted first, so here we are.
Here. We. Are.
Here’s what’s been happening since my last check-in post:
To be fair, my doctor didn’t call it prediabetes, but I’m calling it prediabetes. What else is it considered when you’re told your blood sugar is elevated and that you need to limit sweets and simple carbs–oh yeah, and also possibly consider going on a medication to slow the progression to diabetes?
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it might be a prediabetic duck.
So, of course, because diabetes (Type 1 and 2) runs in my family, I promptly freaked out and then I had to do some deep soul searching to decide if I was going to take him up on the medication offer or not. The answer, of course, was no. But that does mean, of course, that I have had to make changes to my diet and increase my exercise.
The real question of course is “How does this qualify for the pandemic alphabet?”
In my H is for Hygiene #AtoZChallenge post, I said that I have to shower and/or wash my face every day in order to start my day and focus. The other thing that goes along with that is getting dressed in actual clothes.
At the very beginning of the pandemic, that meant a t-shirt and leggings. Unfortunately, all of my leggings are not of the LuLaRoe, soft waistband sort, so I got tired of that really quickly. There’s also the issue that the Safer at Home order started in mid-March, and it got hot here not long after. Add to that the fact that I usually wear dresses to work every day, and the whole leggings every day thing was not it.
No joke. I submitted grades on Saturday for the end of our spring semester. I was doing prep for my summer class that starts Wednesday, and I could not figure out what I had done in the class before. Or what I was planning to do. What are assignments? How does one organize a class? Part of it is that I’m teaching the class online for the first time. But the other part was that my brain was seriously just like, “I don’t know, man. You tell me.”
I said to my daughter OUT LOUD, “I am a terrible teacher who doesn’t know how to teach.”
I don’t really use closed captioning–except when I’m watching The Great British Baking Show or some other British show. That’s just because I don’t speak British, so the subtitles are necessary. I mean, honestly, what are they saying? I do not know.
My daughter, on the other hand, always has the closed captioning on when she watches TV. It helps her focus, she says. Without it, she won’t really know what’s going on.
But, for me, it’s hard for me to focus when closed captions are on. I read instead of watching. It is very distracting.
I did make lasagna, though. I can’t remember the last time I did. Between the IBS and the lactose intolerance and the no wheat thing, it seemed like a pipe dream, but a friend of mine posted a picture of her lasagna, and I remembered seeing gluten-free no-boil lasagna noodles at the store (and I’m stocked up on Lactaid), so I thought, “Eh, why not?” and so a lasagna was born.
I almost burnt it, but that’s neither here nor there.
You know what’s sad? How poorly I do without external motivation. The A to Z Challenge is over, so I haven’t posted anything since last Monday, but ALSO I had to force myself to post this today, so I wouldn’t go one more day without not posting it. I mean, it’s fine because I do this for me, but I had stuff to talk about on Monday! I just didn’t.