Norm and I reached a breaking point this week. Apparently, six months together is our limit. My new surround sound was the trigger.
But that being said, I know I’ve been absent from this blog for a bit. I’ve still been writing though – there is something oddly satisfying about focusing my energy on horrible time-travel fiction and dystopian romance.
I won’t lie. June and July were rough. I made it five months and 11 days without touching another human being. This wasn’t intentional. But I was unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) to start off the pandemic single and severely distanced from family. And given that I’m high risk, most of my friends didn’t want to put me at risk. I respect that, but it took its toll.
I’m okay now. With the summer heat index taking a dive, it’s become more plausible to see friends outdoors again. And that helps. But I’ve also come to really enjoy my “me” time. I’m going to need some serious re-training to ever be as social as I was pre-pandemic.
And by spending so much time alone, I’ve come to value certain things about myself as well as develop new coping mechanisms to survive in this new world. So, I thought I’d break my blog hiatus and share some of those fun finds with you.
I am not a fan of most musicals, but one week, when I was feeling particularly lonely, I watched a YouTube video of celebrities singing broadway hits via Carpool Karaoke. And it made me feel less alone. So, I decided to watch the first musical that appeared in my queue, and to this day, whenever I’m feeling low or need an energy boost, I just turn on some ABBA, and I’m immediately reborn. “Dancing Queen” and the movie, Mamma Mia, has saved my life in a lot of unexpected ways.
I never joined the Frozen bandwagon back in 2013. But a coworker kept recommending Frozen II to me, and since I’d rediscovered that animated films like Toy Story made me feel better about my days, I gave it try. “Into the Unknown” holds such double meaning now, and I still can’t get over the “Samantha” bit.
I’m cheating a bit on this one, but when you have time on your hands, why wouldn’t you visit old favorites? Timeless was one of those rare television series (way too short-lived) that combined my love of time travel, history, and humor all into one. Plus, it showcased some incredible stories. I wouldn’t mind having access to a time travel machine right about now.
Social media is not always the best self-esteem booster, and prior to the pandemic, I only used Instagram to post Norm stories and catch up on cat grams. But post-pandemic, I discovered the “search and suggest” feature, and for a while there, this was the ONLY outlet that made me laugh, and I am forever grateful. So, here are a few of my favs (fair warning: there are a lot of cats)….
And Henry Cavill never fails to disappoint.
My family is not the best at communication. We live miles apart. It certainly wasn’t easy to stay connected at the start of quarantine – how many conversations can you spend talking about doom and gloom? And yet somehow this pandemic has brought us closer together. This includes my 89-year-old Papaw, who got an iPhone, and so we’ve spent the summer texting and sharing our love of movies, music, food and bourbon.
Although I’m not a fan of virtual connections at the moment (I much prefer phone calls these days), when I look back on this phase, I definitely think a highlight will be family trivia nights. Even when competing, we find a way to support one another.
There are many other outlets like puzzles, books and walks that I didn’t mention but have definitely kept me grounded these last six months. It also helps that I work in a place that has been flexible and supportive – where I am valued and able to be creative and innovative. I feel incredibly lucky to still have a job and health insurance so I can take care of my diabetes as well as my mental health.
This road has not been easy. It’s even taken its toll on my only feline companion. But writing this post reminds me of all the fun things I’ve discovered while enduring isolation. And that is something I can relish in for the foreseeable future.