Self-care in a pandemic

And what I'm reading (also self-care)

There’s a parking lot in my town that never has any cars in it. It’s open and sunny and quiet. I’ve taken to telling my family that I’m running errands (the boring kind that no one would want to come with me - getting meds at the pharmacy for example) and instead I get a cup of coffee, drive to the empty parking lot and sit in silence.

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Sometimes my phone rings and it’s the kids calling to say that the dog is puking, or can I pick up some oranges, or ‘when are you coming home, mommy?’ I tell them I’ll be on my way in a few minutes and remind them to use the yellow cleaning rags to tackle any dog puke until I can get back.

Sometimes I finish listening to a Brené Brown podcast, or I call a friend, but most of the time I just stare at the Sherwins and sip my coffee in silence. In the groundhog’s day of Pandemic-land, quiet moments alone are my self-care.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately - which is nothing new. Reading has always been my number one hobby and form of self-care. My mom said I taught myself how to read when I was three years old, she thinks from reading newspaper comics. In reading I can immerse myself in another world, in another life, and in the endless what-if’s and what-would-you-do’s of fictional and real life narratives.

This year I’ve decided to embrace video in social media as well as text so I’ve started sharing book review videos on Instagram (and re-shared on my Facebook page). In the reviews I point the camera at myself and talk like I’m talking to a friend who devours books like I do.

You can watch all of them following the link here or pick and choose from the current ones below.

Not a video person? I’ve got my recs listed on Bookshop too. Do you know about Bookshop.org yet? They support independent bookstores through affiliate sales. If you aren’t already getting your books at your local indie bookstore (you should!) and you can support bookstores by shopping online at Bookshop too.

At first I felt nervous opening up to the camera but now I whip that screen up as soon as I’ve finished reading and get out all my thoughts at once. Upcoming reviews will include Euphoria, by Lily King, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube, by Blair Braverman, and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab.

I’m toying with the idea of an online book club but not sure how I’d work that out quite yet. I’d also like to interview authors but haven’t been able to figure out if a Zoom format would be best or just going live on social media instead. I think it would be easier to have people ask questions and engage in the discussion on Zoom, but Zoom would entail a monthly cost. Social media is free, but harder to get questions on a small screen and pull in people to talk and participate. Maybe, and I’m just working this out as I type (I do all my good thinking while typing) - maybe I keep the Zoom interviews short on purpose - under that 40 minute free Zoom limit? Any thoughts on a format you’d be interested in attending/engaging with?

In Dusthaven news, I got these samples of Sunbrella fabric for the cushions and pillows for the dinette in the travel trailer out there. Leaning towards stripes and that geometric looking fabric at right, but haven’t quite decided. Think I’ll use the Tetris-y fabric for new curtains. I’ll share before pics as soon as I can get some good ones. Right now picture dark, brown, and corduroy.

: shudder:

I wish you all your own quiet moments of pandemic self-care, be they in empty parking lots, or your bathroom, or through escaping into the stories in books.


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