Quarantine Diaries: Chapter Three

APRIL 2-APRIL 19

I’m back for my third installment of Quarantine Diaries. I am apparently very bad at updating this in any sort of timely fashion, which is weird because I have all the time in the world to do it.

The latest leg of quarantine has reminded me very much of the episode of Friends where Monica is getting married but Chandler is missing, so Rachel is trying to stall her.

 

Same, Rachel Green. Same. Here are the things I’ve been doing to occupy my time.

WATCHING

I feel like I’ve made a concerted effort to watch less TV lately? But even “less” is still a ton of TV, so take that with a grain of salt. I watched Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu, which is so good. The finale is this Wednesday, and I’m super excited to watch it. I truly have no idea how it will end. In my last blog post, I mentioned that I had binged all of Big Little Lies and, I have to say, Reese Witherspoon is a little too good at playing an entitled, problematic white woman.

I’ve been watching a ton of stand up comedy because it makes me happy. I found out that Dane Cook’s Vicious Circle is on HBO and naturally I had to watch that. If you knew me at any point circa 2006-2010(ish?) you’ll know that my friend Mariah and I were obsessed with Dane Cook. It’s been a decade since I’ve seen it and I still knew every line by heart. I rewatched Dave Chappelle’s Netflix specials (yes, all of them), as well as his Mark Twain award. I watched Chris D’elia‘s new standup, No Pain, which was very funny.  And, of course, I watched Patton Oswalt’s Annihilation standup because it is one of my favorites of all time. It’s his first stand up special after losing his wife and it is such a beautiful marriage of hilarity and vulnerability. It makes me both laugh and cry every time I watch it. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend watching it.

READING

I’ve been reading a lot lately, which I think is probably better for my mood and my brain than just mindlessly scrolling through Instagram while I have a show on for background noise.

I read Educated by Tara Westover and it was amazing. I read it in a little less than 24 hours because I was so enthralled by her story. If you haven’t read it or heard of it, it’s about a girl who is raised in Idaho by a survivalist, incredibly abusive Mormon family. She is “homeschooled” but her education basically amounts to helping her dad with his scrap business and her mom make tinctures. The amount that she overcomes is so inspiring. If you haven’t read it, you should.

I also started reading Plan B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. I got this book over a year ago when I was going through some ~things~ but never actually read it. I was a little skeptical about it because, you know, it’s Sheryl Sandberg. Yes, we all go through things but I think if you’re a billionaire the resources you have available to you make going through difficult times less difficult than, let’s say, someone who is grieving and also has the emotional expenditure of worrying how they’re going to pay their bills. She actually addresses that head-on in her book, which I found very refreshing. Despite my cynicism, I guess that grief and heartbreak are probably the great equalizers for all of us. And the book is surprisingly very honest and full of really wonderful advice. If you’re grieving the loss of something or someone, I think this would make you feel at least marginally better.

I finally finished reading The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. I don’t think it’s anything incredibly profound. In fact, I have independently come to all of these realizations at some point or another, but I think it was a good reminder. I’m thinking about doing a book review on it, because I feel like as we all collectively have our lives on pause right now, these could be good lessons to take with us when we enter into our “new normal.” Thoughts?

MAKING

I haven’t really been making much of anything. I’m still doing work for some freelance clients and that has been a welcome reprieve and a creative outlet.

I did attempt to make cookies the other day but I burnt the shit out of them and they were inedible. Basically, I was sad. I decided that making cookies would improve my mood. I burnt the cookies and was left cookie-less and had to ruminate on my failure in a hazy, smoke-filled apartment. I tried again the next day with much better results, thankfully.

DOING

I’ve been doing a lot of writing. In the last week alone I’ve written around 20,000 words, but it’s all personal writing that I won’t be sharing with anyone. Writing helps me feel better. I have started and stopped journaling many, many times in my life. It’s a hard style of writing for me to get into because it’s not polished, it’s not pretty or flowery. So I find myself wanting to go back and fix spelling or grammar or the syntax of a sentence, or sometimes even edit something for AP style, but I remind myself that this is only for me. And even though it’s ugly and messy and there I jump fluidly from one thought or feeling to the next, it helps me feel better.

I also have been trying to do a cross-stitch project that I bought at least six months ago but I cannot figure out how to do it and it get so frustrated and annoyed that I have to stop. It doesn’t help that Kramer bats at the strings. That’s not what I’m bad at it, but that’s what I tell myself.

I’ve also been doing a lot of online shopping. Because the shipping times are so delayed, I forget that I’ve bought things and I’m missing out on the instant gratification that normally accompanies a purchase. I bought some AirPods this week and I am really excited to get those. I have that that delivery date marked in my calendar, actually.

I am still avoiding the news, and sometimes Twitter, depending on the day. The day of the Trump rally protest in Lansing, I had to just put my phone down entirely. I cannot believe the total lack of empathy that some people have. We are all suffering in one way or another.

CONNECTING

I have still been in touch with my friends and family a lot, actually, I would say even more so recently. I have always called my mom at least once a day, even pre-quarantine, but I’m bothering her almost hourly at this point. We FaceTime regularly and I’m able to see Max and my dad and brother, too.

I dropped off Max’s Easter gifts to my family last weekend and being able to see my family but not go near them or go into the house I grew up in was a new kind of sadness for me. I also dropped off some supplies for my grandparents and then I cried all the way back to Lansing. I know that this is for the best, but it’s really hard.

I still talk to my friends Andrea, Jess and Jennifer almost every single day. I was also able to reconnect with an old friend last week, too—which was not something I ever saw happening, to be honest, but made me really happy.

TL;DR

Being quarantined by myself has not been easy. I’ve lived alone for seven years but this is one of the first times I have ever felt lonely. I’m taking it day by day, hour by hour sometimes, and doing my best—and I know everyone else is doing the same. How are hanging in there? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “Quarantine Diaries: Chapter Three

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