20 April, 2020

Things I'm trying really hard to Avoid, [Pandemic Edition]: a List

- Trying to [falsely] control anything.
    [Because literally LITERALLY, we cannot control a single actual thing other than our own responses to life right now. And let’s face it: sometimes not even that.]

- Caring what others think.
    [I’m not gonna wear pants and you know what? I don’t care. I don’t care if YOU care. And I suspect you’re probably not wearing pants either so don’t come for me, Karen]

- Judgment (of self and of others).

    A big one.
    What do I care what people are posting on the internet? What business is it of mine if someone feels good and productive and contributory singing sad songs at their piano on Instagram Live, or making videos about frothy coffee? Who cares if others are doing a Zoom play reading, or organizing a gigantic Google Hang reunion, or interviewing their friends on YouTube for charity or even just for fun?
    If it isn’t your vibe, that’s okay. Decline to tune in.
    If it makes them feel better right now, good for them.
    Let them do their thing.
    I (and you) have the agency to decline to participate. You don’t have to tune in! You don’t even have to know it’s happening! USE that wonderful mute button and revisit that follow when the Pandemic is over.
And if you press mute and feel guilty about it, let me say this: right now, almost everything we consume that has to do with human connection occurs on the internet. It is currently your only lifeline and your entire life. Thus, it is crucial that it is curated and nourishing. Plus, it is YOUR internet space; no one else’s. You get to determine what invades your psyche at all times, but particularly when times are tough.  What you consume, you create more of in your life. And if what you are consuming is stressing you out? Look away.
No harm done.
    Look away and let those people do their thing.
    Grace. Compassion. Empathy.
    For yourself.
    For others.
    We’re all doing the best we can inside an unprecedented and horrendous global situation.

- Grouchiness
    [Ohhhhhhh maaaaaaan can AlSilbs get “the grumps” like an old man screaming “get off my lawn!” Luckily I’m almost always self-aware about it and can laugh simultaneously. But it’s still fairly unpleasant.]

- Sleeping absolutely bizarre hours [What’s up 4am—wanna ALPHABATIZE THESE SPICES?!]

- Cabin fever

- Leaving the dishes in the sink overnight [because ya know, despair]

- Turning into Gollum or Wolfman

- Cutting my own hair
    [Okayokay— this one I’m failing at. I trimmed my own hair with kitchen scissors at 6:30am last week and yes I know how insane that sounds]

- Aggressive optimism

- Buying too many plants

- “Compare and Despair” on social media.
    “Are they doing Pandemic better/cooler/more productively/altruistically than *I* am?!” is the new “Are they doing adulthood better than I am?”
    I just made up a word. Just this second. It’s called “PENVY” It’s a portmanteau of Panic+Envy. Suddenly, what was once vague PENVY about whether or not you will ever be able to casually afford that barre class being touted by the perfect-married-mom-of-two-but-still-has-a-perfect-body-and-also-looks-quite-rich lady, you’re worried that you’re not ENDURING GLOBAL CATASTROPHE in the “correct” manner.
    God, it’s exhausting.
    And I’m trying not to participate in that drama, online or in my squirrel brain.

- Playing any board games with Alec and his friends that involve me pretending to be like, a TROLL or something

- Over-feeding Tati
[in a lame attempt to excuse possibly over-feeding myself?? Anyone? Any armchair psychologists wanna chime in here?]

- “Zoom cocktail parties”
    [Because frankly, they simply are not cocktail parties. I’m still half-dressed from the waist up holding a homemade “Quarantini”]

- Negative self-talk
    Another big one. Let’s be gentle and be kind to our poor selves going through a huge global trauma, shared and individual. Be soft with ourselves. Give ourselves grace.
It’s okay to not achieve. It’s okay to not be productive. It’s okay to get a little “soft” in the body because everything is Alice in Wonderland right now.
    It’s okay to nap 3 times. This is hard. Take off those pants, gurl. Or put those pants on! Naked face or a full beat. Whatever. Do what makes you feel good.
    What are we trying to prove, and to whom?   

- Losing hope <3

Stay strong, dearest readers. We can do this. 
OH: and don't cut your own hair. 

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