So, yesterday was rough. It was gray and rainy–that kind of day when the sun never really rises, you just get stuck in an unending, dismal twilight. The Vulcan and I officially cancelled our planned vacation to Florida (which I think we both knew, but were holding on to that vain hope that maybe it would somehow be magically possible,) I struggled with the whole idea of having to spend my whole day in front of a screen, because this is what my job is now. (The Vulcan has a job where he sits at a computer every day. I now know I couldn’t do this and am so impressed he can manage it.)
I spent an unhealthy amount of time wandered back and forth in my house and felt directionless. I started a lot of different T.V. shows that I decided I didn’t want to watch after five minutes. I spent a lot of time stewing about people who don’t take all of this seriously thereby extending the amount of time I’m going to have to live like this. I ate a lot of jellybeans.
It wasn’t pretty.
Today is a new day, though. Yesterday showed me some things. I learned that taking care of myself looks different than it did two weeks ago. I know, I know, that’s a “Thanks for that, Captain Obvious,” moment, but I mean in small ways that apparently affect me more profoundly than previously reckoned. Let me give you some examples.
REVELATION 1: ADAPTING MY THE SCHEDULE TO WHAT NATURALLY SUITS ME. When I wake up, do my little morning routine, I’m full of vim and vigor for projecting and challenges. Ideas are abundant. I am hopeful and ready to try new things and adapting seems easy and exciting. At 8:00 am, I view COVID-19 as a challenge that I can help solve. I am motivated to contribute, do my part, and be resourceful. Doing projects, coming up with creative teaching strategies, making music, all of these are things I am ready to tackle. By mid- to late-afternoon, I fizzle. The problems seem bigger and more insurmountable, and I just want to curl up in a ball and wake up when it’s summer. So, I think for me, getting up and “doing the things” in the morning is the answer. In the afternoon, when I’m not as “uppity,” it’s a better time to sit in front of a screen, listen to student recordings, and write lesson plans. Being a music educator is basically being part pirate. I need to make the system work for me.
REVELATION 2: NEWSFLASH–SOCIAL MEDIA IS (STILL) A TOXIC PLACE TO LIVE. I need to avoid screens when I don’t NEED to be on them. In “regular times,” I am rarely on social media of any persuasion (except Pinterest. I loooove me some Pinterest.) But in the past week, Facebook and Twitter have being lifelines as my colleagues across the country and I grapple with teaching our kiddos from laptops, and my neighborhood community attempts to mobilize to help our local businesses and at risk neighbors. I have gotten great stuff this way, but, you guys, social media is depressing! Like, “I-don’t-know-how-so-many-of-you-do-this-all-the-time-on-purpose” depressing. Some folks are really petty and unnecessarily belittling, and the general news all over is doom and gloom. (Yes, I know we have a real reason for doom and gloom, but I can get that in 5 minutes. I don’t need to keep going and slide further down the spiral.) The problems feel bigger when you’re wandering Twitter or Facebook or Insta. Bigger and scarier and more overwhelming. I’ve got to go back to “former times,” and check myself here.
REVELATION 3: DRINK YOUR DANG WATER. Hear me out. When I am doing my job the “regular way,” I drink about a gallon of water a day. Since being homebound, I have been positively beside myself with all of the beverages I can have whenever I want to. A second pot of coffee? Why not? Perhaps tea? Sure! Maybe a late afternoon glass of wine for no reason? I’m not going anywhere, so what the hey! I have been drinking woefully small amounts of water. Water is really important to the body in all sorts of ways, and dehydration is actually a major cause of feelings of lethargy and generic “yuckiness.” It also helps keeps your lips from getting chapped. And it helps your body fight germ-y baddies. So why am I not doing this? GOOD QUESTION. I don’t know. Well, I do know, I’m like the kid the day after Halloween who has to get sick on candy before realizing maybe a turkey sandwich isn’t such a bad plan after all…
REVELATION 4: IT’S TIME TO GET CREATIVE WITH HOW WE DO EXERCISE, TEAM. In “normal times,” what does working out look like? Well, if you’re like me, it means you walk 12,000-15,000 steps helping educate the next generation, then you go to the gym to run three or four times a week. I am now in a world where everything I need is within approximately 50 steps of everything else I need. Gyms are closed. I can’t run outside because it’s raining. I have spent the past week wallowing in the fact that I can’t work out the regular way (because, you know, everything ELSE is totally unchanged.) But enough is enough! Yesterday, friend turned me on to a local yoga studio that is live streaming some classes for free. I pulled out my (very dusty) yoga mat this morning and “went to yoga class.” It kicked my butt! I am sweaty and my triceps are currently on fire, but I. FEEL. GREAT. I am so happy right now. It is great. I am going to go to class everyday, for sure! I would encourage you to do the same! Find your own “virtual class” and attend. Check the local businesses in your area–I bet many places are doing similar things!(But if you want to “join me,” you can find the schedule on Helium Hot Yoga’s page.)
REVELATION 5: SUPPORT A LOCAL BUSINESS ON HOME FRY FRIDAY! It IS Home Fry Friday, guys, I haven’t forgotten! As I’m sure many of you know, small, locally owned businesses are in real trouble in the light of this pandemic. I hurt for these businesses, because these are the people who are really part of our communities–they’re the ones who support local little league teams and pour their profits back into the places we love. Today, a local restaurant’s fish fry (if you guys are not for Wisconsin, it is hard to understand, but fish fry is a BIG. DEAL. HERE) is donating 50% of its profits to support their employees whose hours have been cut because of gathering restrictions. 50% even when I’m sure they are concerned about paying bills, too! These are the owners of our small businesses. They deserve our support! So, take a look around–make a list of places that have gone delivery–we have one that I stuck on our fridge courtesy of a Facebook post in my neighborhood group. If you have a salaried job and are not laid off yourself, consider ordering out once a week to support the places you love. Buy a gift card so they can use the money you put down now to pay the bills until life gets back to normal. Do what you can, even if it seems tiny or unimportant. If everyone does a little thing, it amounts to a big, huge thing. I know I’ll be venturing out to get a fish fry for lunch today.
Remember, a thing, no matter how imperfectly done, will also be better than doing nothing at all.
And drink your dang water, for Pete’s sake!
See you tomorrow!