It’s been a long year.
This is my fourth quarantine/pandemic-themed (inspired?) post, and if you could have told me back in March that I’d be writing this in December, I would have curled up and wept on the spot. Instead, as each month has passed, I’ve become more and more sad about the entire situation. I’m sure there are more eloquent ways to describe it, but I think “sad” is really the word that describes where most of us are.
I know I’m not the only one who hasn’t felt like writing about it, while simultaneously feeling like focusing on anything else—for public consumption, at least—is an exercise in avoidance and denial. I admire those who have gotten past that internal conflict, especially when it’s been for the sake of others.
Since mid-March, I have seen my career go from a place of near-stagnation (which had lingered for about six months and was financially terrifying) to a point where I am putting in six-day weeks and many nights in order to not fall behind. I have felt extremely grateful for ongoing reader support, even in my absence. I have shed almost 50 pounds. I have not seen my family. I have not seen my friends. I have been to the dentist, once. I have lost two family members to Covid. I have yelled at the television. I have yelled at my phone. I turned 45 years old, which does not sound right. I have tried to become the avid reader I once was, to no avail. (I did read a self-help book for the first time, though.) I have listened to so many podcasts. All of the podcasts, maybe. I have reglazed and restored nine steel casement windows. I have struggled with maskne. I have snuggled intensely with Fritz. I have felt extremely grateful that my boyfriend and I can both work at home. (I am even more grateful to have a partner that I love to be around all the time.) I have read way too many news articles at midnight and have watched way too much television news during mealtime. I have doomscrolled at 3AM. I made it through eight seasons of My 600-Lb. Life, and I don’t feel good about that. I voted. I have maintained a day planner. I have not gone out to eat. I have cooked many, many meals. I learned how to cut hair for real. I have gone through multiple bouts of insomnia. I have not, fortunately, gotten sick. Oh, and I really love that bidet.
This is definitely not a complete list, but it’s a rough outline.
Speaking of lists, lists are largely what has gotten me through the chaos of my workload over the past few months. I make multiple lists a day, on paper. I make lists of the lists I need to make. The other thing that’s kept me from grinding my teeth into a fine powder is utilizing timers. Setting a 20-minute timer on my phone and then racing against myself to get any many menial tasks done as possible during that time is pretty much a damn miracle.
ANYWAY. I’m back. I absolutely had to stop blogging for a while, because there are only 24 hours in a day, and I’ve actually become one of those weird people who needs to sleep for at least 7-8 hours a night in order to function properly. Things have leveled out, though, and I finally feel like I have a handle on life-stuff. See that calendar? That’s where I put all of my sticky notes with the names of the book covers I’m working on, and you’ll notice that all of those stickies are currently above the dates rather than on them, meaning everything I’m working on right now is in someone else’s court for the time being. I can’t fully express what a massive relief it is to have gotten to the point where I actually feel like I’m slightly ahead of the game.
So what’s going on with you all? Fill me in! Are you OK? Are you going to be OK? And aside from the full kitchen reveal, what do you want to see here from me—exterior house stuff from the summer, or bathroom renovation details?