U is for Uncertainty #AtoZChallenge

Okay, so I actually 100% hate uncertainty. It is probably one of my least favorite things ever, and this stupid pandemic is full of uncertainty. We don’t know exactly when it’s going to end. We don’t know exactly how it’s spread. We don’t know exactly how long it incubates. We don’t know anything! It sucks!

uncertain
I don’t watch Rick and Morty but perfect pic is perfect (source)

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T is for Teaching #AtoZChallenge

Welp, I said in the O is for Obligations #AtoZChallenge post that teaching would get its own letter and here we are.

I am very grateful for my job. And not just because I’m still collecting a paycheck, which is definitely a part of it. No, I am grateful for my job because it gives me focus and purpose and helps to shape my days, much like I said about the obligations in that O post.

I am, thankfully, experienced with online teaching and recently completed another round of training in distance education. That made the transition to emergency remote instruction just a little bit smoother for me.

remote teaching 2020
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But, of course, it’s more than that.

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S is for Social Media #AtoZChallenge

Okay, so I already talked about how I have been using Instagram more, which…I’m still bad at posting but very good at lurking. So, you know, it’s fine.

But, you know, Facebook has been awesome for this time. I have at least one friend who had mostly given up the platform come back with a vengeance, and other people are posting more frequently. Twitter still is not quite the platform for me, but again, people are posting a ton and it’s super great. Also, we must not forget blogs, another place to post about what we care about and what’s important to us.

Social media was made for such a time as this. We are able to actually connect with each other and support each other. One friend posted she was lonely, so I texted her to set up a call. Another friend discovered which store had toilet paper and posted it for other local people to see. It’s a great way to see which causes we support to encourage those of us who can to donate to them.

That’s all amazing, right? But you know the real best part about social media?

THE MEMES.

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R is for Recommendations #AtoZChallenge

I love giving recommendations (book or otherwise), and I have been asked more than once for suggestions of what to read during this time. So, this is the post with all the recs! I was going to attempt to separate them into categories, but I just labeled them instead. I put pictures if I had them handily available because it would have taken forever to find pictures for all of them. Also, these are only the books I’ve read in the past five years. I mean, this list could go on, but I had to stop myself somewhere.

If you’re interested in any of them, please support a book and mortar bookstore that serves your neighborhood. Most are still taking orders and doing delivery. Bookstore Link can point you in the right direction if you don’t already have a bookstore in mind.

And this will be mostly children’s lit because you know how I roll. So here we go.

Comfort/Fun Books to Read during the Pandemic

Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot (middle grade, graphic novel)

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (YA)

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (mystery)

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (middle grade mystery)

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (YA fantasy)

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Q is for Quiet Time #AtoZChallenge

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.

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It’s Monday and P is for Psychotherapy! #IMWAYR #AtoZChallenge

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.

WEEPS.

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O is for Obligations #AtoZChallenge

I’m glad I still have things to do.

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.

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N is for Naps #AtoZChallenge

Can you believe I almost couldn’t figure out what to pick for N? I mean, honestly. I am a champion napper. I was before the pandemic, and I probably will be after the pandemic.

joey nap
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Part of this is because I’m severely sleep deprived, sure. But the other part is that I love naps. In fact, I took two yesterday and still went to bed at my regular time.

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M is for Meal Planning Service #AtoZChallenge

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.

scuttle boring
source

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L is for Letting Go of Perfectionism #AtoZChallenge

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.

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