Sunday, May 3, 2020

Loose Leafing: Corona Currently

What better than a pandemic for me to just wander by my blog and pretend I never left it by picking up a totally random blog posting habit?  Honestly, it was really nice Readathonning last weekend and catching up with the bookish community.  I appreciate all of you who stopped by and left a comment and assured me that despite my blog's dormancy I might not be totally shouting into the void.

A few weeks ago (maybe a month?  I don't know.  Time has no meaning anymore), one of my co-workers texted me something like "we should journal during this historic time!" I, being a cynical  jerk, replied something on the order of, "Yeah, that should be stimulating.  Uh, so I woke up.  I ate some food.  Then I ate some more food.  I scrolled the news.  I took a nap. I woke up and it was still daylight out, so I took another nap.   I woke up and tried to watch a briefing from my nation's leader about a widespread crisis.  After only a few minutes, I was forced to turn it off because listening to petty, self-aggrandizing prattle and outright lies was really too much to take on top of the whole killer virus thing.  Then I cooked and ate more food and went to bed after playing a few hours' worth of Cooking Craze on my iPhone to dull the anxious thoughts in my brain to a dull roar."  Clearly, the world has been missing this exciting account of life during the coronapocalypse.

But I don't know, maybe she had a point about the journaling.  So here we are, and here's a little "currently" for the corona age.

Reading: If there's one thing I can say for the quarantine period, it definitely has given a boost to my reading life.  Spending so much time in the company of all my unread books steadily glowering at me has finally made me dig into that TBR stack.  While my concentration was off for the first few weeks in March, April has lead to excellent reading.  I'm well ahead of my usual pace of the last few years and I feel like I'm just reading....better.  With more uninterrupted time, I've found it way easier to get lost in books like I used to before the demands of my job started sucking up so much of my headspace.  I just finished My Dark Vanessa which was hard to read but also amazing, and this morning I'm starting Nation by Terry Pratchett to kick off a month-long Litsy challenge.

Current reads with a cameo from Mo the Surviving Succulent

Feeling Guilty:  I'm still working, and I hate it.  I work for healthcare IT, and the demands on my productivity level are still sky high.  While other people are binging their 18th Netflix show, I'm spending even the waning hours of Friday afternoon discussing the vagaries of how to interface next generation sequencing results to a new lab system and lamenting a to do list as long as my arm.  I should be (and in my mind, if not my heart, I am) glad to have a job, glad to be able to work from home, glad for a lot of blessings that have been bestowed upon me during this time.  But being expected to work at a very high functioning level with added roadblocks of remote work during this emotionally taxing time is hard.  It's getting easier as my focus returns to pre-pandemic levels, but still hard. 

On Spending Wisely: Lately I've been trying to do some good with what I've got.  Like it or not, I am still working, so I've been trying to make at least a small difference with the proceeds.  So many people and organizations are in need right now.  This is a tough headspace, too.  With so much need, it's hard to know where to direct your money to have the greatest impact.  That said, directing it anywhere is better than being overwhelmed by need and not directing it all, so I think I'll probably soon be making another round of donations and probably buying some more local takeout and otherwise trying to be purposeful and thoughtful with my funds during this time. 

Watching: Next to nothing, oddly.  I've been trying to keep up with the shows that are going on over at Andrew Lloyd Webber's channel and also with John Krasinski's Some Good News.  Other than that it's usually one random show on Hulu a day while I eat dinner and scroll the news after work.  TV binges have oddly not been a part of my quarantine life.  I'm gravitating more toward music and audiobooks and the occasional podcast for some reason.

Really Missing:  1 - Making travel plans.  I worked myself beyond the point of burnout this past winter and spring hoping for the promise of some time away, you know, now-ish.  Time away that I thankfully didn't lock in because of the niggling worry back in February that that virus everybody wa talking about might become...a thing.   So now that I have honed my burnout to fine point and am still grinding away at work, the potential loss of any vacation at all has been particularly painful.  2 - Baseball.  I hope there is some sort of baseball season eventually.  Summer isn't summer without baseball.  3 -Seeing other humans in person (I mean, duh).  I live on my own so isolation is very, very isolating.  I think some people long for my situation, but I long to have somebody to talk to to get out of my own head.  4 - Decent weather.  But for this weekend, Pennsylvania has not had much great weather on offer.  Great weather makes everything so much more bearable. 

Ok, so my favorite HelloFresh meal is not photogenic at all.  It's delicious, ok?  

Appreciating: 1 - HelloFresh.  I've been a subscriber for quite a while now, and now more than ever it's been great to have the fixings for meals just delivered to my door, and stopping the working/news scrolling grind to cook myself a real meal every other day has been consistently refreshing.  That said, I've taken to calling it "hot zone" fresh because it gets packed and delivered from Newark, New Jersey.  No, the irony of my living in rural Pennsylvania and getting my "fresh" food delivered from Newark doesn't escape me.  Thanks for asking.  2 - Technology.  I'd much rather meet for church in person, but I love that even though we can't, I can still stream a church service or few every Sunday.  3 - this is idiotic, but my aunt got me this punny calendar for Christmas, and I love it.  I don't know what it says about this year that stupid calendar puns are really a high point for me, but they are.

So wonderful, so terrible the puns.

On Stopping the Madness: I consumed a lot of news in March.  I stopped consuming so much in April.  It has made a very big difference in my quality of life between the two months.  Next up, I'd like to stop spending so much time with iPhone in general.  But sometimes the social media scrolling yields up some true gems and the brain numbing of a phone game or two can occasionally prove helpful.  I feel.....conflicted.

Coming Soon: Yellow!  Having read up on the privileges of being a yellow county...I have discerned no actual change for my own life.  However, it seems some other people get to go back to work, though, so I guess that's good....?  Here's hoping the slow opening achieves its ends and we can have both a functioning economy and health.

Quote of the Week (see all "Things You Thought You'd Never Say in Real Life"):  "The grocery store was much better this week even though I kept missing things and having to take laps of the one-way aisles. At least they were playing music, so I could listen to Ed Sheeran instead of a constant dystopian loop of social distancing instructions."  

That's all from me for now.  How's the coronapocalypse been treating you?


  1. Our state is opening up but we won't be changing what we're doing. We're not convinced it's time yet.

    We're trying to make a difference with our money, too, by supporting local businesses. We gave our stimulus money to a local food bank.

    1. Seems like the smart thing to do. Happily my circumstances are such that I can work from home and keep an eye on how things are unfolding.

      I'm definitely trying to be intentional about supporting small businesses near me and not so much internet shopping and shopping from large chains. A donation to a local food bank sounds like a great idea. I might do that too.

      I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but I think maybe the spam filter "ate me." Wordpress seems to kind of hate me. :(

  2. I think we will likely have some restrictions lifted this week but I don't think I will necessarily be back into the office straight away.

    We are trying to do a couple of takeaways each week to try and help our local restaurants, cafes and the like. Other than that I am not spending much at all!

  3. Oh, Megan, I'm so glad you decided to post something! Your posts always crack me up :) I'm glad you're surviving coronapocalypse (ha ha - that's a good one). I am as well, although I'm definitely going a little stir crazy. I'm getting a lot of reading done, too, so that's good. I've been watching more t.v. than usual, but I cross-stitch at the same time so at least I can feel a little productive.

    Stay safe and healthy!